Yes, it’s another cafe opening; and it’s another one from the team at St Ali.

The Sensory Lab at the newly renovated David Jones is focused on helping customers find new ways to appreciate coffee. From offering a variety of brewing methods or walking customers through a series of sensory tests with tasting notes, to providing the hardware for coffee at home, it’s out to change the way we enjoy a brew.

Of course there’s still an espresso option – or seven – on offer, and they’re very good, but you should certainly take the opportunity to try something new. A barista wearing a white lab-coat (seriously!) will no doubt be happy to point you in the right direction.

Coffee shops like the Sensory Lab are being driven by an increased interest in and awareness of the finer points of coffee tasting, dubbed by some ‘the third wave’. These new cafes cater to a growing base of customers who know their Colombian Supremo from their Ethiopian Yirgacheffe.

If you don’t fit into this group yet, the Sensory Lab would like to help. There are coffee consultants to demonstrate brewing; rare and specialty beans complete with the details of their origin; and the chance to define your own ‘flavour profile’.

Rather than just a cafe, the Sensory Lab is really more of a tasting space. Think of it like a cellar door for coffee. It won’t be for everyone, but if you’re wondering what all this single origin talk is about, this might be a good place to ask.

Where: David Jones, Melbourne CBD.
Entry: Street level, Little Collins Street, opposite Howey Place.

Times: David Jones trading hours:
Mon–Wed 7:30am–7pm,
Thurs-Fri 7.30am–9pm,
Sat 8:30am–7pm,
Sun 9:30am–7pm