Black Market Coffee Roasters couldn’t be more different from its name. The name conjures shonky, ship-faring merchants that sell coffee beans from the pockets of trench coats. In reality, sitting down for an espresso at Black Market feels like a pleasant Sunday afternoon in the sunlit living room of the Nicol family. That’s Angus and Jessica, to be more specific. They’re the owners of the boutique coffee roaster that’s recently opened their first cafe in Enmore.
The Nicols’ are as inviting and lovely as they are fascinated and serious with their product. Both Angus and Jessica are coffee veterans; before opening the Black Market cafe in Enmore and their roaster in Botany, they ran Clovelly’s acclaimed Top Hat Coffee Merchants, and Rockdale’s Swallow Coffee Traders before that. Angus says the journey has been a long process of trial and error with the intricacies of coffee sourcing, roasting and serving. The sweeter, heaver roast they're currently serving differs from many other specialty cafes. “A lot of new school roasters in Melbourne are very light. We want to strike a balance between that amazing floral acid, and the sweetness,” says Angus. An impressively full-bodied Guatemalan espresso was, true to Angus’ word, lightly tart, buttery and rather cake-like. With it came a shot glass, not with sparkling water as a palate cleanser, but a delicate green tea and cucumber infusion.
Angus says speciality coffee, despite its recent surge in popularity, is still in its early stages with many unknown variables. “With wine and food it’s so developed. With coffee it's just starting, it's pretty raw. There are such minute differences,” he says. The pair say they’re excited about learning about coffee and bringing their lessons to the wider public. As well as chatting to the enthusiastic couple, you can get further training with Black Market Coffee Roasters barista academy training courses which are run out of the company’s Botany roaster.
As coffee is the focus, the cafe’s menu is relatively brief. There’s Bread & Butter Project toast with avocado, pies from Cremorne bakery Nosh and some simple and nostalgic crumpet stacks. We loved the dextrously layered banana and blueberry stack drizzled with gooey hazelnut butter.
The fit-out, like the menu, is simple but snug. It’s alley-thin and smartly decorated by just a handful of wooden tabletops and a squad of coffee gadgetry. “We did everything ourselves, for budget reasons but also because it's our passion,” Angus says.
Black Market Coffee Roasters
2/86 Enmore Road, Enmore
0414 924 685