Nestled away from the hustle and bustle of Glenferrie Road, in the sleepy village of Malvern East, husband and wife team, Patrick and Elise Horan, are serving up honest coffee in a Cafethey have renovated themselves.
The building itself was a run-down retail shop in need of restoration, and Patrick and Elisa spent a tireless three months restoring and fitting it out to its current industrial chic look. Patrick also hand built all the furniture for the fit out, including the rustic four metre communal table, the unique oil lamp light fittings, benches, and shelving.
The café is largely white with imaginative notes of blue. You enter through an inviting, bright blue door, and find hints of blue on the strip of tiles lining the back wall as well as strips on their Synesso and Rancilio machines.
Patrick has long held a passion for coffee. Previously he ran his own mobile coffee business, Bean on the Runà, and he knew he wanted to create something more permanent where he could share his love of coffee with others.
During a 12 month stint at South Melbourne’s Chez Dré, Patrick worked as the head barista. It was not long before he moved to The Maling Room in Canterbury to train with Andrew Lew, where he learnt more about the sourcing and roasting process behind coffee.
Today he serves his own custom blends of coffee, the Milksmith and Blacksmith that have been developed with the team at The Maling Room. ‘Milksmith’ is a combination of two types of Honduras beans, Barrios Estate and Volcha, as well as beans from Brazil, Papua New Guinea, Colombia and Ethiopia. The higher percentage of Honduras in the blend brings out some of the sweet winey fruit characteristics in the coffee. Overall the flavours in the blend create a smooth and well-balanced coffee, notes of rich berry, and hints of nutty chocolate with a bittersweet aftertaste.
Patrick and Elise serve all their milk-based coffee from their 3 group Synesso, reserving black coffees for their fully restored 1980 Rancillio lever machine. However coffee offerings don’t stop there. As well as the popular Fergus ‘Milksmith’ house blend, a ‘light roast’ filter is put through their cold drip sitting on the communal table. They also have rotating single origins on offer with a few favourites including the ‘Guatemala San Antonio’- which has a sparkling acidity with a syrupy mouth feel and sweet finish. It features notes of chocolate and custard. Or the ‘Ethiopia Hachira H2’- which has tasting notes of elderbery, lychee, blackberry, and coffee blossom.
“Good coffee is like a sophisticated adult treat,” said Patrick. “It is something that brings everyone together. The sweet smell of an Ethiopian single origin is just intoxicating.”
Fergus is truly a little haven with tables that are mainly occupied by local businesses and families, a few coffee-wise suburban kids, as well as lost hipsters who stumble across the Fergus threshold.