Sea Dog Espresso
86A Charles St, Seddon, Victoria, Australia
03 9687 0039
A ‘seadog’ is a sailor who has spent his life on tallships, becoming an expert in his trade. Louise Foster and Michael Male are seadogs of a different type of ship: the coffee kind. Having spent decades working with coffee drinkers, baristas, roasters and buyers, they were perfectly placed to share their knowledge with the west in the form of Sea Dog Espresso.
Before opening this coffee-focused cafe, Louise and Michael owned a cafe and vintage furniture store on the very same street. After many years of expanding their knowledge about coffee, they found themselves wanting to operate a new style of business, built solely around the humble bean.
While Louise led the way when it came to sourcing brewing equipment and coffee associated products for their retail space, Michael turned to the coffee. He worked hard to expand his knowledge about sourcing, roasting and brewing, ready to take on the role of Head Barista.
In creating their tribute to the coffee plant, the pair knew they had to offer a standout house blend. Therefore, they visited each of their four favourite coffee roasters in Melbourne, tasting all variations of white and black coffee in order to find the winning match. The end result was Sensory Lab’s Sweetheart, chosen for its low acidity, maximum sweetness and ability to translate well across both milk and black coffees.
The blend is a combination of beans from Colombia and Brazil, which combine to present a creamy and rich taste with notes of chocolate and caramel fudge. Sensory Lab’s Seamless is also on the grinders, made from 100% Peruvian La Copia beans. This estate boasts an excellent climate with significant altitude, creating a unique coffee with notes of rosehip jam, red grape and honey.
In spreading their love of coffee further, Louise and Michael also stock an extensive range of coffee-making tools and goodies to take home. Gadgets for the home barista include Chemex, AeroPress and plungers, each of which can be used with the range of Sensory Lab coffee – all available as take-home beans. They also sell retail products such as Tea Tonic teas, organic chocolates, Bonsoy and teapots.
With a focus on specialty coffee, the food menu provides a few quick bites to enjoy with your brew. Expect a light selection of deli-style toasted sandwiches and sweets from the likes of Butterbing cookies and nearby Candied Bakery.
Similarly, the simple design allows the coffee to take centre stage. The La Marzocco coffee machine sits atop a sleek marble counter, propped up by geometric brickwork. The walls are a mix of timber and white-exposed brick, which host an array of colourful framed artwork. A huge share table, ideal for large groups, sits in the alfresco dining area out back, while bar seats at the window provide a great base for people watching.
When it comes to coffee, experience is everything. Louise and Michael have more than enough to go around – perhaps, with enough visits, you’ll reach seadog status too.