The Brunswick East Project
438 Lygon Street, Brunswick, VIC
03 9381 1881
The Brunswick East Project, along with its trademark roasting house Padre Coffee, have grown from humble beginnings to become local institutions. Priding itself on quality ingredients, community involvement and its staff knowledge and enthusiasm, the roastery/café has built a huge following among coffee-loving locals for offering its customers the best possible experience, in store as well as when they're enjoying coffee at home.
Marinus Jansen and James Kilby have owned and operated The Brunswick East Project since 2008, when they took over the space, previously a dwelling, which was in severe need of an update. The café opened with little more than a coffee machine and a roaster; locals sat on crates while the shop was built around them. A major overhaul took place in 2011 giving due attention to the now trademark 10kg roaster, brewing and drinking paraphernalia and the blended and single origin coffees that are the café’s focus. “We started as a neighbourhood café in Brunswick back before that was the norm,” said James, “roasting, brewing and selling beans before specialty coffee really had a name.”
The roasting arm of The Brunswick East Project, Padre Coffee has developed into its own recognisable brand. They offer three house blends and up to a dozen single-origin coffees at any given time, a selection of them available to drink in The Brunswick East Project. Depending on the season, coffee could come from as far away as Colombia or Ethiopia or – where possible – as close as northern New South Wales. A range of processing and brewing methods are featured, the merits of which The Brunswick East Project’s friendly roasters and baristas are all too happy to explain.
More than just a café, The Brunswick East Project is a unique coffee and retail space, with beans for sale by the bag, top-of-the-line brewing devices, every kind of espresso accessory and approachable staff who not only make a great latte but are eager to share their expertise. The whole set-up is designed to demystify great coffee and help customers have an excellent experience brewing at home.
And if you’re out and about in other parts of Melbourne, you can find the same delicious coffee and down to earth attitude at Padre’s other stores at The League of Honest Coffee, Stringbean Alley at the Queen Victoria Market and Stall 33 inside the South Melbourne Market.
But back to The Brunswick East Project, the origin of this homegrown Melbourne brand. In addition to the house-roasted Padre coffee, the café sources local ingredients wherever it can, including the tea (from Coburg merchants Larsen & Thompson) chocolate by Mofo Deluxe and milk from Victorian farmers Jonesy’s. To accompany the drinks are simple snacks and delicious baked goods based on recipes from Marinus’ wife, Julie. Every regular has their favourite, but try the Dark chocolate and raspberry muffin or tomato, feta and spinach breakfast tart; perfect with a takeaway coffee.
Enjoy all this in a modern, open-air atmosphere that envelopes you in the scent of great coffee. Watch Padre’s roasters at work in the custom built glass atrium and enjoy the opportunity to brew and taste coffee under the same roof where it was roasted. The setting is as fresh as it is natural – appliances and a large tile wall are a calming sage green, and wooden accents are featured throughout. The dishes you’ll enjoy your treats on have a story, too, with all of the crockery hand made by Karen Ho, a local artist. Marinus and James have been known to incorporate the work and general handiness of regulars into The Brunswick East Project – including trading electrical and graphic design work for some of their delicious coffee! Stop in for a truly local and relaxing coffee and a chat with some of Melbourne’s friendliest and most approachable baristas.