Patricia Coffee Brewers might seem simple on the surface, perhaps yet another Melbourne cafe crammed into a barely workable space. Look again. As one of the first spots in the city to charm drinkers with a tiny standing room only space, it's the mixture of old school allure and European sensibilities alongside cosmopolitan Melbourne that has Patricia's lovers – literally – lining up outside the door. If the word 'coffee' is the sweetest part of your day, then this is the place to do it.
Since its opening in December 2011, this inconspicuous slice of the city has gone about serving excellent coffee — black ($3.50), white ($3.80) or filter ($3.50) — in its own simple way. With beans on rotation from various suppliers including Seven Seeds, Proud Mary and Market Lane, it's the little details that make Patricia stand out from the crowd: the beautiful marble bar, gentle white ceramic cups, handmade brass hooks, leather aprons, a carefully selected array of reading material. A small selection of pastries on offer changes daily and complements the black brew, all sourced from local suppliers including Lune Croissanterie, Candied Bakery and Dolcetti. Visit on a day when caneles are behind the glass and you might just end up with a special Patricia creation called a 'Cloud Mountain': an affogato served with one of these pastries right in the middle of it.
Like the most beautiful, elegant dame you know, Patricia manages to hit the flawless spot between extraordinary product, delightful service and a strong aesthetic consideration. Despite its specialty approach to coffee, the best thing about Patricia remains its accessibility and extremely welcoming service. Don't worry, it's definitely caught on. Be prepared for a rough — almost never-ending — peak hour; learn how to duck and fold and, if you’re lucky, score one of the coveted perches at the beautiful bay windows. Bask underneath the 'Sunshine' neon installation looming from the ceiling, or enjoy the few minutes you have to take a quick read of the daily news that you'll find expertly pinned to the back wall.
There is something unequivocally perfect about Patricia; a certain je ne sais quoi that just has to be experienced. Suddenly, Melbourne isn't just about unreliable weather, trams and big sporting events — it's our cafe culture at its best. An absolute must visit.