Warm yourself with a hot cup of good will, Melbourne. Have your faith in humanity restored before you even get on the tram to work
Get your caffeine with a side of affection. Maybe. Melbourne's first cat café is stocked with both lattes, and felines for the petting – most of which have been re-homed from animal rescue centres. Whether or not the cats will love you back or simply tolerate your existence is unclear, but that’s highly unlikely to deter the cat-fuelled frenzy that will ensue when the café opens in three weeks.
CafeSmart kicks off again next month and it's one to get behind. Participating cafés donate $1 from each coffee on August 8, which goes towards grassroots projects that tackle the issue of homelessness. Participating cafés include Clement Coffee, Miss Jackson, Le Classique, Sensory Lab, St Ali, Spill the beans café, STREAT and Tall Timber.
The guys at Cup of Truth trust you – possibly way more than they should. When you order a coffee from the pocket-sized coffee stand under Flinders Street station you simply pop your money in an oversized mug on the counter and take the change you need. It removes the wait and delay of a transaction and means they can spend more time making the perfect cup for your morning commute.
At this Fitzroy café. they know that life is too precious/hard to have to put on pants every time the need for caffeine comes calling. So, if you text through your order to 0414 507 635, they'll cycle over your caffeine fix (so long as you live or work within 1km of the café). It’s $3 for a standard coffee or $4 for a large and they don't charge for delivery – just a minimum order of three cups. You can also order breakfast or lunch. The only catch is they won't rush if they're busy.
A cup at Ways and Means not only satisfies the coffee cravings but also helps vulnerable young people gain employment skills and confidence. The café is run by the Youth Support and Advocacy Service (YSAS) and supports young people recovering from substance misuse by providing real life work experience and funding for health services. They also offer the suspended coffee program (see below) so you can make someone’s day with a free cup.
Embrace the day like a technological champion. This app lets you order and pay by text so your coffee is waiting for you when you arrive. Selected Melbourne cafes that participate include Crema Caffe Bourke St, Brunswick’s Maxxii Moo Café, the Lobby in South Yarra, and Café Saporo on Southbank. The app also has a loyalty rewards system and your first coffee is free.
At this volunteer-run café, 100 percent of the profits are spread between four development projects. They hand you a coffee bean with each order, which you drop in the jar of your choice, so you could be supporting children’s rights in Ghana, education projects for Indigenous Australians or helping Melbourne’s homeless.
Pay it forward, with coffee. The premise is simple – you pay in advance for a coffee and then someone who is doing it tough can go to the café and receive a coffee for free. But you can also just buy it for someone who forgot their wallet. Originally based on an Italian goodwill tradition, suspended coffees can be found at participating Melbourne cafes including Ways and Means, Mr Foxx, Ethos Café, Not Telling and Garage Espresso.
When you dine in and order a coffee at Manchester Press – land of bagels – they'll decorate your cup in foam artworks. Images of bunnies, faces and even a ghost-eating Pacman have been expertly crafted into the foam.
Fitzroy’s Doomsday Cafe values loyalty and rewards their regulars by providing a dollar off their coffees. It’s an extra perk if you love their coffee supreme espressos and maybe a good incentive to go check them out and get friendly with the baristas.