Code Black Coffee is one of the latest cafes to open in Brunswick, and is located just off Sydney Road, behind Barkly Square shopping centre. Not only is Code Black a cafe, but it’s also a roasting house – the roasting equipment taking up half of the premises.
Owned by Joseph Haddadd, the man behind Melbourne’s popular Cafenatics cafes, expectations were high that Code Black would offer some excellent coffee and food. Code Black does not disappoint on either front.
A range of breakfast/brunch options, as well as a few lunch dishes and sandwiches are offered on the menu, while a selection of cakes and pastries can be found in the display at the counter.
I ordered the Beetroot Salmon Sandwich, which contained beetroot cured salmon, alfalfa, thinly sliced pickled cucumbers, lightly battered thin onion rings, and mascarpone cheese. The bread was beautifully soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside. It came with a side salad and was very tasty – the flavours were very well balanced.
I hadn’t actually had a proper breakfast and the sandwich was so filling that I couldn’t even finish the whole thing.
A range of black and milk coffees are available, and on the bean front, at any given time there is both a house blend for black, a house blend for milk, and a rotating single origin for both black and white.
Mazzer Robur grinders take care of the grinding duties. Espresso is made using a La Marzocco Strada and Slayer, and the filter is made using the drip filter method.
The fit-out, is a step up from your usual minimalist warehouse conversion, and makes good use of stone and metal.
I had a single origin filter and a house blend flat white. The flat white was very decent – smooth and velvety, and not as complex as some other house blends that I have tried, which to be honest is often what you want in a house blend, with the single origins being where you go for the more complex flavours.
I think this logic was borne out when I tried the single origin filter coffee, which was definitely the stand out here, being very robust and tasty.
Everything that a serious coffee nut could want to buy is available at Code Black, with a range of equipment, including Pullman tampers, VST baskets and some very high end grinders and espresso machines on the list.
Bean wise, the house blends, as well as a very decent range of single origins are available. The only criticism I have to offer here was the lack of tasting notes. The labels on the bags contain information about the origin of the bean/s, the process and varietal, however give no indication as to the flavours underpinning the beans.
The staff were excellent in explaining the different beans to me and helping me to choose some, however a printed sheet of tasting notes would be very helpful.
One final point of note is the fact that Code Black also has a small selection of very interesting teas on offer. I am a big tea fan, and was impressed to see almost the same effort go into the teas on offer as the coffee on offer.
Overall, Code Black Coffee is a great addition to the Brunswick cafe scene.
Code Black Coffee
15-17 Weston Street
Telephone: (03) 9381 2330
Mon – Sun: 7:00am to 5:00pm