Coffee: Di Bella’s House Blend, Specialised Coffee Blends

Mr LB:

“As Melburnians, it’s fair to say that we take our coffee pretty seriously. If a coffee order is incorrect, burnt or poorly executed, it’s likely a cafe will lose clientele fast. This attitude has led cafes to be more innovative upon serving the perfect coffee. A recent trend is cafes roasting their own beans or buying beans that have been roasted in Australia. While many cafes have only just started jumping on this bandwagon, Di Bella’s Coffee Roasting Warehouse has been roasting its own coffee beans since 2002. Their fundamental aim is the pursuit of ‘the Ultimate Coffee Experience’ and from my perspective, they where up there.

Assortment of coffee blends on offer

Without sounding like a 20-something-yuppie, a cafe which offers more than one type of coffee blend is a cafe I get excited about like a kid in a toy store. Di Bella’s Coffee Roasting Warehouse doesn’t just offer an additional blend, but three alongside the traditional house blend. Upon chatting to the very friendly barista, I had chosen the Rainforest Allian Peru blend in a long black. The bean was medium roasted which had given the body of the coffee a soft texture that was spicy with chocolate flavours streaming through the palate. There was no harsh after taste, but a rather delightful smooth finish. With inviting aromas that had a floral hint, this coffee was happily consumed and absolutely delightful.

The food menu had a wealth of dishes to choose from, with a division between the breakfast and brunch menus.  Having nursed an unsuspected hangover with a mighty appetite, I was in need of hearty dish and selected the Warehouse breakfast of two eggs (poached or scrambled), smoked bacon, braised mushroom, cherry tomatoes, hash browns & spinach with sourdough [$18.90].

The dish was filling and to some level satisfying, but overall there was no real ‘wow’ factor. The poached eggs were nice and soft with a layer of vinegar, which gives a unique taste but a little overpowering. The mushrooms were sautéed well and the cherry tomatoes had been gently cook and greased in oil to give added flavour. The hash browns had a soft and sweet taste that complemented the dish well, which was interestingly prepared in small pieces.

Warehouse breakfast of two eggs (poached or scrambled), smoked bacon, braised mushroom, cherry tomatoes, hash browns & spinach with sourdough

Miss SL was kind enough to allow me to sample her meal and what a sample it was. This dish was clearly in a league of its own, which provided a refreshing taste that screamed at me to have more.

Brunch-dessert was a clear intention for both me and Miss SL and from the very seductive selection of cakes, tarts and baked items, we settled on sharing a Pistachio tart [$4.20]. This tart was exceptional and the flavours of the roasted pistachio and the fillings. It was baked perfectly with no scrimping on the ingredients. The tart didn’t give a heavy feeling and it definitely delivered a wow factor.

Pistachio tart

Di Bella Roasting Warehouse gives a unique brunch experience with numerous selections of bends to suit everyone needs for a fabulous coffee. Their brunch menu is something I look to further explore and with its location and the ambience from the layout, it is a must for anyone who considers themselves a brunch goer.”

Miss SL:
Mr LB and I have been doing Sunday brunch long before we even started to consider blogging about our adventures. What we have found is not surprising – a lazy Sunday brunch with friends can often mean up to 30 minutes wait before a table is available, which is why I was surprised when my friend the Doctor called to say she had already scored a table for seven with little to no wait at all. As I pulled up in my car and started walking to Di Bella’s Coffee Roasting Warehouse I immediately loved what I saw – a converted warehouse space where the shed door was graffitied and opened into the cafe, where people were idly chatting relaxing. A brief wander around the vicinity revealed a great fitting. The cafe was split into three areas – as you enter through the shed doors there is the dining area, and to the right is the counter to make your order and shop around for you coffee related items (such as cups, filters, coffee machines and magazines).

As you make your way towards the back of the area the coffee roasting machine can be spotted, along with bagfuls of sample beans. Further passed that is an outdoor ‘coffee garden’, where you can sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. The cakes near the front counter looked delectable, and I knew I would have to save a little space for brunch-dessert.

The menu for Di Bella’s Coffee Roasting Warehouse was huge, and offered both a well-sized breakfast menu and a separate brunch menu. As it was nearing lunchtime  and I thought that I would go the brunch menu, and ended up ordering the Citrus Calamari w/ achar masala, bitter leaf salad w/ fennel, pickled cucumber, preserved lemon and mandarin oil [$15.50] and a soy latte. I have to say that the speed of the service was refreshingly fast. I’ve had brunches before where food has taken up to 30 minutes to come out onto the table, but not so here. My latte was in front of me within minutes, and my meal was delivered only 15 minutes after that.

Di Bella’s house blend soy latte

My latte was delicious – the milk was perfectly heated, the texture was smooth and the beans were slightly woody in flavour. My citrus calamari and salad was – in all honesty – the best I’ve ever had. The calamari was not too chewy or rubbery, and the flavours of the achar were immediate but not overpowering on the tongue. The salad was a magnificent combination of crunch, zest and bitterness and was perfectly matched to the calamari.  The pickled cucumber was well disguised in amongst the salad and offered a zesty punch alongside the preserved lemon to the crunchy fennel.

Citrus Calamari w/ achar masala, bitter leaf salad w/ fennel, pickled cucumber, preserved lemon & mandarin oil

I tasted Mr LB’s Warehouse breakfast and it was all well made without being outstanding. The eggs tasted slightly of vinegar, often used to help poach the eggs. The hash browns were delicious and worth a mention, despite the fact that they looked so perfect that you suspect at first glance that they’re store-bought.

The Doctor has ordered the Lightly toasted sourdough w/ avocado, capsicum cream cheese, extra virgin olive oil with 2 poached eggs [$16.90]. Atop the 2 slices of sourdough was sliced avocado and the eggs nestled in amongst the generous amounts of freshly made capsicum cream cheese. While the capsicum cream cheese was fresh, the end result was similar to capsicum dip and seemed rather uninspired.

Given the quality of my dish in comparison to the above, Mr LB and I agreed that perhaps the brunch menu was more exciting and original than the breakfast menu.

Di Bella’s Coffee Roasting Warehouse offers things on the menu I definitely would like to come back and try, such as the Lamb salad of greens, pearl cous cous and pomegranate [$17.90] or the Confit garlic mushrooms on brioche w/ spinach, feta & roasted tomato [$13.90]. Given the speed of the service and the quality of the meal I had today, I would say that trip would not be too much further down the  track.”

Final thought: “Best Calamari and Salad”

Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse on Urbanspoon

It’s probably also worth noting that within walking distance is the North Melbourne Markets, held on the last Sunday of every month situated in the The Lithuanian Club [44 Errol Street]. It’s $2 entry, but you get to pursue over 70 stalls containing vintage wear, local designers and tasty treats.

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