Mon – Fri: 7am – 5pm
Sat: 9am – 4pm
Coffee: Seven Seeds
Other notes: $15 eftpos minimum
“Next year will mark ten years’ since I stepped foot onto university soil. I can still recall the naive and awkward moments of those years; attempting to making small talk with females, juggling course work and partying, and not to mention the fashion choices! However, there is one constant memory that burns strongly throughout my uni days – really, really bad coffee.
While there was plenty of coffee shops littered around my uni, the quality had a constant theme. It smelt like it was from a petrol can, served at a temperature that could break world record heights and with one flavour profile – bitter.
Today’s coffee landscape at uni’s around Melbourne has significantly changed and, for the better! Getting a well-prepared and tasty coffee is no longer a struggle with the likes of Standing Room at Melbourne University and A Little Bird Told Me, proudly operating in Building 80 of the RMIT City Campus.
A Little Bird Told Me is the creation of New Zealand born Caleb Heaney and his partner Rebecca Notley. Not just another coffee barista and roaster, Heaney is a quiet achiever with extensive roasting experience at Seven Seeds and Small Batch. He also has obtained his Q-graders (professional cuppers accredited by the Coffee Quality Institute). With the coffee side significantly covered, Notley took point in decorating the light-filled location.
My Single Origin long black [$3.70] had a well-rounded nutty flavour with hints of crispness on the back of the palate. It wasn’t as bold as some may expect; but at the right temperature and with a soft yellow brew head, I wasn’t going to complain. The soft flavours of my long black went down quite easily and was a great morning coffee.
The breakfast menu is light on choices and predominantly made up of quick and light meals; presumably targeted at busy city people. The Baked FR egg w canelini beans, tomato, Persian fetta, fresh oregano & micro herbs w sourdough toast [$15] did catch my attention, but I decided on old faithfully – Avocado, Persian fetta, rocket & pepita’s on sourdough toast [$14.50].
The Persian fetta was a cracker! With its fragrant and light, creamy taste, it worked wonders with the ripe chunks of avocado pieces. It wasn’t ‘smashed in’ and allowed for me to add my personal touches to achieve the desired consistency. The olive oil from the fetta was well-combinde with the rocket base and finished with toasted pepitas created a delight crunchy texture. An exceptional soft and satisfying mid-week breakfast.
Whilst being in the heart of RMIT, it doesn’t have the feel of a typically uni cafe. It’s calm and inviting approach makes for the perfect hideout away from the university scene. Good coffee at RMIT – check!”
“It was early on a Monday morning when I arrived at A Little Bird Told Me. With its location incorrectly marked on Google, I finally found that the cafe was a little closer to the Swanston street than I was expecting. Walking along Little Latrobe street, A Little Bird Told Me beckons those walking by with its big, floor-to-ceiling windows and warm, welcoming interior.
Inside there are several dining options; communal table, group tables and benches along the laneway-facing side of the cafe. Medium tones of wood throughout the cafe are accentuated with blue Israeli-type patterns on the front-facing panels of the counters. The venue was quite bare with only a few patrons, including Peach Water who was furiously typing away at her computer.
Everything at the counter looked amazing but I was dying for a good cup of coffee. I ordered the single origin of the day and when it came out, I was surprised at how mild and gentle the brew was. It was much more easy to drink by comparison to many other espressos that I’m used to.
The menu at A Little Bird Told Me was full of quick and easy options to start the working week, and I opted for the House Baked Granola w pecans, almonds, pepitas, coconut, chia seeds and de-hydrated peach w yogurt & morello cherries [$9] based on a recommendation from Peach. The service at the venue was a little confusing – they provided menus and took our coffee orders when we sat down, but never took our cues to come take our order for mains. This resulted in us getting up and ordering at the counter. Perhaps we were just impatient, although I needed to get to work.
When my granola came out it was beautifully presented with soaked cherries, gorgeous yoghurt and the granola all nicely portioned out in the plate. When the milk never came out I was a bit confused but with some guidance from Mr LB, I mixed my granola up with the yoghurt and cherries. It was super delicious – the almonds were beautifully crunchy and the muesli was well-baked, resulting in variations of crunchy textures. The combination of flavours was perfect; there was just the right amount of sultanas and pepitas to give it that nutty-sweet balance. The yoghurt was perfectly portioned to create just the right amount of stickiness between the ingredients.
A Little Bird Told Me can be described as a little safe haven where one can go in to relax and ease into the morning. It is comfortable and friendly and the coffee is milder for those who do not prefer bright, punchy flavours first thing in the morning.”
Final Thought: “A warm little cafe that provides the perfect way to ease into your morning”