Quietly residing in a Rose St corner, Industry Beans (@IndustryBeans) has confidently gone about its business since winning goodfood.com.au’s ‘Best New Roastery’ award in 2013, followed up by Good Cafe Guide’s ‘Best Boutique Roaster’ for 2014. Armed with great locality, a wealth of roasting experience and pretty swanky grounds, this Fitzroy establishment gives everyone a right ole caffeine fix and is a serious competitor to Proud Mary, Code Black, St Ali and Padre (to name but a few).
The immediate surrounds are residential and that might render parking tricky as most spots are permit zoned. Get here bright and early in the morning, or in the late afternoons for your best chance at coming across a roadside park. The outdoor seating is perfect for the warm summer months, and unfortunately the constant demand for sunshine and Vitamin D meant that I was kept out of this area on this last visit. However the interior of the award-winning warehouse conversion is just as comfortable if you are permissible to raised tables and high stools. There are seating options to accommodate parties of 2, 4 or the long community table. Inside, it is easy to appreciate the breeziness of the high ceilings which also facilitate natural lighting, and the impressive presence of the bean roasters at the rear of the premises. Spacing between the tables are kept are a ‘cozy’ distance, but more than an elbow’s nudge.
On offer is an extensive range of single origin sourced by the owners themselves, and blended coffees brewed using a wide variety of methods including pour over, aeropress and cold drip. A small infosheet accompanies your espresso detailing the region from which the beans were sourced, the processing of the crop, and the intended aromatics. I should point out that if you want a cold one, ask for the iced lattes.
The up-market yet progressive menu churned out by the open kitchen is memorable because it is structure ever-so-slightly different from most other weekend brunch places I’ve recently partaken at. A relatively short menu but with ample choice to keep all happy. What I’d highly recommend are the tapas-styled small portions which are ideal for sharing. From marinated heirloom tomatoes ($7) with salad leaves and goats cheese, to manchego croquettes ($7), sticky rice cakes with green papaya ($8) or polenta chips ($7); and there’s that generous bowl of vegetable chips ($7).
The brilliance in presentation of the steel cut oats ($15) with freeze dried fruit, mango and edible flowers is more than mere colourful sex appeal but a salivating visual delight. On the savoury end of the spectrum, the fried Creole chicken burger ($19) was very tasty, well -prepared and nicely finished off with a side of quinoa salad. It is worth mentioning that IMO the portions of these main dishes are not overly indulgent, one would never leave here feeling guilted into an evening run round the park.
Overall, Industry Beans is a comfortable establishment in a prime location. The coffee is great, and one would be remiss to not try the different styles of preparation. Service staff are friendly and attentive, even during the busy weekend hours. Food prep is timely, and I do think they have got their portion sizes spot on. I do feel compelled to go back just to make my way through the rest of the menu. This place has got to be on any serious coffee hunter’s map.