Taylor Swift’s Entourage Couldn’t Get Enough of This Melbourne Café

St Ali coffee

Taylor Swift has swept through Melbourne. The singer performed three sold-out shows at the MCG, entertaining a crowd of 96,000 people at each, with many concertgoers flying in from other parts of Australia to see her.

As has been the case with other cities Swift has visited, she’s helped boost Melbourne’s local economy, injecting an estimated $174 million into it, according to NAB. The bank reported a 33% surge in spending compared to the previous month, with the city’s accommodation, hospitality and tourism sectors reaping an $86 million windfall.

One of the businesses to profit from the visitors was a Melbourne café that one of Taylor Swift’s backup dancers shared about on Instagram. The dancer, Kameron Saunders, posted a carousel about his Melbourne stay on the platform, saying he spent his free time cruising down the Yarra River, shopping and visiting a free museum. He also mentioned a certain café.

“I fell in love with @st_ali and had an iced latte for the first time without any flavor in it (which is HUGEEEE for me) and LOVED it,” Saunders wrote.

Open in 2005, St. Ali was one of the first cafés serving specialty coffee in Melbourne, helping to shape Australia’s café culture. The café is known for its in-house roasting, expert coffee brewing and direct relationships with small-scale farmers, who prioritise sustainability and ethical practices.

St. Ali has locations around Melbourne, including in South Melbourne, on Collins Street and in the domestic and international airport. In July 2023, it opened a day-to-night concept in the Queen Victoria Market’s Munro Building, on the corner of Therry Street and Queen Street. This was the brand’s first venue where its focus is as much on alcohol as caffeine.

best coffee melbourne cbd
Image: Instagram @st_ali

Aside from St. Ali, some of our team’s other standout coffee venues in Melbourne are below. Though, really, the city easily has some of the best beans and talented baristas in the world, so there’s a good chance anywhere you go will deliver you a good cup of coffee.

Proud Mary

Proud Mary is a specialty coffee roaster and cafe in Collingwood’s inner suburb. They have won multiple awards for their coffee, which should tell you all you need to know.  It offers a range of blends and single-origin beans, although its signature drink—the “Koppi”, is a unique blend of espresso and milk that is worth trying. Not to mention, the interiors are cosy and light-filled.

Market Lane Coffee

This small, independent coffee roaster, located in the heart of Melbourne, is considered the pioneer of quality coffee beans in the country. Before 2009, it was challenging to find a good roast, but Market Lane Coffee changed all that. They focus on sourcing high-quality, sustainable coffee beans and roast them on-site for maximum freshness. Their coffee is delicious, and they offer a range of brewing methods to suit all tastes.

Industry Beans

This specialty coffee roaster and cafe in Fitzroy is a white, bright open space where locals tap at their laptops with a cup of coffee nearby. Explore a great range of blends, single-origin beans, and your favourite classic cafe foods. The signature drink is the “Bubble Cup”, a unique blend of espresso, milk and tapioca pearls that is both delicious and fun to drink.

Brother Baba Budan

Brother Baba Budan is a quirky cafe located in Melbourne’s CBD, named after the famous Yemeni saint who is said to have discovered coffee. They offer a range of blends, single-origin beans, and a selection of cakes and pastries. The atmosphere is cozy and intimate, with seating arranged around a central column covered in hanging chairs.

Related: 33 of the Best New Restaurants and Bars in Melbourne Right Now

Related: Leave Behind Melbourne’s Buzzing Laneways For These Serene Luxury Escapes Nearby

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