While there is no shortage of quality coffee houses in Melbourne’s inner suburbs, Plug Nickel is upping the ante with fast, efficient service that doesn’t compromise on quality.
For a small venue, Plug Nickel has a large team behind the scenes. A total of six owners help run the venue but Lucien Kolff, Chris Graham and Tyler Preston are there day in and day out. Lucien and Chris have worked with each other for years. With more than 25 years of hospitality experience between them, specialty coffee is a language they speak fluently.
The caffeinated duo chose Ona Coffee to supply the beans. With Sasa Sestic, 2015 World Barista Champion, as the owner of the Canberra based roaster, it’s a wonder that Ona Coffee isn’t in more places throughout Melbourne. However, with supporters like Plug Nickel, Ona Coffee is sure to be on the lips of every Melburnian very soon.
With Sasa’s experience in mind, the boys at Plug Nickel have set up a formidable Sanremo Opera espresso machine. Sasa, and a few other world-class baristas, helped design the Opera with specialty coffee in mind. “Different coffee wants to be treated in different ways,” said Lucien and the Opera helps Plug Nickel achieve that.
When summer rolls around Plug Nickel has you covered with an array of cooling caffeinated options. A favourite will be the black nitro available on tap. While some nitro coffees are cold brewed, Plug Nickel brews its coffee as espresso. It’s a slightly more complicated procedure but one that gets results. Small batch is the key – each keg holds only 10 litres of coffee to help control the quality. The result is an incredibly smooth, iced black coffee with a silky texture, almost like drinking a pot of Guinness.
If you’re after something a bit lighter, then the coffee cherry soda might satisfy your cravings. Sometimes known as Cascara, the drink is made from the husks of coffee that are left over from milling coffee cherries into beans. The cherries are sundried before being cold brewed for 48 hours. Not only is it a great way to reduce food wastage but the result is a highly caffeinated, refreshing treat.
When it comes to food offerings, Tyler Preston is the man in charge. With experience in Chin Chin’s kitchen you can expect the fare to have some unexpected twists. The menu is geared to be eaten on the go. A stand out is an amazing wrap filled with beef brisket Massaman curry and coriander. There is also an array pies sourced from Ka Pies –winner of Australia’s best pie for 2016.
On the healthier end of the spectrum you’ll find a soba noodle salad with New Zealand salmon, nori topped with ginger and sesame dressing.
Within just a few weeks of opening Plug Nickel quickly became a hub for local creative and a destination for coffee fanatics alike. Despite their quick and efficient service, Plug Nickel has cultivated a community vibe – hairdressers, Ginger Hair and bike enthusiasts, Northside Wheelers, are residents of the same site.
While some cafes are trying to be new and exciting, Plug Nickel is focused on simplicity and high quality, crafting some of the best coffee in Melbourne.