By Jo Rittey


At Abbotsford Pantry, the drawcard is the coffee, the barista tells me. Those are big words, considering they have Josh James ex-Vegie Bar at the helm in the kitchen and an extensive menu including woodfired pizza. But coffee is compelling first thing in the morning and if it’s made well using quality beans and there’s a whole cabinet full of fresh salads, rolls and homestyle cakes and slices, the barista might just have a point.


Abbotsford Pantry may be in the back streets of Melbourne but it’s in prime position to create a local following and a following of those who work in this burgeoning area.


Now back to the coffee. I often wonder how cafes choose the particular company and bean they use to keep their guests going day in, day out. It’s not tricky in Abbotsford Pantry’s case. They have chosen Cottle Coffee from South Melbourne.


Cottle Coffee started in 1972 when a third generation coffee and tea merchant, Bruce Cottle, took over a coffee roastery that had been in existence since 1912. Now into the fourth generation with Bruce’s son Richard taking over the reins, Cottle Coffee continues to supply artisan coffee to cafes here, throughout Australia and even internationally.


Abbotsford Pantry serves Espresso Supreme, a blend of predominantly Brazilian and New Guinea beans plus the addition of an organic high-grown Honduran give the high roasted Espresso Supreme a bright clean cup with notes of chocolate and butter flavourings, and spritzy lemon acidity. This coffee has a lingering sweet and spicy finish with hints of crème caramel.


Beyond the coffee, there is the aforementioned impressive cabinet array, or take a seat and peruse the breakfast and lunch dishes which offer everything from organic bircher muesli and an acai bowl with nut crumble through to a sweet corn vegie fritter and a breakfast burrito.


Come back later in the afternoon and enjoy a pizza in their lovely garden. If you give it a couple of weeks you can even get a beer, licence pending.


8 Murray Street, Abbotsford

Mon – Fri 7am – 3pm

Sat – Sun 8am – 4pm

Jo is a French teacher, a freelance writer and needs good coffee to start her day. Armed with an exotic New Zealand accent and a winning (hopefully) smile, she likes nothing better than roaming the streets of the northside in search of new and old food-related wonders.

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