Melbourne’s roasters and baristas are some of the most accomplished, inventive and technical on earth. It seems with each passing month there’s a new brewing technique, new frothing gadget or a shift in the idea of what good coffee actually means. What Melbourne does, the rest of the world often follows.
Lucky for us, one such barista decided to make the coastal move two years ago, and bring what he knows of the Melbourne coffee scene to a humble cafe on Ocean Grove’s well-know Parade.
Located at the entrance of the plaza, 27-year old barista Eugenio Houston-Child opened Parade Espresso Bar late last year and has since joined the ranks of cafes defining the future. The only thing left for you to do is to pop in and decide how you like your coffee.
Serving Campos Coffee for all your cappuccino and espresso needs, the charm of this coffee stop is that it’s created on the conviction that we need, more than ever, places of community to enjoy expertly brewed coffee.
“Because we don’t have a kitchen, the real focus is coffee,” Eugenio explains. “I’ve had so much experience in Melbourne, I can really bring forward that Melbourne coffee scene, including filter coffee, cold drip, single origins and decaf beans.
“Our specialty is the single origin that we use, and that’s designed for black coffee; so your long black, short black, macchiatos. We use that also for our cold drip and our filter coffee and we change the single origin every week; so with this, it’s the flavour profile that is completely different to standard coffee.”
Here, you can tell that this cafe is a labour of love, and is equally loved by the locals. Alongside meticulously providing consistently smooth coffee, Eugenio emphasises that they are big supporters of local business, stocking Downtown Cold Pressed Juice, Gluten Free by Isaac donuts, Ace Cookies, Rainbow Cakes Geelong cupcakes and now Ket Baker pastries, just to name a few.
“We’re working with all the small local businesses which is really good; we’re supporting them while they’re supporting me,” he smiles, “The toasties and the panini’s are from Ocean Grove’s Italian Delicatessen, we get our fruit and veg from the fruit shop, and all the other treats are all from smaller base suppliers which are all local as well… my favourite thing has been bringing the community together and being able to give back.”
For interior aficionados, Parade Espresso Bar has its aesthetic down pat, using all local trades to serve as an energetic, vibrant and breath of fresh air to Ocean Grove’s cafe culture in a space that previously housed the franchised specialty coffee house Gloria Jeans.
The simple, contemporary timber fixtures in this cafe are complemented with splashes of greenery and displays of Cameron Rosin prints along the walls. It’s modern and it’s minimalistic which is everything you could want from an espresso bar in a coastal town.
“It’s very relaxed and laidback,” Eugenio explains. “We’ve got a really nice magazine wall with some really good books which people can sit down and read, and the communal table where there’ll often be four or five people having their coffee and reading as well.”
Parade Espresso Bar is the perfect place to sit for hours with your MacBook Air, while you sip your skinny cappuccino and indulge in the very best pastries from Ket Baker. Check it out, you’ll thank us for finding you a new favourite place to get your caffeine fix.
Parade Espresso Bar is located at 71 The Parade inside the Ocean plaza in Ocean Grove and is open seven days a week from 7am.
Check them out on Instagram @paradeespressobar
Written by Talia Rinaldo