Plug Nickel is Collingwood’s latest special coffee shop to hit Collingwood, and the guys behind it have years of accumulated knowledge to share with Melbourne’s coffee loving community. If you have been to Abbotsford’s Dr Morse, just next to Victoria Park train station, then chances are you have met Chris or Lucien. You’ll also be aware that these guys take pleasure in using the best coffee tools, to brew beans obtained via direct trade and roasted by Ona, home of the Australian Barista Champion 2016 (Hugh Kelly), and the World Barista Champion 2015 (Sasa Sestic).
I’ve long been a fan of Ona coffee, due to my family links to Canberra; so it was like music to my ears when I heard a new café would be serving.
Plug Nickel is named after the small silver disc added to the centre of American coins to increase their face value. Collingwood’s Plug Nickel serves as a destination for caffeination, with the addition of quick eats that you don’t need to wait long for. They’ve made the most of a small space, and a mirror that’s fixed to the red brick walls serves to create a greater sense of space. The main counter is made from concrete, and houses a Sanremo Opera espresso machine, two Anfim grinders, and a sparkling water fountain. Behind the bar resides the nitro-spro tap, and sparkling cascara tap, and a retail shelf for lined with aeropresses and coffee. There are no tables and chairs, just cushioned stools at the coffee bar and window benches.
All food is prepared at their sister café Dr Morse, including Brekky Roti’s with bacon or Asian greens, house made sausage rolls, freshly made pies, Winter warming soups with seeded toast, Pork Sanga’s with Asian slaw, and Vegan Soba Noodle Salads.
Coffee is brewed in a variety of methods, including espresso, batch brew, nitro espresso, and even sparkling cascara. Their filter coffee is brewed at 95 degrees Celsius, using a brew ratio of 1 gram coffee to 16 grams water. I started off with an espresso made from their African seasonal blend that’s composed of 80% Ethiopian Dimtu natural, and 20% Rwanda Shangi washed. It delivered a silky smooth cup, with candied berry highlights. Next I tried the Nitro-spro, made from the Colombian El Trapiche beans. This washed Caturra made for a refreshing nitro brew, with great clarity, and sweet grapefruit notes.
Plug Nickel offers something I have long valued in the coffee industry, and that is community. They not only provide a space to escape from the winter chill, but they will also be holding masterclasses for alternative brewing.
7 Peel Street
Collingwood VIC 3066