“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
It’s been a long held belief in Melbourne, that the probability of locating a specialty coffee focused café diminishes the further east one travels from the CBD. Paul Nedza noticed the void, so when he decided to put down the woodworking tools earlier this year, he threw caution to the winds, and brought a slice of the inner city café experience to Nunawading.
Paul became aware of this Wood Street space while at his wife’s Barber Shop at the top of the street. Its conveniently situated a stone’s throw from Nunawading Train Station, yet concealed from the hectic Springvale Road thoroughfare. His shopfitting skills came in handy; totally gutting the former office space with low ceilings, and building a café from scratch. Opting for a fresh white space juxtaposed by the exposed yellow brick wall, the café’s interior reflects the humble implication of the ‘Peasant’ theme. Peasant, as the name suggests, focuses on the simple pleasures in life. From the minimalist style interiors, through to the honest coffee and rustic food fare.
There is a sophistication to the simplicity at Peasant Coffee, and it begins the moment you walk in. Essential elements are a cumulative result of Paul’s attention to detail, chic yet unfussy wire contemporary chairs with geometric detailing, vintage leather dining chairs, custom made stools turned from timber stumps, and a handcrafted coffee counter fashioned out of repurposed timber pallets.
The thoroughness follows through into the execution of coffee. Hungry to absorb as much knowledge as possible, Paul was taken under the wings of the team at Dukes to learn the ropes, and his accuracy when grinding, dosing, and extracting are testament to his commitment to quality. It’s humbling to see a café owner with such veneration for the humble brown bean.
“I’ve always had a love for coffee, and respect the simple yet complexity of turning fruit from a tree into an espresso”. Paul avowed.
Milk based coffee is made using the Dukes Espresso Blend, which is composed of the Brazilian Grota Funda, Guatemalan Jorge Herrera, Colombian Herrera Planadas, and Ethiopian Sasaba. It’s balanced, with a solid body, and notes of Swiss chocolate. I enjoyed an espresso of the Finca La Fany, an El Salvadorian single origin lot from the Apaneca region. This washed Red Bourbon had notes of red apple, with hints of hazelnut on the finish.
With its named inspired by Paul’s Polish bloodline, the cafes menu features Polish Dumpling’s known as “Pierogi”. Varieties of these authentic dough pillows with fillings include slow cooked meat and onions; potato and cheese; and the vegan friendly mushroom and sauerkraut. Jaffles, Panini, and Doughnuts from Goldelucks (Who are famed for creating the Dossant) are also available, which pair well with coffee, particularly if you’re on the go.
Peasants have been flying under the radar since opening, which is testament to their humble nature. As the proverb states “don’t brag about yourself, let others praise you”… and so I shall. With their emphasis on quality coffee, and no fuss food options, this outer eastern suburb café has filled the void, and delivers in spades.
Drop in daily from 6am to 3pm, or on Saturdays from 7:30am to 2:30pm.
Peasant Coffee + Food
2 Wood Street