11 & 12 Manchester Unity Arcade, 220 Collins St, Melbourne 3000. Corner Swanston & Collins Sts
Google map link
Coffee Brand Cafe Supreme
When one enters Manchester Unity Arcade, one is entering the orbit of chic-Melbourne (aka Land of the alleyway). Like a haircut that is styled to look like nothing has been done to it, Switchboard provides an environment that appears slap-dash and ‘thrown together’. However, the level of thought that has gone into maximising space and collecting purposely mismatched crockery, leads one to understand the opposite is in play. It is with the same level of thought that produces each coffee, exemplified by the consistency from latte to macchiato.
Switchboard has changed ownership several times over the last few years, but the coffee has remained attractive and the decor unchanged. The clientele is a comfortable mixture of conservative types and alternative types plus the discerning office folk in the immediate area. There are from time to time two baristas on duty that appear unhurried and unflappable, at least outwardly. The blend is a dark, strong roast that overall is fairly fresh and vibrant.
Switchboard is deserved of the highly recommended score and, as mentioned above, it is a little piece of Melbourne laneway culture in an arcade.
Score Summary. NOTE: No ristretto ordered on 3rd visit.
Macchiato: 16, 15.5, 16
Espresso: 17.5, 17, 16
Ristretto: 18, 17
Overall Mean Score: 16.55. Highly Recommended