35 Market St South Melbourne VIC 3205
17 January 2010 @ 2.45pm. Coffee Brand 7 Seeds
Cool name (perhaps the coolest) and a cool look. It is also cool to leave the customer guessing whether they have found the place until they approach the front door. As with some of the new coffee venues popping up around Melbourne it is easy to get to the location but you arrive unsure whether you’ve found the right place. Yes it is the place on the corner with no signage, above street level with patrons visible amongst the wooden slat exterior.
If Melbourne coffee scene was a chicken coop, then Dead Man Espresso is the proudest Coq in the pen. Their feathers are bright and flayed out. They stand tall and proud behind their coffee, their baristas and their presentation, prose & performance. They are first in the pecking order, by which I mean they have some of the most seasoned staff on their machine and a fine eye for produce. Dead Man Espresso’s chest is well puffed out. A bit a care may be needed though as the service was boarderline, sometimes over attentive, sometimes under attentive, it was hard to get the wait staffs attention and there was confusion over what particular roast of coffee we were served. Overall this place has the necessary elements to be one of the standout coffee venues in Melbourne. The food is bloody good too.
Dead Man uses coffee from one of the hottest roasters in town, 7 Seeds, and overall does a fine job of serving great coffee. There is the 7 Seeds house blend and the Dead Man blend, also roasted by 7 Seeds.Coffee – Doppio Espresso. 7 Seeds Blend
This was damn good. An espresso that was seductively rich yet light-footed. Incredibly smooth with dark fruits, honeyed/molasses hints and balanced, fresh, citric acidity. It had mid palate weight and drive towards the back finishing with dark unsweetened chocolate bitterness that was both cleansing, lingering and addictive.Coffee – Short Macchiato 7 Seeds
The baristas at Dead Man talk a large game, and they delivered with this macchiato. The cup was heated, the extraction was deep and dark, and the milk was a subtle background player. The whole drink was velvety and smooth, from start to finish leading me to believe that the steamed milk was a very similar consistency to the espresso…a perfect match.
Most of the flavour came from cocoa and dark chocolate tones, and the acidity was quite gentle. The only complexity in this coffee was regarding which blend we were served. First a waiter stated it was the Dead Mans blend, then an owner confirmed this before telling us it was actually the 7 seeds blend. No big deal, but a bit confusing.Coffee – Cafe Latte. 7 Seeds Blend
Score 14/20 By SimonL
I made this comment on the Di Bella Roasting Warehouse 1st review. “I am fast becoming aware of a trend. The places we visit that make great coffee tend to make good cafe latte. There is the odd exception.”
It appears I was quite wrong. The odd exception is becoming the rule. Many cafe lattes that have come my way lately are often made without any grunt, too milky and not enough espresso flavour or strength. That’s what I experienced here.
Score 17/20 By SamW
In my mind the difference between a coffee that scores 16/20 and 17/20 is quite vast. This doppio ristretto really played to the strengths of the Dead Man roast and warrants the extra point.
The extraction appeared to be nigh on perfect because there was an absolute absence of bitterness and acidity, allowing raisin and bran flavours to poke through the mid-palate. It was incredibly light and balanced for a seemingly heavy-bodied coffee…kind of like a fat ninja (nimble but big). The taste was great but didn’t quite pin my ears back. I do prefer a bit more of a slap in the face…ninja-style. A slap is worth another point.Service 2.5/5
Ambiance 4/5 Busy 4/5