Disappear from Melbourne for a couple of years, and on your return there are suddenly new darling roasters with ultra hip espresso bars down back alleys everywhere.
Nestled down a back alleyway in Balaclava, it's a little hard to find unless you are really determined. It's basically at the back of the carpark next to Coles. Not a terribly glamorous location, but it's what you do with it.
The crew at MBD have made a tiny space into a little haven of amazing espresso. I'm not usually one to drink single origin espressos if it's the first time I have a coffee. I believe one should try a normal brew (pourover or french press or whatever) to understand the coffee first before diving into espresso. But heck, I was on holiday, up for anything and they talked me into it, so I took the plunge.
The shot they pulled me was of a Rwandan that they had. It was late in the day and they'd actually run out of stock of a lot of beans (which is a great sign - they don't let stuff get stale!). The shot was crisp, sweet, bright and tangy... really amazing. So much so that I started to wonder if I should do this SO espresso thing more often. I definitely should, at least to round out my understanding of how some coffees taste.
Plus, in that afternoon light, it just looked pretty special.
The ambience is cute, definitely a talking kind of place, not where you'd go to study or crunch away on a laptop. There's an almost exclusive focus on SO espressos and derivatives.
MBD are open Mon-Fri from 7am-5pm and on weekends from 8am-5pm, at the back of 202 Carlisle St in Balaclava.