Archive for the ‘Melbourne’ Category

Excessive Surcharges at Cafe POS are now illegal!

Monday, January 30th, 2017

This is a special announcement regarding new Australian laws coming into effect relating to charging a fee for payments off debit or credit cards, tap payments or alternative payment type like wechat/wepay or AliPay (payments by QR codes).

Government is undertaking measures to eliminate excessive surcharging at the point of sale (POS). Some cafe owners and merchants are charging up to an additional dollar or more.

Key things that you need to know;

1. It’s now illegal to charge an additional fee above what it costs you at the point of sale counter.
2. After 1st Sep 17 Government will be enforcing via fines.
3. It’s not illegal to have a minimum amount for card type payments. eg: $10 Minimum.
4. Additional info from govt here:

MCR advises all cafe owners to adjust their policies and payments at the counter accordingly.

Of course additional to the above cafe owners are faced with a barrage of options now including;

1. Skip Orders,
2. Digital loyalty programs
3. Alternative payments like
1. WePay
2. LatiPay
3. bitcoin payments (cryptocurrency)

MCR will be putting a series of articles together to advise cafe owners and managers on these developments and how you can use them to your advantage. If there are any questions, feel free to email me direct

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The unassuming Mr Brownstone

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

Tucked down an unassuming side street in Ashburton, handy to the train station, Mr Brownstone caffeinates early morning commuters, families heading home from the school run and lucky locals in between.


I had the very great pleasure of sipping an espresso of their single origin, Colombia – Las Margaritas; rich, smooth and with more than a hint of dark chocolate and honey, this is an espresso to write home about (so to speak). Just as impressive as the magic they weave with Rosso Coffee beans ( is baristas and café owners Matt and Mitch’s commitment to fair trade, organic and ethically sourced produce including locally sourced gluten free treats and an impressive array of organic Chamellia teas (


If you’re peckish, Mr Brownstone offers a simple yet delicious meals from crunchy croissants to a genuinely ‘Super Salad’, with fresh, high quality ingredients. The interior décor is warm, welcoming and funky and the outer wall features striking street art.

The team there are friendly, they know their beans and are passionate about serving high quality, ethical delicious wares. Get into it!

Opening Hours

Monday – Friday
7.00am – 4.00pm
7.30am – 2.00pm

Black Coffee $3.50
White Coffee $4.00
Chai $4.00
Hot Chocolate $4.00
Selected Tea $4.00

MCR invites you to select from an exclusive release of coffee’s for your home or work. MCR’s is a specialty coffee platform where Roasters can offer a limited amount of their product at a discount. The deal is that you have to give us some feedback on the coffee (we send out a questionnaire).

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About my favourite Barista

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

As a willing victim of the Melbourne coffee delirium for more than 10 years, I have come to develop some genuine relationships with Baristas.  I trust this ‘A team’ of Baristas making choices I would never dream of!  For example, as a rule, I don’t do single origins – unless one of my guys tells me it’s ok.  In many instances, a young waiter has come and taken an order for coffee only to go back to the Barista saying “that guy said that he’ll have whatever you recommend…” 


Just last Sunday I visited Balmain’s – a regular of mine in Brighton. My guy there is Kotaro, the most delightful human being you might care to meet.  His Japanese origins betray a passion for the art of coffee, the industry and the craft that is being a Barista.  I have to say, I would name Kotato as my number 1 Barista for 2 years running! I don’t have a regular fixed coffee order so no one knows exactly which way I am going to go.  It depends on many factors including whether there was wine the night before.   


On this particular Sunday, I ordered a long black (in my mind, the most poorly made coffee in Melbourne bar a few outstanding exceptions). I smiled at Kotaro, who noted the unusual order.  I said something like “I don’t trust just anyone with my long blacks…”  My good friend smiled and quietly cleared the other orders before proceeding to craft my morning cup of nectar.


I drifted into the paper flicking through pages without really reading and a few moments later, I hear “Pita”… I look over and Kotaro has my coffee in his hand extended out to me with a big grin “Columbia”.  Translated to Strain’ (Australian) that meant “Mate, here you go. It’s a single. It’s good. You will be happy.”


And so it was!!


Kotaro Namura, Barista!

MCR invites you to select from an exclusive release of coffee’s for your home or work.  MCR’s is a specialty coffee platform where Roasters can offer a limited amount of their product at a discount. The deal is that you have to give us some feedback on the coffee (we send out a questionnaire).


This week we are showcasing:


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Industry Beans Winter Roast

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

For a long time, I have tried to connect to the essence of our human nature through what is essentially only one man’s observations through a coffee stained eye glass. I, along with others, wrote words to promise something closer to that sublime experience we all yearn for in our busy city lives.

When I started talking to roasters, semiconsciously what I wanted was to connect you, the coffee lover and enthusiast of all things coffee, to the real intention of the roaster. That intention is not just about flavour, while that’s a big piece in terms of the craft, it’s also a reflection and a very real connection to people on lands far away creating coffee beans in a trade that is millennia old.

The business of coffee has at it’s roots, with coffee farmers on lands far away. These men and women support their families and support themselves by offering a little green bean that feeds into our big city coffee culture. Who wouldn’t like to stroll onto a farm in South America and sit with the farmer to enjoy and talk about the coffee, the forest around her, smells and sounds of exotic wildlife.

In that vein, when I sat with Steve from Industry Beans (IB), I was looking to connect to that, by osmosis if you like. Through Steve and Trevor (brothers in coffee) they could bring a little bit of that to our lives through their coffee. I am delighted to report that it’s as close as I have come to that feeling as Steve navigated through my questions and I was reminded why I love the coffee culture in Melbourne.



IB has as its touchstone in it’s Fitzroy Street Blend. Off that, IB released its seasonal blends.

So, since I write this in the cold hard Melbourne winter (as beautiful as it is) we talked about how they go to the IB Winter blend. Steve describes it “The Winter comprises two coffees, both Africans, one washed from Burundi, the other a natural process from Ethiopia.  We identified that the dominant flavours we wanted to express were present in the Matura Hills washing station in Burundi, however the challenge was finding something to magnify the somewhat delicate characteristics.  By adding the lot from Korate, Sidamo, Ethiopia we were able to find the rich, syrupy texture and lovely sweetness to support the apricot and toffee notes in the Matura Hills, and round out the acidity nicely.”  I dug a little deeper into the process.

“…4 people blind cup (ie:taste according to a framework while not discussing what they are tasting), only afterwards comparing notes. We have actually developed our own internal cupping sheet, do the blind cupping and then we open the discussion. We cupped in May and released the winter blend last week. We do that every season, so we’ll start developing our spring blend in August”.


So what are the customers saying? “Customers are loving it with both milk and without. Most attractive feedback from wholesale – round and satisfying!!”

A strong BUY recommendation from MCR…jump on!

How this works: IB has released, exclusively to MCR, a limited amount of their ‘Winter Roast’.  Click below to enjoy this amazing coffee!



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