Slightly hidden away down Little Bourke Street, you’ll find a tiny coffee hangout umbrella’d by a trippy collection of chairs hanging from the ceiling, called Brother Baba Budan.
We arrived around 4:30pm which was half an hour before closing time on a weekday, and I was expecting the afternoon coffee rush to have died down by then. Oh, how wrong I was. What seating was available was already filled and there was a line of people from nearby offices queuing for their late afternoon caffeine fix. I took this as a good sign and due to my awareness of the positive reviews online for Brother Baba Budan, I was keen on giving this place a go.
When we made it to the front of the line, ready to order, I looked up at the person in front of me making the coffee and waited patiently. About 10 seconds later they look up at me and looked back down without even acknowledging us or saying so much as a “Sorry, someone should be with you in a minute”. I had to kind of stand there awkwardly for what seemed like forever and ended up glancing around at the other people working behind the counter to try and catch somebody’s attention. Thankfully, someone finally noticed and directed someone toward the register and the line growing behind us.
I ordered a cappuccino with almond milk which totalled to $5. Even though everyone knows that niche cafés like this in Melbourne are known for their overpriced coffee, I still find it extremely painful to pay that much for only a regular sized coffee. However, I figured that it must be worth it, right? Nope. I was wrong, again. It definitely did not taste anything like all the other cappuccinos I’ve ordered in my lifetime. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t a cappuccino. It was way too watery and the taste just didn’t seem right to me. Perhaps it was an off day for them, who knows. I’ve ordered long blacks with just a dash of almond milk before and it honestly was more similar to that.
It wasn’t the great experience it was hyped up to be, and not a place I would revisit or recommend. It does seem to be a favourite for many other people though. Regardless, you always have the freedom to pop by and see for yourself if you’re curious.