So, I noticed that the Barista’s name tag was Italian and then I heard that he had an Italian accent and was chatting in Italian with a customer, so I said, having just gotten back from Italy, ‘The coffee’s different here, isn’t it?’ And as he made me a perfect latte, he said that yes, he didn’t know why it’s so good in Australia, the way they make it. At home, he’d just have an espresso or an espresso macchiato (stained with a little milk) and I felt some smugness that the latter had also been my choice while travelling (like when you get approval from a local about the way you’re doing something). The Italian version of latte has too much milk, and it’s not heated in a way that integrates with the espresso, nor do they care how they pour it, the milk is just dumped in.
In any case, the Lab Cafe, on Oxford Street, at the Hyde Park end, is a place that you can spot from a block away and say, that looks like it has good coffee (compared to the other small cheap cafes, or the Gloria Jeans up the way). It always has a nice little line-up outside. I had a sweet treat, too, with my coffee, and was very pleased with it.