Puzzle is pleased to be featured by the UK's premier business media publication, The Financial Times.
Article by Nic Fildes of The Financial Times:
Much has been made of the relative failure of Starbucks after it closed 70 per cent of its stores in Australia 15 years ago. Coffee snobs across the land hailed the move as a sign that Australians had turned their noses up at the Seattle company and its Frappuccino culture.
Yet it left a void for those who don’t have the inclination, or time, to bother with the artisanal brews when chasing a caffeine fix. A middle ground has been forged by cafés with mild expansionist ambitions, including well-regarded small chains such as Industry Beans, Axil Coffee Roasters and Puzzle Coffee. Puzzle — which has four outlets in Melbourne and one in Singapore — appears high-end when glancing at its website, which boasts of its speciality cold brews, edible oat-and-grain cups, sustainability goals and tree-planting schemes. Yet a visit to its Swanston Street branch across from Melbourne’s Town Hall feels more like joining a queue to apply for a passport, with lines out the door and a down-at-heel feel.
But the coffee is worth the slight wait. Puzzle has succeeded with the dreaded flavoured coffee: matcha is on the menu, as is the sweeter Biscoff biscuit flavour. The star is a black sesame latte that is earthy and pleasantly different even when the sesame detritus seeps down the back of your throat as you get to the bottom of the biodegradable cup. Despite its name, the latte doesn’t contain actual coffee, so it needs to be filed as a guilty pleasure for a coffee snob. Best to back it up with a pour-over — the once prosaic practice of straining ground coffee through a filter that has been revived in Melbourne as a hip way to capture more purity of flavour — but wait until the sesame taste has faded.
Read more at the Financial Times website:
Author: Nic Fildes
Photographer: Elise Scott