Eyewitness Melbourne, Australia: Ash from Coffee Cup Gallery

Who wouldn’t want to drink great coffee, great as in specialty coffee? The thing is when you are from Melbourne or have lived in Melbourne it is near impossible to go back to drinking ordinary coffee, no, it is not possible at all. No surprise, that Melburnian Ash loves coffee, and as often in life he had a fantastic idea while drinking a cuppa. He started the Instagram account Coffee Cup Gallery, where he posts a coffee cup from coffee places in Melbourne, and that is how I met him. Being always on the lookout for all things coffee related ... Ash's account is especially awesome to keep in touch with the coffee scene in Melbourne and for checking out the hottest coffee places in town.

Ash was so very lovely to tell us about his hometown Melbourne in Victoria.

THE TOURISTIN: Three words that characterise Melbourne?

Ash: Coffee capital, hidden laneways, heart and soul.

THE TOURISTIN: How do you get around Melbourne?

Ash: I have a car to travel outside of Melbourne but since I work in the city - I walk everywhere within the CBD. A free tram within the city grid helps when the feet needs a rest or I'm in a hurry.

THE TOURISTIN: What is the best kept secret about Melbourne?

Ash: Hmmm...go discover the laneways where there are no crowds, a hidden cafe awaits that is so full and yet you pinch yourself that you saw no one entering before you. So to this ... I'm not revealing anything here. The Hosier Lane is a public gallery of street art. It changes almost weekly so you have to keep going there to see what's new.

THE TOURISTIN: What is your favourite borough/suburb/area in Melbourne and why?

Ash: Ok I'm biased because I live there but the Northern suburbs are the best. I am in Greensborough which means it is: 50 minutes to the beach, 30 minutes to the city, 20 minutes to the airport, 15 minutes to the closest vineyard, 10 minutes to the green belt of forest, 5 minutes to the cafes, 2 minutes to the shopping plaza.

THE TOURISTIN: The best place for a coffee or hot chocolate in Melbourne?

Ash: The best place for hot chocolate is Brunetti Cafe in Carlton as they have sweets as desserts to go with it.

There are so many coffee places that are great but I'm picking a handful here that are specialist coffee places: Bonnie, Market Lane, Sensory Lab, Seven Seeds.

THE TOURISTIN: What is one restaurant we must try out while in Melbourne?

Ash: I can't decide so here are a few cafes: Higher Ground, Cafe Au79, Industry Beans. Restaurants: Head to Grossi Florentino for a truly Italian experience.

THE TOURISTIN: Where would we meet you on weekends?

Ash: You would meet me at Federation Square which is the heart of the city and walk across to the city square depending on the mood!

THE TOURISTIN: Do you have a favourite museum/gallery we all have to visit when in Melbourne?

Ash: I love ACMI (Australian Centre for Moving Image) and Hosier Lane. Both are across from each other which is kind of cute.

THE TOURISTIN: What are some of your favourite places to shop for A) groceries and B) clothes?

Ash: I love to shop in Leo's. Remember going to the vineyards and country stores, regretting that you didn't buy anything! Leo's has them! I don't like clothes shopping as I have bought every type of jacket I require from Kathmandu Stores.

THE TOURISTIN: What souvenir shall we bring back from Melbourne?

Ash: Hmm souvenirs are dust collectors … so I'm going to be practical about this. Immerse yourself in the coffee culture, and then buy a cold drip or any other coffee machine. At worst take a coffee mug with Melbourne on it (even if it's tacky, it reminds you that we are serious about coffee).

THE TOURISTIN: Thank you so very much Ash. I wish you all the best of luck with Coffee Cup Gallery. Please give all my love to Melbourne and have a cuppa for me.

From Berlin with love