Mork Chocolate Brew HouseSeptember 21, 2015
150 Errol Street, North Melbourne
Melbourne has always been known as a coffee city. White, black, filter, siphon, iced, you name it, we’ve got it. So it’s pretty surprising to see a brew house open in trendy North Melbourne that is solely dedicated to hot and iced chocolates. There isn’t even a coffee machine in sight (quelle horreur!)
If anyone can make this concept bar work, it’s Mork. First things first, the space is beautiful. Small yet spacious, it’s a neat combination of Scandinavian design and that industrial look North Melbourne does so well.
Secondly, if Mork have got one thing absolutely bang on, it’s branding. Just check out this photo below.
Never underestimate the power of branding. I first came across Mork over two years ago at the Taste of Melbourne. They had a tiny little stall on the far side of the Taste of Melbourne festival in Albert Park. It was easy enough to walk past it without even realising what they were producing. Then it popped up at a few boutique food shops. Slowly but surely, I began to see Mork hot chocolate appear on menus at cafes around Melbourne. It became the thing (much like ordering eggs with Meredith goats cheese or a bagel with Pepe Saya butter) to order a Mork hot chocolate.
The latest phase of the Mork growth story is their chocolate “Brew House” and shop on Errol Street. It’s a very slick operation – the front counter alone is something to behold with a pair of beautiful brass steam taps.
I’ll be blunt, this is not a place for people who demand variety. Chocolate is the word, and there’s not much else. Having said that, for a menu that is entirely made up of chocolate drinks, it reads real fancy. House hot chocolates, made with cow’s milk (obvs), soy milk or almond milk, are the original drinks without any fancy extras, although you can pick your cacao level. There’s water based chocolate drinks, including one which was described as a “chocolate espresso”, a shot of 100% cacao single origin Venezuelean Sur del Lago chocolate, served hot. And people thing coffee drinkers are snobby…
And that’s just the simple stuff! The side of the menu titled “Signature Chocolates” is where the real magic happens. For the early risers, perhaps the Breakfast Hot Chocolate with oat milk and cinnamon. Or perhaps a layered dark chocolate with warm custard will tickle your fancy?
Nick went with the ‘Chocolate Bar’, a hot chocolate with a piece of dark hazelnut chocolate and a cheeky pot of caramel. The hot chocolate itself was pretty good, but with a teaspoon or two of caramel mixed in, it became deliciously silky sweet. These Signature Chocolates use Mork’s 70% blend, and they’re a thinner and more restrained version of hot chocolate than, say, the thicker drinks we’ve seen previously at Koko Black and Max Brenner.
I couldn’t go past the ‘Campfire Chocolate’, a hot chocolate with wood chip smoke, homemade marshmallow and black salt. Righting the upended glass and pouring in the chocolate, there’s a fantastic gentle woody smell that wafts over. Surprisingly, it is noticeable (but only slightly) in the taste of the drink. I wouldn’t say it evoked memories of fireside nights toasting marshmallows, but it certainly helped stave off the last of the winter’s chills!
Towards the front door they sell their signature hot chocolate blends and a couple of collaborated blends, including one with the people from Rooftop Honey. The salted caramel hot chocolate mixture (made in collaboration with Lux Bite) sounds particularly good!
They also have these sick looking gold milk jugs. I don’t have a coffee machine at home but, like a magpie, even I was tempted by these shiny beauties!
So what’s the verdict? It was a top notch hot chocolate, really good quality cacao, and I enjoyed the interesting effect that smoke had on the taste of the drink. Having said that, I’m probably happy with one visit (especially at $8 a drink!). What can I say, you can take the girl out of the cafe but you can’t take the cafe out of the girl!
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