Wishing you a very Melbourne Christmas.

Being a leader in the Melbourne coffee scene is no small achievement; and holding that position for almost 12 years is an even greater one. As one of the very first specialty coffee brands, ST ALi has a place in the heart of all coffee-conscious Melbournians. 

The ST ALi story started back in 2005, with founder Salvatore Malatesta opening the South Melbourne site. But today we’re focusing on the people running the nuts and bolts of ST ALi - namely a shout out to all the hard-working baristas, lead by ST ALi’s Head Barista Leon Holdsworth.

The flagship café is a stunning converted warehouse space in the back streets of South Melbourne. Featuring large airy ceilings, modern lines and gorgeously mismatched vintage decor, it elegantly mixes old and new, and is instantly inviting. That being said, it’s no surprise the café is insanely popular, with Leon and his team pumping out around 150 kg of coffee over the bar every week. 

Leon’s fortunate enough to be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing coffees for their bar - and this month, he’s chosen some special coffees perfect for December, that are sure to brighten your Christmas morning.

For the espresso lovers we have the ST ALi Orthodox Blend: 50% Colombia Pitalito and 50% Brazil Fazenda Rainha, the Orthodox is ST ALi’s new-age rendition of the classic Italian Espresso Blend. 

“We all drink more coffee this time of year, whether it’s for a little pick me up before heading out to catch up with friends, or sitting around the dinner table after a big, festive meal with the family. Orthodox is the ST ALi house blend, perfect for every occasion.” 

Sweet and syrupy with a mild acidity, it offers flavours of blackberry jam, plum, dark chocolate fudge, brioche and smooth caramel. If you want to make Christmas Day extra special, ST ALi’s Dean of Coffee Matt Perger has created a ‘Christmas Cake’ coffee cocktail especially for the Orthodox Blend - check out the recipe on the Three Thousand Thieves website under our blog section.

For this month’s filter we have the Costa Rica El Conquistador. Located in the Zona de los Santos in south-central Costa Rica, El Conquistador comes from the exceptional fincas in the Tarrazu region. Widely regarded as one of the finest coffee mills in the world, Beneficio Rio Tarrazú is a model for sustainable coffee processing, with hydroelectric power generated on-site, a biomass furnace that recycles the by-product of the coffee fruit as a fuel for drying the coffee, and on-site medical / dental facilities for the local producers. This emphasis on environmental and social sustainability has won Beneficio Rio Tarrazú numerous awards, and helps to maintain El Conquistador’s remarkable consistency in the cup.

Leon and the barista team chose this month’s filter for its complex citrus acidity and smooth caramel finish; with notes of juicy orange, lemon sherbet, dark chocolate and caramel. 

“My focus has always been flavour and the stories that coffee tells,” says Leon. “There is a long chain of hands before mine to serve delicious coffees to my customers; there is a responsibility and sense of pride to be the last link in a coffee’s journey. When you can make the planets align on a daily basis, and your coffees make thousands smile, it’s not a job, it’s a joy.”

We’re sure that ST ALi’s December offering will add a little joy into your holiday season too. So from Leon and the team at ST ALi and all of us here at Three Thousand Thieves, we hope you love our December offering, and have an awesome, caffeine-filled Christmas.