De Clieu, Gertrude St

De ClieuThere’s been a quiet buzz on Twitter about a new Seven Seeds venue opening in Fitzroy. A photo of a door; a few comments by people and
now a few photos on Flickr and a name – De Clieu.

It’s a great name, and perfectly in the theme of the other Seeds venues – a testament to the origins of coffee. Gabriel de Clieu took coffee seeds from the French botanical garden and introduced them to the French colonies – most of which are the primary producers of Arabica today. In many ways the opening of a new venue in Fitzroy is much the same – taking the Seven Seeds brand of coffee away from the mother ship to a suburb almost completely devoid of quality caffeine.

And a brand it is. The execution across the 3 cafes is almost identical and amazingly consistent. Every coffee produced is impeccable in balance, flavour and presentation. De Clieu, on opening day is no exception and with the sharing of staff it is no surprise. There’s a range of single origin’s on offer and brewed in the usual array of methods.

The coffee isn’t the only consistent element. The cake and pastry counter has been cloned from Brother Baba and the menu is similar to that of 7 Seeds in content and presentation. The menu consists of light breakfast food, grilled sandwiches and pizza. Gourmet seems like a poor descriptor – but it is what it is. Seasonal produce; classics with a twist; and interesting combinations are all featured.  There’s great attention to detail in the food, with the little things that make a good sandwich great – a few olives or a pickled gherkin on the side. It’s short, sweet and interesting. There’s no doubt it will change regularly.

The biggest step away from the existing formula is a large area dedicated to retail. Currently the shelves are lightly stocked with a few of the usual suspects – Aeropresses, espresso machine cleaner and a few different beans, but there’s no doubt it will be a great coffee retailer.

It may not sound impressive – a clone of the Carlton cafe with a retail arm. But taking something that works so well in one place and move it to another is no easy feat. For the coffee lover in Fitzroy it’s an absolute gem; on a greater Melbourne scale, it’s not going to be one of my coffee “destinations”.

IMG_1541.jpg IMG_1523.jpg IMG_1536.jpg IMG_1538.jpg IMG_1539.jpg Latte. De Clieu. IMG_1533.jpg IMG_1531.jpg IMG_1544.jpg

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17 Responses to “De Clieu, Gertrude St”

  1. another outspoken female commented:

    I was just happy to see the real estate agent banished, it was too perfect a site for anything other than food and drink!

  2. "…it pleases us" » Blog Archive » De Clieu: Seven Seeds’ new baby hits Gertrude Street commented:

    […] opening. De Clieu opened on a Tuesday, had a series of reviews in the first 4 days (the first by My Aching Head) and by the Saturday was the madness shown above. A pretty impressive feat given the stiff […]

  3. Simon commented:

    For something with such a pedigree and great product my recent experience there was worse than underwhelming.
    The staff are pretentious condescending and lack any ability to maintain any vigilance re customer needs.
    The overwhelming attitude is one of searing superciliousness
    I willing never cross their threshold again

  4. Michael commented:

    Thanks for the comment Simon. I certainly didn’t have that sort of experience, but will be heading back soon enough and will see how it goes.

  5. Mark commented:

    Have to agree with Simon. Waiting to be served, ignored. Some other customers approach, I am still ignored, they are served. But due to this experience found proud Mary. So thanks. Friendly staff and better coffee