On Thursday, November 21st, I had the pleasure of attending the grand opening of Allpress’ first Roastery Café in Melbourne, located at 80-84 Rupert St, Collingwood. Allpress was originally founded by Michael Allpress in Auckland, New Zealand in 1986, launched in Australia circa 2000, and has grown steadily over the years, expanding to the UK, and, in the near future, Japan.
While Allpress has always been a well-known name in Melbourne, they decided that the addition of a Melbourne-based roastery and café was the next logical step to expand and grow their business (as well as being the next step in their quest for world domination).
The space is huge, housing a café, a roastery, a set of offices, a courtyard, and a beautiful gallery space just a level above it all. The aesthetic is striking and minimal, with white walls, light wood elements, beautiful tiling on the bar, and large windows on all the internal walls, with the open plan design allowing views of the roastery and production area from the café (and vice versa).
One of the key points of difference for Allpress’ is their choice of roasting technology – favouring hot air roasting over the more traditional drum roasting. In 2011 they even went so far as to commission their own custom roaster – entitled the ‘A.R.T roaster’ (Air Roasting Technologies), which utilises convective heat transfer via fluidised hot air. The second A.R.T. has its home in Melbourne.
Besides the coffee, one of the most exciting developments is the gallery space, called the Allpress Studio, located above the roaster. The space will be used as a community space, and has already been home to a special beer tasting event by Dumbo Feather (a well regarded Australian publication), and a fashion and art show by local high-end women’s designers Tettman.Doust, with many more projects planned for the space in the future.
All in all, Allpress is a lovely addition to the inner northern suburbs. Melbourne's coffee scene is flourishing, and exciting new openings like this one are precisely what that's meant to look like.