Oh, the cute places we went in Melbourne. The charmingly fitted out brunch spots, the beautiful roasteries and cafes, the little laneway espresso bars and urban pop-ins, and that's not half of it. But today we want to introduce our readers to a brand new shop called Assembly.
You can drink tea and filter coffee at Assembly – but no espresso – made for you one cup at a time by Chrissie Trabucco and Ollie Mackay. You can also purchase tea and coffee to take home. But what's special is, Assembly gives the public the ability to purchase even very small quantities of each product they sell – as small as 15g of coffee – so that you're free to sample and take home many different products while staying mindful of freshness, not to mention budget. And although they are not themselves a coffee roaster, Assembly's roster of roasting partners is impressive indeed.
We have been truly enjoying the two Colombian coffees we purchased to take home with us from Assembly: Finca La Montanita from West Huila, roasted by Sydney's Reuben Hills, and a 100% caturra coffee from producer Omar Collazos, also grown in Huila and roasted in Melbourne by Small Batch Roasters. Other current offerings include Market Lane‘s new Kenya Kirimahiga and one of the more revered espressos around town, called Candyman and roasted by the aforementioned Small Batch.
But you'll notice that Assembly's distinctive packaging is very much their own. Assembly is one of two multiroaster shops we encountered in Melbourne – the other being Everday Coffee – whose relationship with their roasters allows for them to repackage beans into their own line of products. We've never before seen that sort of arrangement in a speciality coffee retail setting, and it speaks quite highly of the level of trust earned by the folks at Assembly and Everyday.
Like we said in the headline to this feature, Assembly is pretty stunning visually, and the aesthetics of the space have already garnered them keen notices in Melbourne publications like Small Werld and Broadsheet. It's a small, intimate little shop, equal parts Danish and Japanese minimalist, with light blonde woods and everything placed *just so* including their carefully chosen bevy of brewing equipment. Assembly is Melbourne's first purveyor of Kalita products, as well as Clever drippers (rare in Australia), hand grinders, tea balls, scales, and much more. The shop's secret is that every last square foot was designed to conceal storage, even the bank of cozy seating next to the brew bar.
Assembly's aesthetic vision is made greater by their attention to detail: the coffee tins and tea tins are lovely, yes, but so are all the printed materials, the bags, the flatware, and these small books you see in the photos above. The books depict much of the same information included here on the “Learn” page of Assembly's website, which is sort of a gentle crash-course on filter coffee brewing across a variety of styles. The book is as pleasing to look at as it is to read, and if a clutch of them could somehow be imported to the United States, we'd be buying them up ourselves as holiday stocking stuffers. And in addition to their own printed materials, Assembly is now home to copies of Birds of Unusual Vitality Volume 1, an original publication by Sprudge contributor Eileen P. Kenny.
Assembly was one of the very last places we visited in Melbourne, and it's the first we've chosen to feature since coming back home to the States. There's so much more to show and tell you about Melbourne, and so please look forward to much more Melbourne specialty coffee coverage on Sprudge in the coming weeks and months. But Assembly really stuck with us, and yielded such plentiful opportunity for photography, that we only felt it right to feature them first. This place is immediately communicative of the overarching sense of style, grace, and good taste that marked our experience with Melbourne specialty coffee as a whole. We dare you not to be charmed.