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52: 35 - Allpress Espresso

Name: Allpress Espresso
Address: 80 Rupert St, Collingwood Victoria
Web: http://au.allpressespresso.com
Served by: Ayla
Owned by: Michael Allpress

All this time team Super Tectonics has been thinking the highly acclaimed, NZ born, now Melbourne wide and Internationally known coffee roasters “Allpress” was a cool company name directly nodding to the technique of pressing coffee; or a method of coffee production;  or some third wave reference that was above our naïve coffee palettes and minds. Instead, it was simply the owner’s surname – Allpress, Michael Allpress. And like the Allpress name, the fit-out of the new Allpress Espresso roastery and café, just works. But you can see that a lot of fine detailing has made this effortless illusion possible.

So what's good about Allpress Espresso?

The immediate thing you notice about Allpress Espresso in Collingwood is how lovely it is to walk into a courtyard. And none of this tiny-Melbourne-terrace-house-courtyard-business, but a expansive landscaped area with a portal timber entry, huge concrete alters with an abundance of chairs and tables and planting. Stepping in here, one completely forgets that you’ve just walked past a “massage parlour”, a mechanics, an old shoe factory and a dodgy Italian café that sells battered savs. Collingwood has a new oasis and Allpress Espresso is the mirage.    

Allpress Espresso combines two great things, firstly their custom designed and built A.R.T hot air roaster, packing and dispatch area is visible from the Roastery Café. Shrouded behind a prolific amount of the large scale glazing, patrons can sit in a light filled left wing of the café and view the hands on work zone, watch the roasters do their thing and stare at the steam punk-esque machinery that glitters all gold, silver metallics. Here exposed timber trusses, celebrate the warehouse construction, and form the link between the roastery and the café.

The right wing of the café, although sharing the same architectural bones as that of the left, has an entirely different personality. Although the scale of the spaces is consistent, here a rich materiality creates a warmer and denser compression of space. Painted bricks, exposed bricks, textured tiles abutting timber floors are all highlighted softly with ambient gimble down lights that wash walls instead of piercing them.

The circulation spaces are spacious, but not vast. With a clear waiting area upon arrival, front approach counter and two distinct seating wings, the journey through the café is worth the stroll. Here you notice how well executed the design details are.

The joinery detailing is off the scale with smart set downs in coffee benches, recessed LED strip lighting, bespoke handles and shelving, not to mention custom wall mounted timber benches that have a carved, dipped seat that cradle your bottom perfectly. Wandering through you can see junction changes between floor materials treated with brass strips, clever strawboard ceiling tiles to not only create a textured plane, but cleverly absorb noisy café sound.

Loose furniture is tidy, with the best replica Eames chairs (tut tut) we’ve seen with a woven seat, plus heavily upholstered story blanket-esque arm chairs and beautifully detailed tables with the finest profile top and what looks like a furniture marmoleum top. Add to this some supremely fine steel frame windows, doors and great glass screen surrounds to the kitchens (made from old melted glass balls to give that old textured look) and whoever designed Allpress Espresso Collingwood, knew what they were doing and my Design-God they did it well.

What could be better about Allpress Espresso? 

When everything is so well refined din a place, the not so successful elements often stand out. Unfortunately the small mosaic tiled front to the gorgeous sweeping, timber counter looks dated. Next time keep it contemporary and clean. Coffee hoppers behind the counter (those things that hold the beans) they are temporary and look a little underwhelming on that huge wall – get the big full scale ones in there so the coffee beans reign supreme as a backdrop!

Sadly, you can see straight through to the toilet from the café area – always a no no! Get an airlock on that room ASAP! (Although Super Tectonics think’s it was an accessible bathroom altering this may prove difficult).

The big cane basket holding the timber for the hopper stove (fire place) looks totally over scaled Hamptons – integrate that timber storage as a joinery element and make it a feature!

What’s its thing?

It’s a little oasis in grubby Collingwood. I’m not saying Collingwood being grubby is a bad thing, Collingwood should stay grubby, it works for Collingwood. But having this little taste of refinement dropped in the middle of it all, is pure genius and Allpress Espresso have totally hit the mark. 

Defining Design Details

  • Steel frame everything. It matches the warehouse aesthetic perfectly and allows thin profile frames to maximise views outside.
  • Roasting machinery – it’s all shiny and pretty and mechanical. But so damn technical and interesting, you could just watch the workers interacting with those beauties all day on display.
  • Graphics – they are all over it. From a ridiculous website, to business cards, studio postcards, the menus and more, they don’t need any feedback on this – just keep doing what you are doing Mr. Allpress.
  • Lighting – another successful lighting solution that balances an abundance of natural light ridiculously well against low lit darker spaces.
  • Glass Screens – they look like old shower screens from the 70’s but prettier and more refined - Loving the textures and play on light that this creates.

Allpress Espresso is a must visit for a design lesson in atmosphere. They are open nice and early from 7am – so make your way in for breakfast before spring hits hardcore and the courtyard gets crazy. Also, the Allpress team recently launched Allpress studios’ an exhibition space right next door that supports local artists, exhibitors and events  - you can use the space pro-bono if you have a good heart, so check it out!