Michael Allpress is on his OE - chefing, skiing and finding a new fascination in the espresso culture of Seattle, USA. The fun & adventure continued, but drinking espresso and keeping a watchful eye on the coffee scene grew with such enthusiasm, that it would eventually take him back to NZ with a greater vision in mind ....
Allpress Espresso Carts is launched in Victoria Park Market, Auckland. Michael’s “mobile espresso” business idea out of Seattle was a new concept in NZ & mainstream Aucklanders’ didn’t know what authentic espresso was, much less drinking it out of a paper cup.
It started with a fax to Piero Bambi, prompted by Michaels determination to make sure the coffee he had started roasting for his carts & other cafes tasted the best it possibly could be. Seeking exclusive distribution for the finest espresso machine, with the capability to produce exceptional espresso was another step towards a 'perfect cup'
Allpress Carts takes on a new identity as Allpress Espresso Bars, with the first 'working billboard' in Victoria St West, Auckland. This contemporary cafe, largely designed by Michael served espresso coffee and sold fresh roasted coffee for brewing at home. At this time, the stunning space and coffee offering was rare around town, and not the norm. The Roastery was in the small adjacent unit next door and Barista Training Classes began after hours in the cafe.
The launch of Allpress into Sydney was an ambitious move for Michael but in partnership with lifelong friend & well-known Sydney restaurateur, Tony Papas the expansion across the Tasman developed with an instinctively like minded approach and determination to become known as a quality local roaster with great tasting coffee. A suburban Sydney garage was where the roasting started, just like it started in Auckland 14 years prior ...
After more than a decade learning about coffee & drinking every cup with quiet judgement, Michael’s ability to distinguish between origins & varietals had become expert. Every now & then on overseas trips, a coffee would stand out as truly exceptional, with a taste lingering long after he left the café. Whenever he asked the roaster, it was like: ‘Bingo!’ The coffee was roasted on a hot air roaster. Further research of this method & its effect on beans & taste, led to the first hot air roaster for Allpress.
Shane makes our first journey to origin to meet the growers & observe the farming methods at the premium El Injerto Estate, Huehuetenango. Since 2006, travelling to the farms of our various coffee suppliers remains a regular activity to maintain personal relationships and secure quality coffee .... And Shane is still our intrepid expert on many of these trips.
The gradual discovery of Allpress among Melbourne cafe owners and coffee drinkers paved the way in the State of Victoria. Home base was a small warehouse that served as the local depot for training baristas and distributing the fresh roasts arriving in from Sydney. As our coffee became more familiar in cafes around town, we began a search for a place to roast in the neighbourhood.
We wanted to create a place where choosing coffee for home could be selective and not a guess. So opening our first specialty coffee store in Ponsonby offers a dedicated space where tasting and discovery of blends and single origin coffee is made easy and welcomed. Visitors to the store can happily taste, talk and learn about coffees if they have the time and inclination.
It took a few years contemplation and several visits to UK, but it became obvious for Michael, Tony & Ali - it was time to take on London. Choosing a location led them to the eastend 'hood' of Shoreditch. It had 'about to happen' appeal, good access to the rest of London and a building that fitted the bill for a Roastery & Cafe. The Roastery doors opened, local coffee drinkers came & cafe owners from Sussex to Somerset, London to Leeds began discovering the taste of Allpress.
Dunedin Roastery & Cafe opens for our South Island customers. We wanted to be closer with coffee supply and service to this region of longstanding and new customers. Their coffee is roasted on A.R.T – the first custom designed and built Allpress hot air roaster.
A rumbling of interest in Allpress north of NSW, made it make sense to establish a small outpost on the sunny Coast to provide a close and personal service to the growing number of locals keen to start or grow their business with Allpress.
Our website re-launched with a refreshed look and new Blog spot; Melbourne Roastery & Cafe opened it doors in November with the stunning A.R.T. roaster installed and ready to roar in 2014; Another great achievement was finally finding an ideal site for our roastery in Allpress Japan.
The Allpress Roastery opening in Japan was a highlight. After carefully restoring an old timber warehouse, we moved in with our roaster and opened a beautifully designed roastery cafe. Behind the scenes, Mark III ART hot air roaster was being built; the 4th edition Allpress Barista Guide was receiving final edits and a 6oz takeaway cup in production - all set for release in early 2015.
Another exciting year is underway. In February, Allpress Christchurch Cafe & Service Hub opened, followed by Allpress London Roastery moving to a more sizeable home at 55 Dalson Lane in April. Both new spaces were derelict industrial buildings we restored, with the familiar contemporary edge found in our other Roasterys & Cafes.
The year started with five of the Allpress crew visiting Wahana Estate, our long-time green bean supplier. Several months later, we released our special blend, Two of a Kind, combining two bean varietals from this Sumatran coffee farm. Another release for the second half of the year is the refreshed look to our Cafe Finder App - it's a locator that guides you to our espresso bar and cafe customers serving Allpress.