White canvases are risky business. There’s an element of danger when it comes to splatters of food or red wine, but at Eighthirty Coffee Roasters’ new High Street venue in Auckland, they’re more than willing to take that risk.
The design of the café interior by Eighthirty architect Dominic Glamuzina is impressive. It features an industrial-looking concrete floor, stark white walls, a white workbench, white tables, and an origami-inspired pink feature wall.
“It’s a very different design concept compared to our other venues. We didn’t want it to be a cookie-cutter look,” Eighthirty General Manager Shaun Anderson says. “We’ve tried to adapt to the nuances of the street, which is CBD-based and attracts a lot of business clientele.
Eighthirty started roasting in 2009. When its first espresso bar opened on Karangahape Road in Auckland, just two coffees were served on the first day.
Fast forward six years and Eighthirty has an impressive four cafés around Auckland, and 30 wholesale accounts. Adding to that sum is the new High Street venue, thanks to Co-Owners Glenn Bell and Sam Jarius.
Shaun says High Street has experienced somewhat of an exodus in the last few years, with a number of tenants leaving.
Thankfully, he says the opening of this espresso bar in a 1920s building is one of many exciting things happening on High Street to help breath some life back into the area.
“There’s lots of new retail shops opening including high-end apparel shops, so for us the timing couldn’t be better. This street is turning a new leaf. Just like Eighthirty it is taking a fresh new approach to its look. We’re excited to offer this street something to be excited about too.”
A white La Marzocco Strada machine blends almost camouflage into the walls. It features wood panelling thanks to the café’s resident barista who also doubles as an engineer.
A Nuova Simonelli grinder sits on the counter bench alongside a Mahlkönig EK43.
Customers can sip on Eighthirty’s signature blend, specially created by Glenn. It comprises sustainably sourced beans from around the globe.
“We wanted to put our best foot forward and this blend definitely showcases that,” Shaun says. “It’s beautiful and sweet, with chocolate notes, molasses, and stone fruit.”
Siphon Saturday is a new addition to the menu that encourages customers to try something different on the weekend, when both they – and the café’s baristas – can dedicate time to enjoying a different brew method.
Shaun says the espresso bar is starting to source more Japanese brewing equipment, such as Japanese donut drippers, with the addition of Japanese ceramics.
A Moccamaster is always on hand with rotating single origins daily, with past favourites including Nicaraguan, Ethiopian, and Kenyan beans.
To complement the coffee, tasty food treats are available from local caterers Catroux.
“Our K-road (Karangahape) store is the flagship, but we’re happy we can now cater to our city fans,” Shaun says.
While the Eighthirty boys have excited Auckland crowds, there’s good news for Sydneysiders with Eighthirty opening their very own place in Sydney on October 12, 2015.