Melbourne’s coffee aficionados are always on the lookout for a new place to get their fix, and in April this year, an amazing and exciting new space opened in Abbotsford called AU79. Promising visitors a multi faceted experience, it’s a cafe, a bakery, a patisserie and most importantly, a roaster; run by a group of people who have an understanding of hospitality and want to achieve big things.
In December 2015, Robin Shepherd, Maggie Li and Julia Hou decided to take over Camberwell’s respected Prospect Espresso and revitalise the six-year-old café, while still keeping its original cozy feel. The area may be well established and very much about the local trade, but together with manager Wesley Lim, the trio set out to create a destination cafe to entice Melbourne foodies with beautifully presented dishes and of course, good coffee.
At this time, Robin, Maggie and Julia already owned Liar Liar and Addict Food & Coffee, and since then, have grown their business to include Sir Charles, St Edmonds and of course, their flagship venue, Au79. Now being able to roast their own coffee at AU79 means they can take care of all the cafes, maintain quality control across the board and begin sharing their great beans with other cafes around Melbourne. They also host weekly cupping sessions for the baristas, so they can fully understand the current beans and blends being offered and then, in turn, communicate this knowledge to patrons.
While AU79 places a strong emphasis on single origins, they understand that many people will drink their coffee with milk, and so the Midas blend was created. As with most specialty coffee, it varies according to what beans are available in order to maintain the correct flavour profile; and at the moment comprises 50% Brazil, 30% Ethiopia and 20% Guatemala. They wanted the blend to be nice, light and easy to drink.
The natural process Ethiopian brings out flavours of strawberries, while the Brazil is there for its classic dark chocolate and almond notes and a little apple acidity. The Guatemalan has hints of biscuit and cocoa, so a small percentage was added into the blend to reinforce the base notes from the Brazil.
The team behind AU79 obviously have a knack for spinning straw into gold. They have created an impressive suite of successful venues, tying it all together nicely with their own specialty coffee brand.
If you want to experience a bit of the Midas touch, here are the places you can enjoy it: