First look: Eighthirty Anzac

by Alice Harbourne / 21 March, 2017
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Eighthirty Anzac

 

If you asked eighthirty’s founder and co-owner Glenn Bell to draw a line on a piece of paper, he’d likely ask for a ruler and a Palomino Blackwing to draw it with. He’s a fan of precision and good design, which is evident in abundance at eighthirty’s new flagship roastery on Anzac Ave. Located in the base of the 1920s Tasman Building (recently refurbished by Andy Davies of Ponsonby Central fame) it’s a striking space; a brutalist temple of coffee tech with a predominantly monochrome fit-out. It’s the fifth eighthirty cafe in Auckland, and the fourth to be designed by architect Dominic Glamuzina in collaboration with Bell and the wider eighthirty family.

The bones of the new site are similar to the company’s High Street café – there are steel-framed windows, white walls and a concrete floor. The departure comes in the colour scheme, which contrasts with the bold use of strawberry pink and red at High St. “We’ve used black as a horizontal composition,” says Glamuzina. “It goes around the bottom of the space like a tidal condition, and everything above it is white.” Everything, that is, except the showpiece – a stainless steel, state-of-the-art Loring coffee roaster. Imported from California, it’s the second of its kind in New Zealand, and an investment that will allow eighthirty to treble its wholesale output with odourless, smokeless consistency. An Ikawa sample roaster – a digital micro-roaster that looks a bit like a PlayStation 4 – is an essential component. Connected to an iPad app, eighthirty’s specialists can experiment with different roast profiles in miniature (by playing with time and temperature variables), before replicating them on a larger scale.

While eighthirty Anzac is a production facility, it’s also a destination for expertly brewed espresso and pour-over coffee. Two white LaMarzocco machines are hooked up to a complicated-sounding reverse osmosis water filter, which ensures the right water mineral ratio for coffee. Sleek Acaia coffee scales are dotted along the workbench, used alternately to monitor the weight of dry and liquid coffee dosages. The café also boasts the first Modbar pour-over system in New Zealand; a tap that can be programmed to pour water at the perfect speed and temperature for Chemex and V60s, freeing baristas from time-consuming kettle pouring.

All sounding a bit sci-fi? Things get back down to earth with the comforting food menu: a selection of posh toast and toppings made with sourdough, brioche, rye and Midnight Baker loaves; and cabinet food from Ginger Birds.

In signature eighthirty fashion – the brand opened their first store with saw horses instead of leaners - the seating area is minimalistic, comprised of sapele wood provided by Ben Glass and steel wire furniture built by eighthirty engineer and co-owner Tim Solomon. In fact, on the face of it, it’s all pretty simple, as Glamuzina points out. “You can reduce [the room] to two elements: concrete bench top, steel wire. But it’s way more complex than that.” 

Eighthirty Anzac
16 Anzac Ave
Central city

 


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