Melbourne’s freshest cafe roastery takes its name from another character that played a role in the rich tapestry of the history of coffee. According to legend, Aucuba was a wise yet tired man who stumbled upon Kaldi and his dancing goats. He too ate those revitalising red cherries, and brought them back to his monastery to keep people awake during prayer. Locals got word of these special cherries, and coffee soon spread throughout the known world, making Aucuba a rich man. Much like Aucuba of the ancient world, this Aucuba has its own element of richness. Located in a heritage building which was once a bank, Aucuba is the perfect fusion of history and modernity. Owner Mark Knapp has an eye for detail, and designed this gorgeous sun drenched space with his wife Kim. The walls have had a fresh lick of paint, and are lined with pineapple wallpaper behind the brewbar. The pineapple theme pays homage to the fact that the pineapple was once a symbol of hospitality. Light timber furnishings are dotted around the venue, along with lush greenery. The back room features a large communal table, open kitchen, and roastery.
The menu is Japanese inspired, and focused on sustainability, and ethically sourced ingredients. All day offerings include Umeshu soaked muesli with coconut cream & passionfruit pulp, Match green tea & yoghurt pannacotta with saffron scented pineapple, Teff with a an onsen egg and shiitake mushrooms, and Truffled umani mac & cheese toasties with miso balsamic vinegar.
Coffee is roasted on a 5 kilo Proaster, and extracted via a custom La Marzocco strada, as well as a selection of filter methods, including the v60, and Syphon. I indulged in a Brazilian natural this morning, from the Sítio Cascata farm. This Red Catuai was grown at around 1100 meters above sea level, and had a creamy mouthfeel, with delightful sweet tones.
Aucuba is a true reflection of its owner’s passion for coffee, beauty, and salubrity.
Aucuba Coffee Roasters.
108 Bank St
South Melbourne VIC 3205