Innovation is driven by our constant pursuit of flavour.

From our very first cart, we have been dedicated to flavour. From developing our first barista training class to sourcing our own green beans, we have looked to innovate. We make sure we know our stuff, then once we’re confident we’ve found the best way of doing something we create our own path.

We are the brand with the character to take a stand against the orthodoxies of coffee and to not follow the trends.

Our process of discovery has helped us solidify three foundational rules; know your stuff, make a stand and demand the best.

Know Your Stuff

We start with strong foundations, identify the underlying assumptions and orthodoxies to see past the trends.

Travelling around America in the 80s – cheffing and generally being a bit of a ski-bum – Michael found himself in Seattle. Starbucks had three shops, and the specialty coffee scene was in its infancy, but he was witnessing a revolution.

It was here Michael learned the lessons that would lay the foundations for Allpress Espresso.

Michael and co-founder Caroline WorkmanAuckland, NZ

During his time in Seattle, Michael discovered a roast method known as 'fluidised-bed hot air roasting'. Every time he had an exceptional coffee, the beans it had been made with were hot air roasted. It became clear to him that this roasting method was superior, and a vital component in his flavour quest.

Along with this roasting technology, Michael also came across a Boeing-engineer-designed espresso cart in a Seattle monorail station. Inspired by the innovative production and design of the Seattle coffee scene, he returned home with an ambition to recreate the coffee cart experience in Auckland.

He took out a loan from his dad, wangled a $5,000 loan from the government and opened Allpress Espresso Coffee Cart in Victoria Park – the coffee cart that started it all.

While the air roasting technology was out of reach at that stage, Mike knew what he needed to aim for. This was the beginning of a flavour journey that continues to this day.

Discovering a superior way to roastAuckland, NZ

Mike with the first Allpress roaster – a reconditioned Swadlow drum-roaster

I’d just get a cup and I’d
go, “Wow! What is this?”
It was like bingo.


Make a Stand

This rule is about big ambition. Trust your instincts and knowledge and define a clear point of view.

Being absolutely dedicated to flavour took a whole new meaning in 2007 when Michael partnered with Mike Scobie, an engineer, to build his own hot air roaster from the ground up.

Today, we roast exclusively using this superior method, have reconditioned all of our roasters and have custom-built three A.R.T. Roasters – not bad for one ski-bum and an engineer.

A roaster built by a roaster. The A.R.T. Roaster Mk2 Melbourne, Australia.

The convective heat lets us
push the flavour profile to
its complete development.


Demand the Best

This rule is about being uncompromising. We’re attentive to every step of the process to achieve absolute quality.

From wagging school together in their early days to partnering for global expansion, Michael and his good friend Tony Papas have always pushed boundaries together. In 2000, they partnered and took Allpress across the Tasman. Since then, Tony has opened all four Allpress Roastery Cafes and Espresso Bars in Australia and taken the brand to the UK too.

With two chefs as our founders, it’s little wonder flavour is always top of mind.

Tony cheffing c.1979Amsterdam, Netherlands

I don’t understand why you’d work
in this industry if flavour wasn’t the
most important thing you strived for.


“It’s a simple business. We buy beautiful green beans, we roast with a lot of skill and care, and we produce delicious cups of coffee.”

“If utmost love, attention and painstakingly hard work is not put in at all levels, the product will always be inferior. Through every stage we must take care of our coffee.”