To sample South Australia’s most promising up-and-coming coffee roasters, best make your way to Hindley Street – and fast.
Augnablik is an Icelandic word meaning “in the blink of an eye”, and this the ethos behind the new venture popping up at Format Systems (in the space formerly known as Parsec). The lifespan of the business is not yet known, but it’s expected to be around until at least the end of festival season.
When co-owner Dane Hirsinger returned home from London (where he operated indie hangout Hirsinger & Strauss), he was surprised to see local roasters under-represented among the current crop of Adelaide cafes. In response to this, Augnablik will run "a series of short coffee residencies", showcasing a new South Australian roastery every month. "There’s amazing stuff being done by a few local guys. I want to tell a little bit about their business and their story,” says Hirsinger. In the New Year there are also plans to hold cupping sessions where customers can learn about and engage with coffee.
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Hirsinger is running the venue alongside his wife Sigurròs Eiðsdóttir and another couple, Colin McAleer and Georgie Alexander. Each has their specific job description, with McAleer in the kitchen and Alexander creating desserts, while Hirsinger focuses on brewing and Eiðsdóttir handles service and curates a small gallery space.
“We wanted the cafe to really be part of Format’s weirdo enterprise, not just squeezed in at the back,” explains Hirsinger – who used to DJ at the ARI’s old venue on Peel Street.
The menu is vegetarian, skewing towards vegan. Hirsinger says “the cornerstone of the menu is the breakfast taco” but they’ll also bake their own naan bread to be served with eggs and a different relish each week. There is also the enticing promise of "waffle weekends".
Augnablik’s opening party is locked in for Saturday December 10 and is an all-day affair with DJs, live bands and heaps of coffee.
And then what? If all goes well, the founders hope to hand over their business to new operators, or continue it themselves (visas permitting). For now they’re committed to creating a welcoming space that’s as local as it is international.