Sam McKay and Theophilus Engela (who also co-owns Chaffey Bros Wine Co) launched Hark! in December 2018 to better serve dark-roast drinkers.
Light-roast coffee has been having a moment. You’ll see golden, lightly acidic espresso shots being pulled from machines all over the city. But its not to everyone’s taste. Whereas lighter roasts have a floral and juicy flavour profile, darker roast tastes more like tobacco, cacao and caramel. And that’s the kind of roasting the Hark! focuses on.
It operates primarily as a wholesaler, with an espresso bar and kitchen on the side. Coffee beans are sourced from Brazil, Peru and Papua New Guinea via Victorian supplier Southland Merchants, which cultivates personal relationships with farmers.
The small kitchen has a limited weekly menu, which includes BLTs, salmon bagels and fruit toast. Cakes and biscuits are supplied by Four Seeds and the Portuguese tarts are by Saudade. The site – previously a fruit and vegetable shop – was gutted and refreshed with white walls, fresh plants, and custom-made oak benches. McKay’s dog Pilot (an enormous, gorgeous groodle) greets every customer and mingles with those sitting under the grapevines on the sidewalk.