Veneziano Coffee Roasters
Veneziano co-founders Rocky Veneziano and Craig Dickson have been selling coffee from their Abbotsford roastery for more than a decade.
Some of Australia’s most successful baristas have worked at Veneziano, including Craig Simon (three-time Australian Barista Championship winner), Jade Jennings (Australian Specialty Coffee Association 2017 award winner) and Erin Sampson (2009 Australian Latte Art Championship winner).
When the pair moved operations from Abbotsford to Richmond in March 2014, they never imagined filling the huge warehouse space where they once parked their cars, but a cafe was always part of the master plan.
Now, the cars are gone. In their place is a fit-out by Technē Architecture.
Dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows flood the expansive space with natural light. True to the eatery’s industrial roots, there are polished-concrete floors, and exposed copper and red pipes up top. Multiple baristas man a commanding stainless steel, oval-shaped bar in the centre of the room. On the other side, forklifts are unloading pallets, a glimpse behind the scenes of the business.
Head chef KaiKai Yan (who has worked stints at Dinner by Heston and Union Dining) is plating colourful brunch dishes such as chilli scrambled eggs with chorizo crumb and crispy sage, and black rice and quinoa porridge with poached quince and toasted coconut.
Food aside, coffee is king here. A cupping lab beside the cafe, clad in timber and steel, is used for quality control. Six certified Q Graders (certified baristas) award coffee a score out of 100, and test to ensure coffee tastes the same as it did when it left the farm. There are cupping courses for industry, or anyone with an interest in coffee.
Back in the cafe, you can taste the results. Bond Street is the house blend right now (it changes quarterly); it combines Columbian and Ethiopian beans. There’s also single-origin coffee, filter, and a competition-grade microlot (selected high-grade beans) from La Palma y El Tucan in Colombia. A microlot coffee here will set you back a heavy $10, but it’s pretty special – it’s made with the beans that won Craig Simon the latest World Barista Championship.
For a triple-caffeine hit, the Barista Breakfast features a single-origin coffee, a milk-based one, and a filter served with tasting notes on a wooden tray.