Allpress Dalston

A Kalita Wave filter of Allpress La Esperanza from Guatemala, served at Allpress Dalston.Allpress Espresso isn’t just a major roaster in the speciality coffee scene, with roasteries in New Zealand (where it all started in 1986) Australia, Japan and the UK. It also runs its own roastery/cafés, starting (in the UK) with the original roastery/coffee shop on Redchurch Street which opened in September 2010. Redchurch Street’s still going, but only as an espresso bar, the roastery moving out to its new site in Dalston in May 2015. Naturally, there had to be a café attached, which is the subject of today’s Coffee Spot, while the roastery was subject of its own Meet the Roaster feature back in January.

The new roastery/café is huge, with plenty of room for expansion. The main café, which includes a full kitchen, is downstairs on the left, with an even larger upstairs area at the front that opens at the weekend for brunch. There’s also some lovely outside seating options in a large garden in front of the roastery, which is set back from the road. If you’ve come for coffee, there are different options on espresso, pour-over and bulk-brew, while for food, there are full breakfast and lunch menus, as well as mixed plates, sandwiches and cakes.

You can see what I found after the gallery.

  • The Allpress roastery in Dalston, which doubles as a cafe.
  • If you approach from the west, there's even a handy nameplate, telling you as much...
  • ... which is just as well since the name/function isn't anywhere else on the building!
  • The view from the front.
  • Allpress has a lovely front garden with some great seating options.
  • There are these two benches with their coffee table off to the right...
  • ... while to the right of the door there's this long, communal table...
  • ... with its twin to the left of the door. Nice flower pot!
  • Stepping inside, the cafe is ahead and to the left, with the roastery to the right...
  • ... which you can see in action through the glass window.
  • Alternatively, sneak to the left and grab one of the tables in the windows.
  • More likely though, is to go straight ahead past the stairs. Here's the view back to the door.
  • Most of the seating is in two rows on the other side of the stairs. The counter's behind us.
  • There is, however, another row of tables down the right and a little bar by the counter...
  • ... where you can watch the kitchen staff at work.
  • Talking of stairs, there's also an upstairs to Allpress...
  • ... which is only open at the weekends. Fortunately, I was on a tour...
  • ... so I got to have a look around. There is lots more seating up here, including...
  • ... to the right of the stairs, a row of tables & a row of booths overlooking the roastery.
  • There's more seating off to the left, beyond the stairs.
  • This includes a beautiful, large, communal table...
  • ... with a row of tables like this in the windows all the way along the front of the building.
  • The view from the communal table looking back towards the stairs. Lovely glass ceiling!
  • Check out the wood-buring stove!
  • Neat plants (these are down beyond the communal table).
  • If you are sitting upstairs, there's a counter at the back where you can place your order.
  • Beyond the counter upstairs, there's a training room (to the left)...
  • ... and a lab/cupping room (ahead).
  • However, it's all shut up during the week, so let's go back downstairs.
  • The view of the main counter from halfway down the stairs.
  • The espresso machine is front and centre, with the till to the right...
  • ... and the retail area to the left.
  • The till's at the corner, which is the first place you reach when you come in.
  • The cake's here as well...
  • ... including croissants and sticky buns!
  • There are sandwiches for the more savoury-minded.
  • There's also a full menu of breakfast, lunch and mixed plates.
  • I had the salmon gravlax on a spring onion pancake for lunch.
  • There's also coffee, of course.
  • I had a pour-over, which is made using the Marco Beverage Systems SP9s & a Kalita Wave.
  • My coffee, served as it should be, in a carafe with a cup on the side.
  • My coffee in the cup, a lovely, smooth La Esperanza from Guatemala.
  • I also had a decaf flat white to go in my eCoffee cup.
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The Dalston roastery/café was a revelation to me. Although I’ve been to, say, Caravan and Steampunk, which are large, with small roasting areas attached, given the size of Allpress as a roaster, I was expecting a large roastery and small café, somewhere like Rave Coffee or the Tandem Cafe & Roastery. How wrong I was!

The building itself is gorgeous, a two-storey, brick-built warehouse (I think), the wide front punctuated with multiple, large, multi-paned windows. It’s also huge, with plenty of space for a large roastery (on the right) and an equally large café (on the left). There’s even a large garden with a wall at the front, making for the perfect outdoor setting, with a couple of bench-seats and two long tables, one either side of the door.

If you don’t fancy sitting outside, or are daft enough to visit in January, when it’s too cold, follow the path to the central door. There’s an open staircase to your left, with the roastery behind a glass screen to the right. A corridor leads between the two, depositing you at the counter, about halfway down on the left, which curves around and runs towards the back of the building. There’s some seating here, a row of two-person tables up against the glass partition on the right, or, on the left, a long bar running along the extended counter, behind which is the open kitchen. However, most of the seating’s behind you on the other side of the stairs, where two rows of tables run down to the windows. This is a gorgeous area, flooded with sunlight from the south-facing windows.

The stairs also start at the counter, heading up towards the front of Allpress, before doubling back on to deposit you facing the back. Although only open at weekends, it’s worth a visit since, if anything, it’s even nicer up here. There’s a separate counter directly ahead of you, with offices and training rooms beyond (and off to the left).

Once again, the seating’s behind you, a row of tables and a row of back-to-back booths to the right, overlooking the roastery. There’s also a row of tables running along the very front by the windows. Finally, to the left of the stairs there’s a row of four tables next to a wood-burning stove and, beyond that, a large nook contains a wonderful communal table. It’s even more flooded with light up here, since, as well as the windows at the front, the roof at the back is largely glass.

When it comes to coffee, Allpress’s entire range is available, although, as explained in the Meet the Roaster feature, this isn’t very extensive, Allpress preferring to do a few things and do them extremely well. There’s the ubiquitous Redchurch and Three Bells blends (plus decaf) on espresso, plus two single-origins (a Kenyan and a Guatemalan during my visit) on filter. One (the Kenyan) is available on batch-brew, the other can be had as a Kalita Wave pour-over using the Marco Beverage Systems’ SP9 automated brewing system.

Naturally I had to try this and was rewarded with a very fine La Esperanza (the Guatemalan) which was very smooth, with subtle, fruity notes (as an aside, I was also given a bag of it to take home with me and thoroughly enjoyed it through my Aeropress on my recent trip to America). I also had the salmon gravlax on a spring onion pancake for lunch, which was awesome; a lovely, crisp, savoury pancake topped with lots of greens and some excellent salmon. I really should go back to do brunch one weekend…

55 DALSTON LANE • LONDON • E8 2NG +44 (0) 20 7749 1780
Monday 08:00 – 16:00 Roaster Allpress (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:00 – 16:00 Seating Tables (downstairs, upstairs & outside), Counter
Wednesday 08:00 – 16:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Sandwiches, Cake
Thursday 08:00 – 16:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:00 – 16:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 09:00 – 16:00 Wifi No
Sunday 09:00 – 16:00 Power No
Chain International Visits 13th January 2017

If you enjoyed this Coffee Spot, then take a look at the rest of London’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to London.

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6 thoughts on “Allpress Dalston

  1. Pingback: Allpress Espresso | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Those ecoffee cups are fab. We sell lots of them (check out the new William Morris range!) but really hope you will review the new Pokito cups. Such a great product for when you are travelling . Still early days as regards being stocked at speciality cafes (although selling fast at our Edge café at the roastery., so I’m confident that they will catch on soon…) Let me know if you want one!

    • I will have to take a look at the Pokito cup. Hopefully I will be able to get down and visit you and the cafe fairly soon (although I am aware I have been saying that for over a year…)


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  5. Pingback: Meet the Roaster: Allpress Espresso | Brian's Coffee Spot

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