The centerpiece of this year's Melbourne Food & Wine Festival is the Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar by HASSELL. Built from shipping pallets and shipping containers, the open air cafe is filled with plants to create a coffee farm right in the heart of the city. The goal of the temporary cafe was to teach Melbournians about where their coffee comes from and give them a new space in which to enjoy their city. The farm and brew bar opened up at the beginning of March and will be on view through March 17th.
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Located in Queensbridge Square in Southbank, the Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar has transformed the public square into a temporary coffee plantation. Inspired by Guatemalan farms, the Young Designers Group from HASSELL took advantage of the square’s Red Stairs public amphitheater to create a terraced landscape to install their farm and cafe. Shipping pallets and crates were stacked to create seating and planters, while containers are used for storage and the cafe and bar.
The space was then filled with 125 coffee plants from a disused coffee plantation in New South Wales. With the addition of over 2,000 tropical plants the space has been turned into a veritable urban jungle. After the festival, the coffee plants will be replanted in Victoria, the tropical plants will be returned to the nursery, the 1,500 shipping pallets will be returned to the owner and the containers recycled. Interspersed throughout the farm are posters and information about how coffee makes its journey from seed to cup to educate the public about their favorite drink. “The inspiration for the Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar comes from a desire to evoke the still somewhat mysterious and exotic geographies associated with the source of coffee. It brings to life the story about coffee, inspiring coffee drinkers to think about its origins, production and transport,” explained Cara Gabriel, an Interior Designer and another member of the team.
The pop up cafe and bar serves up food, coffee drinks and beverages from 8 am through 10:30 at night. As part of the festival, the top baristas from around the country have been asked to brew their best concoctions to share with the public. They are also holding special talks, presentations and workshops about coffee, roasting and brewing, which are free to the public.
Images ©Bonnie Savage