The Richmond mega-café, Touchwood, was dreamt up by the winning hospitality combination of Jamie McBride, Matt Vero, Steve Rowley, and brother duo, Matt and Kael Sahely: the same brains behind other cafe institutions like Coin Laundry, Pillar of Salt, Barry, and Tall Timber.
Located in the heart of Richmond’s Bridge Road, the venue is a prime meeting point between the north and south. In amongst the home-deco and retail dominated street, it provides the perfect pit stop during shopping expeditions. The café is overflowing on the weekends with the whole coffee-drinking spectrum coming by, from mums and bubs to every hipster and his pug loitering, all chasing their one common denominator: coffee.
When you first step into the monstrous 140-seater venue, the toughest choice is where to sit, with so many options available. Past the front service counter, where the homely aroma of fresh coffee greets you, the venue extends past a brick archway out into a sleek wooden courtyard.
As its name suggests, the cafe’s décor adopts a touch of wood throughout the whole space, from its timber floors, to the communal table that runs straight through the brick wall separating the front and back areas, and even out to the courtyard. Its rather minimalist approach sees white walls juxtaposed against the timber flooring and furniture with touches of greenery scattered throughout; but with so many perspectives to enjoy the café from, one can come back time and time again for a new experience.
As far as the coffee goes, the Touchwood team worked with Five Senses to create a flavour profile designed for the steady flow of customers filing through its doors. The family-owned roasting company is dedicated to finding outstanding seasonal coffee from around the world, and roasting it with skill and passion.
The house blend at Touchwood is a seasonal blend of beans: 50 percent from Brazil, 30 percent Ethiopian, and 20 percent Costa Rican. As well as the old favourite espresso, there is a menu of rotating single origins on offer, with differing brewing methods including a V60 pour over and Aeropress. If you are after something a little different there is a cold drip available, as well as the house specialty coconut cold drip.
At Touchwood’s helm are Jamie McBride and Matt Vero, who manage the business. “The goal is to reach as high as we can in coffee food and service,” said Matt. That’s why the coffee is so meticulously dialled in each morning before being extracted from the sleek, matte black Synesso Hydra.
The whole team is clearly enthused by their string of successes, and puts it down to their teamwork, their ability to create a welcoming atmosphere, and above all – great coffee. As Kael Sahely puts it, “We are so proud to be from Melbourne, a global leader on the coffee scene.”