Kostas Trakas opened Caffiend in Hahndorf in late 2016 because “the Hills needed good coffee”. Since then, the small venue has established itself as a destination for coffee lovers (and geeks), punching well above its weight. Its roasting arm has picked up a handful of retail accounts such as Hibernia, The Loose Caboose and Forestville’s brand new Two Sparrows.
These days Trakas’s daily routine has him covering a lot of ground – driving between the Hills and a green bean storage facility in Port Adelaide, making deliveries and spending time with business-and-life partner Tamika Glouftsis in Golden Grove. A central base in the city made sense.
The new site on Synagogue Place is a great pick up. “It had just the right balance of laneway vibes while remaining incredibly accessible,” Trakas says. It’s almost identical in size to the Hahndorf store, but has an al fresco area that doubles its capacity. “We love our little space in Hahndorf, but being in the centre of the city means we can share our love of coffee with more people, and help foster the community that we love so much,” says Trakas.
“Marlene” (Caffiend’s hardworking, much-loved Diedrich coffee roaster) will move into her new home in the coming weeks, with the venue to open in mid-July. She’s central to the spirit of the venture. “We'll be capitalizing on our central space with more retail coffee options and coffee education sessions,” Trakas says. He also promises “a tailored, quick and delicious food menu”.
Trakas learned to roast working under Mark Barun at The Coffee Barun, and later, alongside Adam Marley at Monastery Coffee. He will continue his coffee education in the role of mentor, offering cafe operators the chance to roast for themselves using Caffiend’s equipment. “[People can] effectively ‘rent’ our machinery for their own purposes, whether that be roasting for their cafe or starting their own wholesale/retail operation,” he says. Once they’ve learned the ropes, Trakas says, “We will be as involved in the process as they want us to be. We can consult and guide their learning, or leave them to their own devices.”
He also plans to host public cuppings (tastings) in partnership with other local roasters. “The sharing of information, resources and friendship was what attracted me to the coffee industry to begin with, and that hasn't changed,” Trakas says. “I had a chat with Tom Roden from Exchange a couple of weeks ago over one too many beers, and told him our plans. It was actually this conversation that gave me the idea for the communal roasting facility.”
Trakas studied at Adelaide University and says he’d often walk to Bar 9 Central or Exchange for coffee, as finding a decent cup on campus was impossible. While that’s slowly changing he still sees plenty of potential to engage with a university audience from this new site. Add to this, the 14 storeys of student apartments stacked directly above Caffiend’s new venue and Adelaide’s two tallest buildings (Frome Central and Realm Adelaide, both residential properties) going up nearby, and you’ll understand why he’s excited about the precinct’s future.
The Hahndorf site will continue business as usual, under the management of long-time employee, and fellow Coffee Barun alumni, Mark Bowler. The kitchen will bake fresh bread and turn out grab-n-go options for both stores, alongside its usual menu.
Caffiend opens next month at 17 Synagogue Place, Adelaide.