In recent years, the laborious process behind the humble cup of coffee has been brought to the foreground, pegging the cup on a more complex criteria than just good or bad, strong or weak. Now the questions that are being asked are ‘how good?’ and ‘why?’, bringing an increased awareness to the bean’s journey from producer to cup.
Take the two brothers, Steve and Trevor Simmons, who run Northcote’s Penny Farthing Espresso, for example. The pair of baristas are meticulous about their coffee and it was only a matter of time before they launched their own small-batch roastery, Industry Beans, which they now use in house.
“I guess what we wanted…was to know more about the roasting process and the best way to do that is just to do it ourselves,” says Steve, who currently roasts Industry Beans offsite. “We felt that we could offer a better relationship for our baristas by roasting our own coffee, understanding the ‘origin’ better, talking to our baristas and improving the knowledge of everyone that works here,” he continues. “Then translate that knowledge for our customers as well.”
Industry Beans features its own house blend, which they’ve brought close to perfection via hours of roasting and cupping. “It took us six months longer than we thought it was going to take,” explains Steve of the Industry blend, an amalgam of five different bean types.
At the moment, Penny Farthing Espresso hosts two of Industry’s single origins, Clouds of August from Tanzania and Eleuteria Villca from Bolivia. Orders of these single origin coffees ship with a detailed description the coffee source, reinforcing the connection between roaster and drinker.
The future is likely to taste bright for the brothers, who are looking to establish relationships with farmers directly further down the track. This is in order to ensure not just the quality of beans, but to fully understand the effort made by the farmers from the start.
No doubt, even in its early stages, Industry Beans would be hard pressed to remain unnoticed. A few cafes have expressed interest in making Industry Beans their ‘guest coffee’, which the brothers are looking forward to. “We’d be pretty excited to see our coffee in someone else’s shop,” says Steve.