Listers, when it comes to coffee, we’re pretty serious about what goes into our cuppa. And if we had to choose one Melbourne coffee roaster to serve our caffeinated needs for the rest of time, we would have to pick Fitzroy cafe and boutique roastery Industry Beans.
In case you haven’t heard, Industry Beans makes some of the best coffee in Melbourne in its award-winning Rose Street space. At just two years old, the awesome Melbourne roastery has grown from a small “locals only” gem into a nationally-distributed coffee brand that hasn’t compromised quality, style or service along the way. Last year, Industry Beans was named Melbourne's Best Boutique Roaster by Fairfax Media, proving that we're not the only ones who are mad about their beans!
While the coffee is the main feature—we’re talking single origin roasts, espresso blends, a decent decaf, and small-batch seasonal blends (!)—the space that houses the Fitzroy cafe and on-site roastery has won several design awards across the globe, including the WORLD’s best cafe!*
And why not? As well as killer coffee, Industry Beans serves up some of the best brunch in Melbourne. What they do with simple local ingredients will blow your foodie mind, folks! But I digress…
I recently caught up with Trevor Simmons, one half of the brains behind the beans (with brother Steve), to give me his six top tips when it comes to coffee. Craving the perfect cup? Read on…
#1 Fair trade = Better flavour, and here’s why.
Asides from leaving you with warm fuzzies knowing that you’re helping a farmer earn a fair wage, buying sustainable coffee actually helps improve the quality of the coffee from crop to crop. How?
“At Industry Beans, a sustainable relationship with the farmer or cooperative based on a fair deal enables them to invest in their coffee and continue to improve quality into the future, so that ultimately our customers can enjoy that coffee from one crop to the next,” says Trevor.
Now there’s a good deed I can get behind!
#2 To sound like a pro, you need to talk about…
“Sourcing, roasting and brewing,” says Trevor. There’s no use in honing in on just one of those aspects—yeah, that’s right you single origin snobs who track down the most sought-after beans and then try to serve me the burnt cup of tar that you’ve made from them—you need to have all THREE down to make the perfect cup.
#3 To really sound like a pro, you need to ask for…
Something exclusive yet approachable (not too bitter, not too strong). In Trevor’s words, “We have a tiny amount of two exclusive lots from Santa Felisa Estate in Guatemala. The first is a Geisha varietal that presents fantastic complexity, sweetness and elegance. And for approachability I love the washed process lot from Carmen Estate in Panama.”
#4 Investing in your coffee kit really does pay off.
Because brewing is just as important as the sourcing and roasting steps, investing in a good piece of kit really does bring out the best in your home-brewed coffee. As for what to go for?
“We’re loving the Gold Mesh filter—a portable, gold plated filter coffee brewer that offers a super-simple method of getting a great consistent and complex brew. The Gold Mesh doesn’t need any extra filters and has an inbuilt regulator to negate any chances of messing up the brew. A great, simple piece of kit for everyday coffee aficionados!”
The filter itself is only $35 from Industry Beans or if you’re new to this whole coffee thing and need a grinder too, opt for the filter brewing starter kit at $115 which comes with filter coffee beans. The perfect to-me-from-me coffee kit, and a great gift too!
#5 Having a favourite mug is totally legit.
As someone who once drunkenly proclaimed her favourite mug as “the best shape ever invented in the world” (alright, so it wasn’t coffee that was in it that night…), I was 100% overjoyed when Trevor filled me in on this one:
“Thermal insulating properties—in other words, how warm your coffee will stay—and cup temperature really do matter. Similar to wine glass selection, the type of cup, diameter of opening and size can help to improve the sensory perception of the coffee.”
So, if you’re searching for your own life-affirming coffee cup, think about the material it’s made from, how wide it is, whether it feels right in your hand, and make sure it’s already warm before you pour your morning brew into it. There’s not much more to it!
#6 Coffee should be judgement-free: Cappuccino drinkers are people too.
Before I asked Trevor about this, I had already ordered a soy flat white only to suddenly realise I might have committed a massive coffee faux-pas. I mean, Industry Beans is a seriously awesome Fitzroy brunch spot that serves some of the best coffee in Melbourne, and soy milk is, um, soy milk. Would I get judged?!
“Not at Industry Beans, our ultimate goal is to produce the best cup of coffee regardless of the type. Our approach to specialty coffee is that it should be inclusive and it should be relative to the drinker.”
Yusssss…Coffee paranoia, be gone!
*World’s best?! Yup, Industry Beans won the International Cafe Award at the 2013-2014 British Restaurant & Bar Design Awards.
Editor's Note: This article is proudly sponsored by Industry Beans and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credits: Industry Beans / Simon Shiff for The Urban List