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Thread: Aussie grown coffee

  1. #1
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    Aussie grown coffee

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi I'm just curious why we don't see much of Aussie grown beans in Cafes or even Roasters using Aussie beans? do they lack the quality or some thing else?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    One of the main reasons is that only 600 tonnes are produced each year. When compared to the multi-million tonne production in other coffee producing countries, Aussie coffee adds up to a mere drop in the old coffee cup. Add to that the fact that they tend to be more costly (Aussie farmers don't work for the same wages as their counterparts in the developing world) and lighter in character and flavour to the coffees our palates have grown up on. Having said that, some of the local coffees are stunning and well worth seeking out... just be prepared to pay for it.
    Last edited by Vinitasse; 4th December 2012 at 10:50 PM. Reason: fixed a typo

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    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    I was typing a reply very much along the same lines as Vinitasse, so it's not worth repeating.

    I can sum it up tho' by the question I'm often asked: "Why don't you have Australian beans?" to which I answer; " I'd be happy to have Aussie beans, as a bit
    of a novelty but would you be happy paying two to three times the price of the bag of beans that your holding now".
    No one has said yes, yet.

    If I knew how to do links to other threads I'd put a link to Andy's post in the 'The Golden Bean Award 2012' thread where he describes the roast of
    MTC's Rays Selection. This will also shed some light on the answer to your question. Check it out, it's on the last page, about 1/2 way up (or down).

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    Cheers guys for info. That's very interesting. Earlier this year I went to Port Douglas and bought some beans from small farms which they roast themselves, they were pretty good. I was disappointed by one Farm/ roaster it's the big one in Cairns, the price for beans was really expensive and the coffee not that great.

  5. #5
    Coffee+carbon=heaven Mono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kike10 View Post
    the price for beans was really expensive and the coffee not that great.
    yes, I recall a post sometime ago from Andy saying that a lot of Oz coffee was shite. I suppose you need to sort the "beans from the chaff". But as stated above their are some gems and fortunately we don't get offered shite here. I for one throughly enjoy the MTC offerings up to date. Not my everyday bean but generally have a bag or two in my stash. Worth the extra $'s as a splurge. Also makes for great Christmas gifts for coffee appreciating friends and families :-)

    Steve

    PS. In fact I am about out of Ray's and Christmas is but 3 weeks away.........need to order more coffee.............. :-)

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mono View Post
    I recall a post sometime ago from Andy saying that a lot of Oz coffee was shite.

    Steve
    Have to agree with these sentiments, most Aussie produced coffee is over priced shite. once again producers are attempting to grow coffee in the wrong geographic location.
    Marketing Aust coffee must be like trying to roll a peanut down the road with your nose.

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    There are some absolutely awesome locally grown coffees out there.You just have to know where to look.My favourite costs $50 per kilo roasted,or $25 per kilo green.How good is it? The Specialty Coffee Association of Europe classed it as "connoisseur" quality and wrote an article on it in their publication a while back. Its organically grown,handpicked, sundried and 100% Australian......make that 99.99% Australian, because the chap who grows it is an ex-Kiwi.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elbeano View Post
    There are some absolutely awesome locally grown coffees out there.You just have to know where to look.My favourite costs $50 per kilo roasted,or $25 per kilo green.How good is it? The Specialty Coffee Association of Europe classed it as "connoisseur" quality and wrote an article on it in their publication a while back. Its organically grown,handpicked, sundried and 100% Australian......make that 99.99% Australian, because the chap who grows it is an ex-Kiwi.
    Morning EB, can you tell us where to look, the name of the estate and the variety of beans, or is it a secret?

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    See what Andy has to say about Australian Mountain Top Ray’s Selection at:
    CoffeeSnobs - BeanBay

    Barry

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    Coincidentally I opened this thread while drinking a 2nd cup of Bella (espresso) from Milanda. $33/kg from a coffee distributor in TSV. It's pretty good - a bit stronger than the usual roast I buy from Dominion coffee in TSV which uses foreign beans mostly. My previous experience with coffee from the tablelands behind Cairns was a couple of estate coffee shops serving burnt shots by octogenarians who were enthusiastic but poorly trained.

  11. #11
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    I also think the fact that a lot of Aussie coffee is available already roasted from the grower says
    something about their ability to market it wholesale to roasters, in terms of too many stages in the marketing, mark up and value for money to the consumer.

    There's very little Australian coffee grown at any sort of decent altitude, this is an issue in length of ripening time,
    acid development and bean hardness, therefore quality.
    Some of the better coffee from here ends up in Japan, I believe, where paying high prices for some items is a status symbol.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Have to agree with these sentiments, most Aussie produced coffee is over priced shite. once again producers are attempting to grow coffee in the wrong geographic location.
    Marketing Aust coffee must be like trying to roll a peanut down the road with your nose.
    The naysayers of Europe voiced similar sentiments when immigrants here in Aus started planting vineyards a while back. The proof is ultimately in the pudding and good pudding can be found locally, and affordably, at "Coffee With Altitude" whose "Basalt Blue" from the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland has steadily improved over the past few years, and from "Green Cauldron" in Federal, NSW, whose Micro Lots are pretty bloody special. As for pushing that peanut down the road with your nose... Aussie producers sell every single bean they grow so job well done I say! ;-)

  13. #13
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    It's a bit sad that we don't have more extensive high altitude areas to support a bigger local industry.
    I would love to be able to sell a more affordable local product and support local coffee farmers.
    Unfortunately, most consumers are price driven and give up or compromise their principles when the dollars start to get large.
    For me, it's too big a risk to roast a batch of local coffee and hope to sell it all while it's still in the fresh roasted zone.

    The flip side for me is that I'm happy to support third world farmers, who have to fight western greed and ignorance, local corruption, competition from drug crop prices (in some countries) and a myriad other obstacles to a better and more sustainable life.

    Cropping farmers, of nearly all types, generally do it tough in our country too, not for the reasons above but because we are (or were, in my case) underpaid for their produce to have much of a life in our expensive western culture. My 2011 shiraz recently won the international judges award and top gold in class at the 2012 National Wine Show, I produced the fruit that won the winery the Best Single Vineyard Wine trophy at the Melb wine show and numerous other gongs. Due to lack of support in pricing I've been forced out of the industry.
    I'm not having a whinge, I was going to retire soon anyway, but it illustrates the point that as an Aussie farmer,
    if you can't control the price of your product then it's going to be tough. And if you can dictate the price of your produce then market share might be the tough bit, just because of the western culture and economy in which we exist.

    It's a catch 22 in a lot of ways. Ultimately though, if the consumer was prepared to pay true value then even our coffee industry could grow and become a more everyday part of our lives.
    Last edited by chokkidog; 5th December 2012 at 10:29 PM.

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    Senior Member GrahamK's Avatar
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    I was chatting to Kees from Mount Tambourine Coffee Plantation a while back and he was telling me how difficult it was to get the locals on Mt Tambourine to buy his locally grown and roasted coffee. And while I'm sure price and the fact that they get lots of what they see as "free stuff" in terms of umbrellas, grinders, cups etc from the big fella's, he said it was also because they saw him as a competition. He does have a small coffee shop at the plantation which only opens weekdays, and is not in the central tourist area, so go figure. An opportunity to promote local produce lost. He does promote local coffee, and has some type of co-operate arrangement with plantations around Australia.

    I was also in Byron Bay a while back, and eventually gave up trying to find a coffee shop that sold local grown/roasted beans. Ended up somewhere where the coffee was so crap I had to leave it. However the Barista was extremely proud of his latte art, pity about the coffee. Possibly we were not looking in the right places, but it should be easier to find locally produce I reckon.

    GrahamK



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