February - Blackstar Coffee Roasters
Tell us about yourself!?
Blackstar is a heritage specialty coffee roasting company, one of the first inner-city small batch coffee brands in Brisbane. Indie roasting from the back streets of West End since before specialty coffee was a thing!
Our mission is to bring specialty coffee to life. We believe that life is far better with great coffee in it and we exist to roast the most stunning coffees on the planet. When we say “bringing it to life” we’re not just talking about cup quality. We want to connect great coffee to our higher purpose as an ethically minded business. To produce good coffee that does good.
Our vision is to stimulate the transition to sustainability. We see the role that coffee can play in the emerging green economy and we want to be leaders in that space. Our priorities are to fund reforestation, build an affiliate network of like minded 'good businesses'; clean up the coffee supply chain; become carbon neutral & create media content that tells this story & connects with others who share a similar vision.
Our values are simple. Every-one Every-time. Individual Integrity. Caring Community. Relationship Centred.
How long have you been roasting and how did it start?
We started roasting back in 2007, from an abandoned footy shed that we leased from Souths Leagues Club. Our first customers were cafes and offices and we sold our beans and cold pressed coffee at local farmers market. As demand grew we decided to open our first retail outlet in 2008 - we call it “the origin store” in West End which remains open today.
In 2014 we moved to our East Brisbane roastery and cold pressed production HQ. With over 19 million brews 'under our belts', we're here to take specialty coffee to the next level.The idea behind Blackstar started when our founder, Martin Richards, had been travelling in NZ and noticed the passionate barista and roasting culture that was on the rise at the time.
The kiwis were definitely on to something early. When Martin was in Wellington he connected with Peoples Coffee owner Matt Lamason and realised how big an opportunity there was back in Australia. And.. the rest is history. The Probat L12 roasting machine arrived in May 2007. The La Marzocco espresso machine arrived not long after (one of the first in Brisbane) and by July it was calibrated and we started roasting for our first customer, Jamie’s Espresso Bar, Fortitude Valley.
What is your roasting process?
To us a roasting process is fundamentally flawed without supporting and structured Quality Control measures. As important as keeping to a roast profile is, we see the recording and understanding of readings taken from our supporting equipment just as valuable to creating a complete solution for each coffee.
Prior to roasting each morning, green coffee is moisture and density read on our Syncfo coffee analyzer. This is an indicator to ensure we are starting from the same point, as assumed from the last roast of that same coffee. Environmental readings are recorded, as our roasting facility is somewhat at the mercy of mother nature, being that it's not in an insulated concrete structure, these readings need to be considered and curves regularly need to be amended as the environment in the roastery changes.
Post-roast we measure both the external colour and ground internal color to maintain consistency within our pre-determined tolerances for the Agtron color of each coffee. In regards to coffee blends in particular, samples are taken from each roast batch and after going through the de-stoner, coffees are collected into tubs containing two batches at a time and referenced with their respective Cropster roast ID numbers. These batches are then cupped 2 days later prior to blending, which allows any QC failing batches to be traced and withdrawn before blending takes place.
That's a quick insight into the processes we follow at Blackstar Coffee which whilst aren't exclusively 'roasting', are fundamental to the overall process of roasting.
Head over to the website www.blackstarcoffee.com.au to order.
If our subscribers loved your coffee, what's the best way for them to get more?
To get more Blackstar Coffee content, visit their Instagram @blackstarcoffee