Tell us about yourself:
We opened down a laneway in Carlton in February 2015, and have been roasting tasty coffee since then. The name comes from a handbill, written and distributed in 1652 London ‘The Vertue of the Coffee Drink’. This handbill outlined the various medicinal and other benefits that could be found by drinking coffee.
In 2019, we opened our second location as Vertue Coffee Roasters in Cremorne, and for the year coming, we’re moving our roasting operations to a new warehouse in Port Melbourne, with an espresso bar to follow. Our focus for 2020 is to get Vertue Coffee out there; expanding our web shop and rolling out a coffee cart, so keep an eye out!
How long have you been roasting and how did it start?
5 years as Vertue, but both Mike and Ciaran have roasted for significantly longer. Mike saw the original stable, and wanted badly to run something a little bit different with a story to tell, and we’ve come a long way since then.
What is your roasting process?
Sometimes it’s coffee driven, sometimes it’s outcome driven: for our single origins and blends we hunt for flavours we want, but other times we encounter coffees that demand our attention. Roasting coffee is all about balancing and contrasting; and that changes for every coffee.
What makes you unique?
We love to serve coffees that tell a story – whether that’s purely about deliciousness or sometimes, something a little unusual in the cup! We love alternative processing methods and coffees that are not usually selected by specialty roasters, which means we can have engaging conversations about these coffees.
Why are you passionate about the coffee industry?
The coffee industry is very collaborative – ideas and improvements are often shared freely with passion. Slowly you see the quality improve and communicating that is exciting!
What are the values of the roastery?
If it’s tasty, drink it! In specialty coffee, many focus on what’s trendy or only the very best, but we think it’s more interesting having approachable coffees that can be talked with anybody.
Story behind this month roast (e.g. what are some of the values that make your coffee great?)
We were cupping some separate day lots, without intending to make a purchase, but El Guayabillo really stood out to us. It’s a classic and mild Honduran, but it delivers some incredible floral characteristics which makes it the perfect choice as a filter.
Our Sabertooth blend is our biggest crowd pleaser, making a sensationally candy-sweet milk coffee or a classic traditional espresso.