Cottle Coffee is not one of the new kids on the coffee roasting block. After purchasing a 50 year old South Melbourne coffee roasting business in 1972, the Cottle Family have grown their operation to become a stalwart of the Melbourne cafe scene. From their bustling cafe in the heart of South Melbourne, you can see their roasters carrying out their craft while you sit and enjoy your cup of joe (and maybe a delicious Piadina or Patisserie).
We chat to Karen Choo from Cottle Coffee about the things that have made Cottle so successful, their buying process and the challenges facing the industry that we ought to be aware of.
When did you join the team?
I am fairly new to the Cottle business. Came onboard late 2016.
What do you think makes Cottle Coffee special and successful over such a long history?
Cottle Coffee was established in 1912, it was started as a family business and continues to operate as a family owned and operated coffee business holding on to the same traditions, values and methods it began with. I think in a crowded coffee market, maintaining our consistency and reputation as one of Melbournes’ best artisan roasters throughout our long family history in the industry is what sets us apart and makes us unique.
We’ve noticed that Cottle stock a large variety of coffee, what is your buying process like?
We do have many different blends, with coffee from various origins around the world. In order to maintaining consistency in quality and supply we work with some of Melbournes’ best coffee importers, with particular focus on ensuring they are ethical and sustainable purchasers, supporting coffee growing communities as much as we can.
What challenges do you think the industry are facing that coffee drinkers should know more about?
The coffee industry currently faces many challenges, with coffee growing communities particularly under pressure to produce extremely high quality coffees at very low prices. In order to keep the coffee industry sustainable we must start to pay the growers higher prices so that they can afford to maintain quality and also keep their farms profitable. As this price increase trickles down the supply chain, This ultimately means as consumers we need to be prepared to pay a little more for our final cup of coffee.
What should subscribers look out for in this month's Honduras Liquid Ambar?
A bright clean cup with a sweet malty upfront and a spritzy lemon acidity that leads into a long fresh fig finish with notes of cream and caramel.