July - Zest Coffee
Tell us about yourself (summary of your story):
Discover the perfect balance for coffeekind. We are looking to the future. Uncovering flavour terrains, filled with wonder. Together we journey to new flavour destinations. With a balance of experience and exploration, we unearth the diversity of coffee; enticing the coffee drinker to discover the flavours that make up their daily dose.
Who is the head roaster?
Zest specialty coffee roasters are a progressive, creative and eclectic team of coffee professionals who strive to deliver the best of specialty coffee to all coffeekind.
How long have you been roasting and how did it start?
We are celebrating 10 years of roasting this year. After distributing other brands of coffee for the previous 10 years, our passion grew to the point we wanted to learn more by experimenting with roasting ourselves. We purchased our first 15kg roaster in 2009 and set ourselves to learn and develop the skills needed to keep us at the pointy end of the industry. That’s when we launched the name Zest. Synonymous with flavour and with energy and passion we felt it was the perfect brand to take us forward.
What is your roasting process?
Always specialty coffee. Always post blending. No shortcuts on the road to optimal flavour. Our roasters focus greatly on micro-lots, small batch roasting, using an artisan approach. We create specialty blends, with flavour at the forefront. We are intent on always pursuing perfection. We shine on every bean.
Our artisan roasting process is designed to articulate and enhance the aroma and flavour and unique personality of a toiled harvest. It’s because we understand the seasonality and complexities of specialty coffee that consistency remains a focus. We know there’s no shortcut to optimal flavour. And we know there’s no purpose without it.
What are your goals for the roastery?
To enjoy everything we do. To help others. To keep learning. And to keep sharing.
What makes you unique?
Lending a hand at origin to help farmers earn a better living
As we know, coffee farmers have been under pressure from low prices (the C index) and Roya plant disease. Zest is working hands-on with producers at origin to help them get more money for their coffee. We do this by researching and implementing ways to increase the coffee score through changing the way the cherries are processed. Our most recent project has been with the Bosques Verdes Cooperative in Peru. We use the same cherries that would normally score about 80/100 and improve them to 85-87/100. This increase in score means that farmers can get at least 50% more money for their produce. We have donated tools and equipment to help them implement the new process, including fermentation tanks, raised drying beds and covered structures over the drying beds. Zest shares knowledge and is open and transparent about our fermentation research and processing protocols so that farmers all over the world can benefit. We believe that real sustainability in the coffee industry is based on helping farmers to produce higher scoring coffees which they can then sell for higher prices.
Check out the arty and colourful patterns on our packaging.
What are they all about? Specialty coffee is typically grown high on lofty mountain slopes and through our travels to origin we have developed a wonderful connection with this wonderful topography of the coffee farms. This inspired the contour map shapes of these patterns. Then, as inspired by our overriding passion for sharing coffee flavour, we filled in the patterns with eye-catching colours and textures that are designed to entice the untrained palate to dive a little deeper and develop their own personal journey through connecting strong visuals to flavour. The result is a wonderful fusion of topography, colour, texture and a hint of the unknown.
The perfect balance for coffeekind
What does Coffeekind mean?
When you’ve been to origin and worked among the real coffee people that tirelessly toil to grow and process the beans… When you’ve witnessed the passion and dedication of the roasters who earnestly invest their days in bringing out the best in the beans… When you’ve joked with the barista who smiles and engages in happy conversation with their patrons while expertly extracting superb brews… And when you’ve witnessed the delight of palatable discovery on a coffee drinker’s face as they imbibe the warm and wonderful flavours in the cup… Then you realise you can’t leave the human factor out of coffee. It’s what makes it what it is. It’s what we have come to call coffeekind.
What are the values of the roastery?
Passionate, kind, human, friendly, keen to share the coffee experience, a family, enthusiastic, attentive to detail, artisan, inspirational, caring, trustworthy.
Story behind the blend/single (e.g. what are some of the values that make the blend/single great?)
Stardust is a beautifully balanced blend rich in complexity of flavour and nuances drawn from its four distinctive origins. All the origins are fully washed process yielding a sweet, clean and fruity flavour experience with nice malt and white chocolate tones.
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