Commonfolk Coffee, paving the way for specialty coffee out in the Mornington peninsula.
Posted By admin, December 03,2015, in Featured roaster
Featured roaster – December 2015
Who would’ve thought, out deep in Melbourne’s south would be where we’d stumble upon our next roaster – the esteemed Commonfolk Coffee, completely off the beaten track… some 57km away in fact(!). Nestled in the beachside suburb of Mornington, they’re evidence that even the outskirts of suburbia is not immune to the burgeoning specialty coffee wave which has well and truly proliferated this city.
Founded on an avid coffee affection, Commonfolk was dreamed up by Sam Keck – a qualified marine zoologist bitten by the specialty coffee bug during his time studying in inner Melbourne, where it was not uncommon to find him dwelling at public cupping sessions at the likes of coffee savants Seven Seeds and Market Lane – a practice which would ground and develop his interest and fondness for the art of espresso.
Upon returning to his beachside suburban home on the Mornington Peninsula and unimpressed by the mediocrity of coffee on offer in his hometown – he felt it only fitting that he expose the locals to what they’d long been sheltered from, by showcasing the uniqueness of specialty coffee crafted from an inspiration by innovation, creativity and originality.
What he and his team did next was open the first roastery of it’s kind in the area in 2013 – converting an old limestone manufacturing warehouse in an unassuming industrial estate (where it is not unusual to be flanked by the likes of panel beaters and metal workers) into a coffee roastery and cafe. Together with General Manager Ben Hogan (former Aeronautical Engineer!), Director of Coffee Ryan Toleman, and Cafe Manager Erin Greenhill – the team has since made Commonfolk a destination for coffee-loving locals and bay area explorers who have openly embraced Commonfolk’s mantra of “accessible excellence” – charging themselves with offering uncommonly good (read: exceptional!) coffee to everyday coffee appreciators endearingly known as “Commonfolk” – void of any stuffiness and insufferable pretension sometimes associated with the specialty coffee scene.
On entering their roaster-cum-cafe, you are met with an overwhelming sense of community and collaboration in what can be likened to an “Artists Collective” – with warehouse space sublet as studios to local artists and makers which include a glass artist, silversmith, and visual artist – each who echo their shared ethos of hand-crafted creations. This has no doubt been a symbiotic source of creative stimulation, incidentally influencing and shaping the artistic inspirations of Commonfolk’s coffee prowess. This has since evolved to become quite the creative hub in town, with the adjoining “The Snake Hole” artist run gallery and studio space always open for inspiration.
When it comes to their craft – they’re obsessed. And this is clearly evident when speaking to Director of Coffee – Ryan (who also happens to be the resident Q-Grader!). He talks of their pursuit of exemplary coffee with great passion and awe-inspiring enthusiasm, and tells us of their heavy focus on feeding back into the industry and it’s neighbours. To this benevolent aspiration, they established the “The Cup that Counts” initiative – focussed on advancing sustainable specialty coffee in the developing world. This sees 20 cents from every cup of their coffee go towards supporting grassroots coffee farmers, which to date has raised over $30,000 assisting in the establishment of a coffee demonstration farm in Uganda which helps educate farmers to ensure the success of their plantations and livelihood. These funds are also invested into equipment, coffee seedlings, fertiliser, and training for thousands of local farmers in this region. But their altruistic aspirations do not end here – where the team have also set up Zukuka Coffee, which is a locally owned coffee company in Uganda that will be used to export and sell the farmers collective product to western markets – helping them cut out middlemen, ensuring they can realise the highest possible price for their efforts.
Their coffee is as inspiring as their ambitions and this truly shines through in their offerings for December.
You’re drinking Progress St, Commonfolk’s flagship blend – the namesake of the street of which their roastery calls home. It is fresh and vibrant, balancing crisp acidity and heavy caramel sweetness, with aromas of cherry and chocolate. A juicy round body leads to a silky lingering finish. A cup delicious enjoyed with or without milk.
Explorers, you’re experiencing the heaviness of the Italian inspired Godfather blend, which pays homage the roots of traditional Melbourne espresso – stemmed in the influence of the first Italian immigrants who brought over a piece of their home which we have so openly embraced. Heavy bodied coffees are mixed with other heavy bodied coffees to yield a blend so rich with sweet caramel and nutty aroma, cinnamon and spice flavours, low acidity, rich creamy round body and lingering sweet aftertaste. Enjoy this as a dense espresso or stovetop, with milk.
You’re in for a treat with the Konga Natural. This Ethiopian heirloom varietal is a go-to staple for Commonfolk, having previously bought multiple lots from this processing facility in Yirgacheffe – with this year’s crop fast becoming a favourite. Harnessing intense aromas of syrupy tinned peaches, black tea and fragrant jasmine, this cup delivers a zingy stone fruit acidity and long juicy aftertaste.
For Explorers, the Las Delicias is a stunning coffee from the Terrazu region of Costa Rica. This Catuai, Caturra varietal offers caramel aroma, complex mandarin like acidity and a heavy walnut like body. The team at Commonfolk reckon this is pretty fun!
What do you make of Commonfolk Coffee’s offerings this month?
Stay caffeinated over the silly season, and catch you in the new year!
Ash + Team No-BS.
Find out more about this month’s roaster at www.commonfolkcoffee.com.au
Fine establishments serving Commonfolk Coffee near you:
Commonfolk Coffee Cafe + Roastery, Mornington | commonfolkcoffee.com.au
Merchant & Maker, McCrae | merchantmaker.com.au
See commonfolkcoffee.com.au/wholesale/ for a full list.
Sign yourself or a buddy up for perpetual caffeination… we’re told we make for a not too shabby Christmas gift idea too #justsayin!