Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Bendigo Advertiser Article

Grata Espresso New Retail Space
EXPANDING: Zoe Ellis with fellow Custom Coffees employees. Picture: PETER WEAVING

Bean demand grows with coffee company
CUSTOM Coffees has undergone a major revamp.

The Strickland Road business has expanded its retail section at a cost of $100,000 as demand for its coffee grows. Director Andrew McDonald said the business was roasting about 1.5 tonnes of beans each week.“We took over the building next door,” he said.“We stripped it and turned it into a retail section with a tasting room for customers to sample different types of coffee.“There’s a lot of timber and glass work in the there and it looks pretty good.We’re pretty happy with it.” 
The company has recently added staff and now employs nine people, which Mr McDonald said could expand.“I think it will grow as we get busier,” he said. “The next thing we’re looking to do is buy an $80,000 bagging machine to free up staff. “That’s currently being done manually and it’s a bit onerous.“It will clear another staff member to do other things.”
Custom Coffees was started by Scott and Merrill McLeod in Bendigo’s CBD in 2000. The business has operated from Mayfair Park Estate for a decade and Mr McDonald said domestic sales had grown.“Our coffee goes all over Victoria, to Melbourne and interstate,” he said.“We have about 300 commercial customers in cafes, restaurants, clubs and bars.“They’re our main clients, but domestic sales – people off the street – are growing.”  Mr McDonald said internet sales had also increased.  “That puts pressure on the space in the factory for bagging and packaging,” he said. “Everything is getting busy and we need all the space we can get. “Coffee sales used to be slower in summer than winter, but people are now drinking it all year around. “It’s becoming more and more popular.” 

The latest renovations began about a year ago to free space in the company’s factory. 
Mr McDonald said the business had been the first coffee roaster to operate in regional Victoria.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Custom Coffees Golden Bean Medal again this year.

Grata Espresso Champion Decaf

2012 and now 2013. 
Second year in a row a medal for Custom Coffees Swiss Water decaf at the Golden Bean Awards. 

Grata Espresso Medals

We're getting quite a collection!

Read more about the Swiss Water Decaf process here.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Big Friday Roast!

Grata Espresso Roast Floor
About 1/3 through....

Part of todays roast...nearly 1000 kg's of it!! Phew!!. Public holiday Wednesday (Bendigo Cup Day) threw a spanner in the works! We normally roast two to three times a week getting through 1.4 - 1.6t a week, bout the same again to do on Monday!!  ARRGGHHHH!!!

Fortunately, beautiful industrial equipment to work with makes it relatively easy.
Incredibly consistent results from our 40kg Vittoria Inter Commercial Industrial Hot Air Roaster, it gets through a lot of roasting quickly. Love it.

Symphony Blend

Grata Espresso Roaster
40kg Roaster at Custom Coffees Bendigo

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

New Custom Coffees Retail Area

Grata Espresso HQ
Set to go. CCHQ in Mayfair Park Bendigo.

After a lot of planning and work over the past 12 months or so, finally our new Custom Coffees / Grata Espresso  / Nuova Caffe larger retail area is up and running. 

The domestic retail sector has always  formed a small but growing part of Custom Coffees overall customer base over the years, so together with the increasing demand online for our products, this expansion allows us to better cater for those growing markets and also importantly frees up valuable floor space in the factory area that we are fast running out of.  

Nine very dedicated CC staff work tirelessly to bring all our coffee partners around Australia the very best in Artisan Gourmet coffees, together with everything else our wholesale customers have come to expect and deliver  the superlative level of service they deserve.  

All at Custom Coffees look forward to seeing our domestic customers in our sparkling new retail area.  

Some teaser pictures below...


Grata Espresso San Remo Torino
San Remo Torino in the cupping / tasting room.

Grata Espresso San Remo Torino 2

Grata Espresso New HQ
Our first customer after opening the doors...Zoe serving.

Grata Espresso Display Wall
Part of the new display wall..not finished.

Grata Espresso Blend sampler
Small blend sampler.
This will be updated weekly cycling though all 22 blends with weekly specials as well.

Grata Espresso Glass Panels
Glass panels installed this morning...

Grata Espresso Door
Door through to roastery / factory area.

Vincent Van Gogh. 'Cafe Terrace At Night' 

Grata espresso glass panel

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Custom Coffees New Blend List

Grata Espresso New blend list page 1
Page 1

Grata espresso new blend list page 2
Page 2

Download the full brochure here.

As Artisan coffee roasters, we ensure our wholesale coffee beans are sourced from premium coffee growing regions in countries throughout the world. We produce a range of classic blends, organic, single origin, and Fairtrade coffee and offer gourmet roasted coffee across our three long-standing labels: Grata, Nuova, and our signature ‘Custom Coffees’ label.

Since 2000, Custom Coffees, Bendigo, has been providing wholesale coffee to cafes, restaurants and clubs, and our coffee bean blends and popular brands are prominent not only locally, but throughout Melbourne, Regional Victoria and Interstate. Now we’re offering our custom gourmet coffee for sale online, providing a convenient way to buy quality coffee beans online—whole or ground—and enjoy flavourful, artisan-roasted coffee at home.     

Free postage Australia Wide. Order online here.

Golden Plate Awards 2013 & Custom Coffees

     Congratulations to all the winners of Golden Plate Awards for 2013 in Bendigo.

Special mention to to Adam Nicoletti owner of Bendigo Corner Store Cafe for winning the inaugural Bendigo's 'Best Barista' category sponsored by Custom Coffees. 
Congratulations Nick! 

Custom Coffees are proud to be assoacied with and supply quality gourmet coffee to the following Award recipients:

Best Restaurant Relaxed Dining

Best Restaurant Casual Dining

Best Hotel

Best Restaurant Comtempory Dining (Highly Commended)

Best Licensed Cafe

Congratulations from all the staff at Custom Coffees. 

We appreciate your custom and your continued commitment to local businesses.



Thursday, 10 October 2013

New Grata Espresso Designs

custom coffees new bags

Our exiting new range of Grata Espresso Coffee Bags, Mugs, Cups and Take-Away cups.

It's been a long time coming. Anyone who's gone through the process of new branding will know that the design, organisation and implementation is the best part of a 12 month project. Getting it all together is no simple task.

 Custom Coffees are proud to showcase to you these great new product designs.

PS. New showroom is all coming together...think the new designs are good? 
Wait till you see the showroom.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Sam Macleod - 15 y.o. Barista Extraordinaire

By Sam Macleod. GPO Bendigo.
Put in a great effort in the CV Barista Championships yesterday in Bendigo as part of the Golden Plate Awards 2013

Got pipped at the post for a finals spot - next year Sam, plenty of time for a young talented barista to shine. 

Sam's effort today to get back on the horse..

Drop in and say hi, encouragement always welcome!! 

Well done Sam. CCHQ

Friday, 30 August 2013

Air Ambulance, Victorian Police Airwing & Grata Espresso

Bell 412 EP.    VH-VAA.   Bendigo.

Custom Coffees proudly supports and provides gourmet artisan coffee to the Head Quarters of both the Victorian Police Airwing and the Victorian Air Ambulance Service based at Essendon Airport as well as out lying bases in the Air Ambulance network across Victoria.

When I’m not at Custom Coffees roasting coffee, I'm employed as the Senior Pilot and Base Manager with CHC Helicopters on the Victorian Air Ambulance contract HEMS3 helicopter based at Bendigo. I must say it’s a pleasure to be associated with such a brilliant aero medical emergency service, the best equipped and highest qualified service in Australia. Five helicopters and four King Air aircraft cover the State providing an unparalleled level of accident and emergency response.

Grata Espresso Symphony Blend provides the caffeine fuel to empower these fine people and the work provided by these two Aviation emergency service institutions. I’m proud to be a part of it at both ends of the spectrum that I’m involved with.


Friday, 23 August 2013


Grata Espresso Bombora
30 KG Bombora in the cooler.

Bombora Blend.    Part of todays roasting schedule.

One of Custom Coffees more popular blends, roasting around 600kg of it per week.

Bombora is a deep, smooth Mocha style with a caramel aroma, and deep cherry/chocolate notes. Understated acidity, & a bittersweet crema fill the palate, while slightly untamed, wild coffee characters from hand picked African Arabicas, and a full roast make this blend highly satisfying.

9 Source coffees include: Brazil, Peru, Columbia, Ethiopia and India.

Grata Espresso

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Single Origin Coffees vs Blends. A Roasters perspective.

Grata Espresso Cup
The result of lots of R&D - a beautiful balanced coffee.

Definitions first:

Single Origin:  Is a coffee grown within a single known geographical origin. Sometimes this is a single farm, or a specific collection of beans from a single country. The name of the coffee is then usually the place it was grown to whatever degree available. EG: Brazil Alto Carmelo, Columbia Supremo, Ethiopian Harah.

Estate Coffees:  Are a specific type of single-origin coffee. They are generally grown on a single farm, which might range in size from a few acres to large plantations occupying many square miles, or a collection of farms which all process their coffee at the same mill. EG: PNG Sigri Estate, Tanzanian Peaberry Burka Estate. 

Micro-lot: Honing it down even more, these coffees are another type of specific single-origin coffee from a single field on a farm, a small range of altitude, or a specific day of harvest.

Grata Espresso Roaster
Karen roasting on our 40kg Vittoria hot air roaster.
From a roasters perspective, the roasting of single origin coffees is primarily used to determine the nuances with that particular location or coffee bean type - the flavours, the aromas, the acidity, the after taste and brightness and how, or if, it’s going to work in particular blend/s your contemplating, roasted in your style with your equipment to give the best consistent end results. Blending coffee is no different to a chef building a signature dish; it’s a coming together of all the ingredients, a synergy of taste and flavour. The elements must be balanced, must work well together and must have great smoothness and mouth feel to enhance the experience and expectations of the consumer. All the best Scotches of the World are blended for exactly the same reason. Some of these coffee blends can be quite complex, with nearly 40 origins on the floor at Custom Coffees - most unusual for a coffee roaster - Custom Coffees blends are an amalgamation of  4, 6, 9 up to 12 origins in some blends giving an unrivalled complexity, balance and sweetness to our coffees. We’re big advocates of utilizing  a small percentage of Robustas in many of our blends. It adds a certain bite only robusta can produce and a beautiful body and crema. Don’t underestimate what a robusta can bring to the table. With more than 20 different blends on offer, there’s a Custom Coffees blend that will satisfy the most fastidious coffee lover. However, the necessity to stock that many origins, the R&D that goes into developing each blend, to blend that many origins into our signature coffees and roast that many different blends is difficult and time consuming, but the superlative coffee that results is testament to our commitment to coffee perfection.

Grata Espresso R&D
On going R&D on our 10kg test batch roaster.

From a consumer’s point of view of course, all food, wine and indeed coffee preference is subjective. There are some outstanding single origin or estate coffees that can stand alone, but many can’t. And for the same reason as the roaster, many consumers are increasingly interested in the individual nuances of a particular region and or seasonal offering and its flavour profile. But of course, with essentially only one active ingredient, the results can be quite confronting and or disappointing.  Custom coffees only have two single origin offerings that we feel are good enough to put our brands on, a Fairtrade Organic PNG Purosa and a Fair Trade Organic East Timor Maubisse, preferring to concentrate on and develop the beautiful, sweet, well balanced and rounded blends we are known for. 

But it’s all subjective and comes down to individual taste, and at the end of the day, life really is too short to drink bad wine or bad coffee.