Photo by Martin Street Coffee
Martin Street Coffee
By Tehya Nicholas
Back in 2016, two guys called Simon decided to turn their passion for coffee and sustainability into a world-class roastery. Then they called it Martin Street Coffee Roastery.
Tucked in the Wombat State Forest within the Macedon Ranges, Martin Street was named one of regional Victoria’s best coffee roasters in 2019 - a huge win that set the tone for the humble roastery’s awesome trajectory within a competitive industry.
Unlike most coffee folk, the Simon’s started by investing in bespoke fluid bed air roasting machines to create full-bodied coffee without the bitterness or environmental impact. Each one uses 20% less energy and creates 90% less smoke during the roasting process than traditional methods, meaning you can enjoy a cup of their coffee with an easy conscience.
The team crafts every batch of coffee entirely by hand and in small numbers despite growing demand. The Gertrude blend has become a bit of a fan favourite, with its exquisite (and top-secret) blend of Colombian and Brazilian beans. The result is a smooth, full-flavoured cup that is a little nutty, sweet, with creamy caramel notes and rich cocoa aftertaste. We can see why cafes and customers are ordering it from far and wide.
But the craftsmanship doesn’t stop there. There’s a little blend called Hunky Dory that is low in caffeine, low in carbon mile and high in flavour. An Australian first, the coffee is single-estate, meaning the plants are grown, harvested, processed, decaffeinated and packed for shipping on a single farm by a single family. And the flavour? Smooth, milk chocolatey with notes of raw honey.
From bean selection to testing through to drinking, the process of coffee roasting is a labour of love, something both the Simon’s give in spades.
“Sourcing raw coffee beans is not too dissimilar to the way winemakers search for grapes. We must follow the seasons, weather patterns, harvest reports and historical elements of past years. We consider, ponder, take risks, choose samples, roast the samples and test them (known as cupping). The Head Roaster then spends long periods of time refining and perfecting the roasting profile to produce a perfectly roasted bean, so that the finished product delivers the flavour profile they believe is achievable… It's a slow, rich, rewarding process, all for the love of coffee,” says Simon.
Their home up in the mountains is perfect for a driveby if you’re in the Ballarat region. Housed in a 150 year-old former Gold Rush building with space for a product development lab, specialised storage, training facilities and an event space, it isn’t open to the public but you can collect your online orders and ogle at the architecture.
Coffee that doesn’t compromise on quality despite being crafted with consideration for our planet is an impressive achievement. Considering they’re only four years old, we here at Co-Lab can’t wait to see what comes next.