Roasters make a rumble in Aussie coffee

31st March 2021 | Eativity editors

Widely known for responsibly-sourced, knockout coffee blends and world-class single origins, Rumble Coffee Roasters has long been causing a rumble among Melbourne’s coffee lovers. Previously operating solely as wholesalers from the company’s Kensington roastery, the team is now opening a new espresso bar on the roastery premises, which will allow the public to have direct access to the brand and its beans.

Established in 2014, Rumble Coffee Roasters began as a passion project for friends and long-time business partners Matt Hampton and Joe Molloy. Originally from New Zealand, the two have spent decades running award-winning cafes and espresso bars, including Octane Espresso and The Truffala Seed. Both have developed profound, lifelong passions for hospitality and specialty coffee, and felt that there was so much more that coffee roasters could, and should, be doing to support both the cafes they sold their coffee to and the producers and farmers from whom they purchase their beans. So, Rumble Coffee Roasters was born with a vision to “source consciously, trade wholeheartedly, do business honestly, roast with passion and support others to do the same”.

Third world coffee farmers often receive as little as 10 percent of the eventual retail price.

Quality coffee at at a fair price

Since then, Rumble has achieved major successes, including the launch of The Transparency Project in 2018, an initiative which reflects Rumble’s ongoing commitment to improve the sustainability and longevity of the specialty coffee industry.

The project is about placing real value on the labour of those producing the coffees we all love and making sustainable and ethical business decisions. A key pillar of the project is publishing real pricing data. In fact, Rumble was the first roaster in Australia to publish data for all its coffees. By sharing this information with the supply chain, consumers have an increased awareness of the cost of coffee production, helping even the smallest of operations fetch fairer prices for their products.

If growers continue earning less than the cost of production, they’ll be forced to grow different crops. In fact, this is already happening in places like Colombia where, on average, farmers need to be paid around USD$1.76 per pound (AUD$5.45 per kilo), around 50 percent more than they receive now, in order for coffee production to offer them the same income as they would receive for growing coca for cocaine production.

As well as increasing transparency, Rumble also wants to create cleaner, greener coffee.

Reducing coffee’s footprint

As part of Rumble’s focus on sustainability within the coffee industry, the business also places a heavy emphasis on making choices that minimise their environmental impact, including using recyclable and reusable packaging, undertaking responsible waste management and encouraging community awareness and involvement.

A high priority is placed on communication with customers, both wholesale and retail, and encouraging them to buy their coffee in tubs (rather than bags), to return used coffee bags to the roaster for recycling or to bring their own coffee containers. With the arrival of their new Loring roaster, Rumble is also proud to be able to produce 83 percent less C02 than a traditional roaster/afterburner set-up, while increasing roasting capacity.

The new Rumble espresso bar aims to educate consumers about quality, sustainable coffee.

Spreading the word, a cup at a time

Now, the Rumble story has come back full circle with the creation of an espresso bar that’s open to the public. Located in front of the roastery, Melbourne coffee enthusiasts will be able to experience a rotating selection of single origins, a filter coffee of the week served in whichever style desired, and various roast styles and brew methods.

The espresso bar will also be used for training, masterclasses, cupping sessions and as a space to share Rumble’s message of transparency and sustainability in specialty coffee.

Great coffee, ethically sourced: Rumble’s Matt Hampton and Joe Molloy.

The aim is that consumers can come in and do a cupping, buy coffee and take-home products, as well as participate in walkthroughs and masterclasses on the same site. The team hopes that by encouraging consumers to interact directly with the brand and their coffee, they’ll better understand all the facets of coffee production, including the true value of labour in the industry. They want to encourage consumers to be aware of where their coffee comes from, how much it costs the producer and roastery and to always buy coffee from small/independent local businesses who believe in ethical sourcing.

Rumble Coffee Roasters has always been about two things – great coffee and establishing personal, transparent relationships. Having focused on their producers, fellow industry professionals and wholesale customers for the past six years, Hampton and Molloy see the new espresso bar as a huge opportunity to share the Rumble experience directly with consumers. So, if you’re after world-class, ethically-sourced and deliciously consistent coffee made by a passionate team, head to the Rumble roastery for a brew from the best.

Rumble Coffee Roasters is located at 8 Thompson Street, Kensington. To find out more, head to rumblecoffee.com.au

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