We chat with Blume Coffee head honcho, Angus Gibbs, about what makes his business tick.
Blume Coffee has become a go-to coffee roaster in Melbourne and live by a simple approach: “Make honest, delicious and curious coffee.” We caught up with Angus Gibbs, the founder of Blume Coffee to see what’s up.
Beat: Give us a bit of the backstory to your business.
Angus Gibbs: After leaving the kitchen, I got a job making coffee full time and quickly realised that you could theoretically raise the standards of living in producing (read, developing) countries by raising quality of product in first world countries… all while still being in the hospitality industry that I loved. After working as a barista, trainer and consumer educator, and spending time in London and Sri Lanka, I hatched a plan to start a roastery anywhere but Melbourne. I failed at that part yet Blume was born.
The vision was to create a coffee company that left things better than they found them whilst removing some of the pretentious aspects and making it more accessible. We are now based in Abbotsford where we run the whole operation out of an old garage with a bunch of fun things attached.
Beat: Have you noticed any notable shifts in the way people are drinking coffee or the amount of coffee they are drinking?
AG: People are definitely drinking a lot more coffee at home, which I am ecstatic about. There is a really lovely ritual in trying to perfect your morning cup, which creates a closer connection to the coffee itself. You can figure out what you like and why, making future purchasing easier, less intimidating and ultimately more rewarding. Economically, it’s exciting too. In a very tiny nutshell: the more money we spend, the more the farmer can earn, the more sustainable the supply chain is. All whilst price per cup goes down for the consumer.
Beat: Tell us a bit about the coffee bean creation process? Why is it so important that your beans are made in-house?
AG: Roasting in house is much more nuanced than the idea of simply having your own coffee brand. First off, it allows complete control of the product once we receive the raw green coffee. Secondly, it allows choices as to what that raw product is. We can make choices that affect not only the quality and aesthetic of the final product but to be able to purchase with an ethic in mind.
For us, it is to showcase coffees that speak not only of the place the coffee has been grown but also the traditions, history and future of where it came from. That means working with importers and exporters that have a vested interest in a sustainable future for all aspects of the supply chain and the livelihoods of the people that produce it.
Beat: What separates your coffee beans from your Melbourne competition?
AG: I see the Melbourne and international industry as peers more than I do competition. As the industry grows and progresses I believe that the rising tide can lift all ships if we behave in fair and sustainable practices as a whole.
I think what differentiates us in the Melbourne scene is a very simple idea. We try to source and roast coffees that tell the story of how the coffee came to be whilst remaining accessible and, hopefully, not too intimidating.
Beat: For someone who is not clued into the intricacies of a coffee bean, what does one need to look for when choosing their beans either when making coffee from home or when drinking out?
AG: Ask questions! Coffee people are usually obsessed with what they do. They will chew your whole ear off if you let them. Explain what you want to do with it and what kind of flavours you expect from your coffee. If you’re not sure, let them guide you. They know what they are doing. If your local roaster or barista can’t help you along the ride or you end up going home with the feeling you bought what they like, not what you like, find another roaster or cafe. There are heaps of excited people ready to help you.
Beat: Tell us a bit about your coffee delivery service. How can one get their hands on your beans?
AG: We run a webstore. I mean 2020 didn’t kill the internet – at least not yet. We also run a coffee bar out the front of our Abbotsford HQ, open Wednesday to Saturday from 8am – 2pm where we sell retail beans as well. We pop up around Melbourne in various locations on and off throughout the year, including Collingwood’s Frankie’s Tortas & Tacos, Leonards Pizza Palace in Carlton and Little Tienda in Thornbury. You can find us at least four other locations at times throughout the year.
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