Rumble Coffee Roasters are pushing for a sustainable and ethical specialty coffee industry
07.09.2020

Rumble Coffee Roasters are pushing for a sustainable and ethical specialty coffee industry

In a city brimming with world-class coffee, Rumble Coffee Roasters still manage to stand out.

Based in Melbourne’s west, Rumble Coffee Roasters was born out of a passion for knock-out coffee. Not only are the folks at Rumble dedicated to providing world-class single origins and phenomenal blends to Australian coffee fanatics, but they’ve made it their mission to support the sustainability and longevity of the specialty coffee industry through a commitment to total transparency and by ensuring all their beans are ethically-sourced.

We caught up with Rumble director Matt Hampton to hear about their good work, what sets their beans and business apart and how they’re fairing amidst the current climate.

Beat: How have you been travelling? What is it like to run a coffee business during these crazy times?

Matt Hampton: It is certainly crazy times! We’ve been fortunate that most people see coffee as a bit of an essential. Many of the cafes we work with have continued to operate – albeit in a reduced capacity – and we’ve had the support of an amazing local and online community who have been buying beans from us. We’re very thankful. For others in the coffee supply chain – producers and cafes especially – it’s definitely been a harder road. 

Beat: Tell us a bit about the Rumble story. What was the initial inspiration behind the business? 

Hampton: The Rumble directors and founders – Joe, Stan and I – all had a long history in hospitality. We were all in love with speciality coffee and had run cafes and espresso bars, and in doing so had seen an opportunity for a roaster who was as passionate about their wholesale customers/cafe customers as they were about their coffees and the people who produced them. 

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.

Beat: With a company built on transparency, approachability and consistency, you guys occupy your own space in the coffee scene. What separates Rumble Coffee from other Melbourne roasters? 

Hampton: That’s a hard one to answer. The Melbourne coffee scene is pretty phenomenal, even on the world stage. Our Transparency Project is definitely something we are doing differently to others, and this project has led us to develop some really strong direct relationships with incredible producers, which means we have access to pretty amazing coffees. We are also highly committed to consistency and supporting our cafes – not to say others aren’t – but it’s something we really pride ourselves on. 

Beat: Can you tell us a bit more about Rumble’s Transparency Project?

Hampton: The Transparency Project is about us doing what we can as a business to help the sustainability and longevity of the specialty coffee industry. It’s about placing real value on the labour of those producing the coffees we all love and making sustainable and ethical business decisions wherever we can. It’s a long term project, which we are learning from and adapting along the way. 

A key element of the project is that we share all our pricing data – we were the first Australian roaster to do this – in an aim to increase the awareness of the prices paid for coffee. This can help even the smallest of operations fetch fairer prices for their product. More profits mean fairer wages for workers and continued investment in infrastructure and education. 

Beat: Why is it so important that Rumble Coffee is ethically sourced? 

Hampton: If producers aren’t paid what they need to benefit their families and communities, the ‘specialty coffee’ industry just isn’t sustainable. If growers continue earning less than the cost of production, they’ll be forced to grow different crops. In fact, stuff like 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 per cent more than they receive now, in order for coffee production to offer the same income as they would for growing coca for cocaine production.

Beat: Tell us more about your coffee range. What are some of your premier blends?

Hampton: It’s growing! We have a rotating selection of Singles from around the world, filter and espresso roast – in fact, we have a really special Geisha on at the moment for Filter: the Colombia Tierra Linda, which won’t be around for long, so it’s definitely worth a try. And our three espresso blends – Shadow Boxer, Haymaker and Street Fighter – are always available. All crackers black or with milk, they’ve each been developed with a unique flavour profile to suit varied tastes. 

Beat: And what about your coffee delivery service. How can one get their hands on your beans?

Hampton: We can ship it pretty much wherever you are! We are roasting, packing and shipping Monday to Friday. We also have a free ‘locals’ delivery service, with sweet discounts and special offers – available for phone orders .

It’s also worth checking out our subscriptions. They’re super flexible, you just tell us the kind of coffee you like and how often you want it, and we do the rest.

Shop online and find out more about Rumble Coffee on their website

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