Contraband Coffee Traders began with Chris Legge’s fascination with coffee. He became completely enchanted with the roasting process after being exposed to it through helping set up other espresso bars and coffee roasteries in Melbourne. Being able to create and highlight particular characteristics from different coffees inspired Chris to start his own coffee roasting business where he could experiment with unique coffees from across the globe to bring their distinctive flavours to cafe’s all over Melbourne.
‘Contraband began as a passion project in my garage at home, roasting between a 250g domestic roaster and a 10kg Has Garanti which was running off a barbecue gas bottle!’ In 2014 Chris and his wife Jess decided it was the right time to move into a slightly more legitimate spot so they founded Newtown Specialty Coffee & Roastery in Fitzroy, Melbourne and began roasting in the back room of the cafe.
The most important thing to Contraband is making the best tasting coffee they possibly can, always ensuring the freshest and most delicious beans by switching out their entire suite every 6-7 months, learning as much as they possibly can about coffee whether it be to do with the roasting process or the beans themselves. The team are always experimenting with new techniques to push themselves to create the best roast and brew they can.
‘I do not believe in a stagnant, concrete approach to any part of the coffee making process. Instead, we aim to always experiment and learn, both within our roastery and from others, in order to bring the most out of every coffee we create.’
The long term goal for Contraband Coffee Traders is to be able to trade directly with the communities at origin from who they buy their coffee from. ‘I think we are incredibly lucky in Australia to be able to carve a living out of something we love, and direct trade relationships will give us the opportunity to give back to the less fortunate communities that make our living possible.’
This week on the Beanhunter Coffee Club you will be drinking:
The Harlequin (Espresso blend):
Origins: Ethiopia Limou Gera (washed), Costa Rica Dota Tarrazu (semi-washed), Nicaragua Cafe Diamond Microlot (washed).
Aroma: floral with hint of raspberries
Tasting notes: bright citrus acidity, stewed apricots, milk chocolate and sticky toffee finish.
Mexico San Cristobal (Filter single origin):
Aroma: Stonefruit & Malt
Tasting notes: Crazy sweet and apricots, berries & malt
Don’t forget to check out Newtown Specialty Coffee & Rostery, 180 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, VIC, 3065.
We hope you enjoy this week’s cup. The Beanhunter Coffee Club is the best way to discover amazing coffee – join today! www.beanhunter.com/coffeeclub.