In the heart of Bunjalung Country in Burleigh Waters, Queensland, Whyld Coffee and Connections stands as a testament to the power of passion, community and of course, exceptional coffee. Behind the scenes, you'll find Rachel-May Follan, the Owner, Roaster, and Jill of all trades at Whyld Coffee and Connections.
Rachel's journey into the world of coffee began over 15 years ago when she stepped into the role of a barista during high school work experience. From those early days, her love for coffee has only deepened, shaping her professional path. "Coffee & Connections" became her mantra, a passion she has never wavered from.
"I never looked back from there! I used to love when people would ask me what I was studying towards or what goals I had... The answer then is the same as the answer now: 'Coffee & Connections,'" Rachel reminisces.
The Heartbeat of Whyld
For Rachel, it's not just about crafting the perfect cup; it's also about a deeper understanding of where the beans have come from and how that final cup brings people together. "It always comes back to Coffee & Connections - the people, their stories, their coffee journeys that I am able to be a small part of... that's something special!" she shares.
Connecting not only with customers but also with the farmers who cultivate the beans is a core aspect of Whyld's identity. Rachel feels a responsibility to honour the hard work of the farmers and strives to showcase their stories and passions through every cup.
Whyld Coffee & Connections sources 100% Certified Organic Beans from regions like Colombia, Ethiopia, Brazil, Papua New Guinea, and Honduras. The commitment to organic and fair trade practices is evident, providing better working conditions for farmers and higher wages to support their families.
The roastery operates as a ghost operation out of Profile Coffee Collab, a collaborative coffee space & roastery. This unique arrangement allows Rachel to be constantly surrounded by an incredible coffee community, all striving for something different through the power of a good brew.
The roasting process, Rachel shares, becomes a delicate dance once you understand the nuances of different origins and varietals. However, the most challenging part, she notes, is the self-imposed pressure to pay homage to the hard work of the farmers.
Rachel's No.1 tip for home baristas is simple yet profound: "Be patient with yourself! Give yourself a little grace when you're brewing. Slow it down, enjoy the process, and that translates to enjoying the coffee."
As 2024 approaches, Rachel envisions a new venue for Whyld, a purpose-built space that welcomes people into an environment designed for good times and good coffees. Reflecting on 2023, a year of small business ups and downs, she expresses a commitment to learning, growing, and finding joy in the journey.
Sustainability at Whyld
Whyld Coffee & Connections takes sustainability seriously. They use only 100% Certified Organic, Fairtrade coffee, ensuring better working conditions for farmers. Locally delivered in 5kg aluminum tins, they avoid single-use plastics, and any excess coffee is repurposed by partnering with local brands for beauty scrubs, work farms, composting, and more.
The Best Cup Ever
Rachel's fondest coffee memory takes her to a tiny coffee stall in the Philippines. A beautiful elderly lady made her a robust and strong Barako coffee, and what made it special was not just the brew but the two-hour conversation they had, facilitated by Google Translate. It's a memory that encapsulates the essence of a perfect coffee experience – connection, warmth, and a shared love for the brew.
In the rich tapestry of Whyld Coffee and Connections, Rachel Follan weaves a story of passion, connection, and a commitment to making every cup count. As you savour the delicate and smooth flavours of Whyld coffee, remember that behind each brew is a woman who found her purpose in the magical dance of Coffee & Connections.
Oh and I highly recommend you checking out Whyld's merch which features their cheeky mascot, Kev the Kookaburra. Super fun. Take a peek here.
And if you like what you see, Rachel is holding a black friday sale - 50% off the entire website for 24hrs only use the code; 'WHYLDFRIDAY'