Has your September bag of goodness arrived yet? If not, you're in for a real treat. This month's Feature Roaster is none other than Omar & The Marvellous Coffee Bird from Gardenvale, Victoria. This is one exceptional coffee experience. I've worked closely with Andy Gelman and his team to select three perfect roast types for our customers. White is for the espresso drinkers who love to enjoy a milk based coffee, medium is for filter brewers who also love to knock their daily cuppa back with some milk, or for the espresso drinkers who love a bold cup straight up. And light is for the filter brewers who enjoy their brew without any additions.
Each roast is flavourful, and really leans into the unique flavours of the origins they hail from. Brazil or Kenya or PNG.
I asked Andy to share a few insights into his journey working with coffee. Andy was first introduced to coffee some 20 years ago working in the hospitality trade. Andy started his career in hospitality and loved making coffee and cocktails. He ended up pursuing a career in coffee, as the hours were friendlier than a life behind bars.... not those kind of bars... the boozy types.
Andy shares the same approach to his daily brew as I do; "I love it all the ways! Espresso in the morning if I'm at work, then filter throughout the day."
I asked Andy what he loves most about working with coffee. "It's not what I do, it's who I do it with. I have a great team of staff around me and Iove coming to work with them. I also love drinking delicious coffee, so that helps!"
And its a small but mighty team at Omar & The Marvellous Coffee Bird. They have the cafe as well as the premises next door (aptly called Next Door) where they have coffee training sessions for aspiring baristas or home brewers looking to improve their daily brews at home.
When asked what set's his roastery apart from others, Andy says, "We're small, we've been doing it for a long time and we're so not cool! We opened in 2010, when specialty coffee was just kicking off. Our mission statement at that time was "To get people excited about coffee.". Now people are too excited about coffee and we feel it's our role to make coffee approachable, achievable and enjoyable."
You won't get intimidated by any wanky coffee jargon here. Its all just simply enjoying coffee with mates, whichever way you like it.
When the batch of beans arrived on my door, I was a few days away from bundling and shipping out my boxes and for a full week my house held the most amazing aroma of Andy's roasts. I was also super happy to see that their coffee bag packaging is compostable. Another sign, Omar & The Marvellous Coffee Bird
And what about that name?
Well this is from the Fable of Omar - a Dervish cast out of the Arabian port of Mocha for running off with the KIng's Daughter... His exile was lifted after he brought coffee back to the kingdom which was said to have been gifted to him by an enigmatic bird, straight from a tree. He turned the cherries into a drink and shared its refreshing and reviving qualities which was seen to be the tonic to remedy all sorts of conditions.
What can you expect from Andy's coffees?
And there is loads going on to help keep this business both ethically and environmentally sustainable. Check out all the work they're doing to ensure fair trade, and eco-friendly practices on their own blog here.
Finally, I asked Andy to share with me the best cup of coffee he's ever had, and what made it special "
Images supplied by Roaster.