Situated in Wangara around 20 Minutes North of Perth CBD is Brew Coffee Roasters. To us BrewCR are a staple brand, even a pioneer of the Perth coffee scene. Supplying many cafes and restaurants around Western Australia since 2006, Brew have amassed a loyal fan base with good reason. This month we’re being treated to an award winning blend and a single origin filter from Papua New Guinea. This is our first featured coffee from PNG and we are super excited to share it with our subscribers!
We caught up with Peter Barile, the owner of Brew Coffee Roasters. to get some info on what makes Brew coffee well, brew coffee! ☕️
I first got into coffee by accident. My father ran Karrinyup fruit and veg shop and I was tasked with supplying cafés and restaurants in the northern suburbs. I made friends with one of the businesses we supplied and they planted the idea for me to start a café. We opened Reuben's Café in the city in 1994 when I was 25 and I haven't looked back.
Our family owned and ran Brew-Ha café in Subiaco for 10 years. Brew-Ha was a unique challenge due to the very high output; it was common on a cold Saturday morning to have a line out the door and around the corner. Our strategy was to have an efficient paperless process, to train our staff how to work on many parallel orders while delivering high quality, and to remember every regular customer's name and order. The result: strong customer loyalty, consistently high quality and a wait time of only 5 minutes regardless of the queue length.
At the back of the bustling café we had a small roaster that supplied all the blends to the café. When people started asking to use our beans in their own café we knew we were onto something. After selling Brew-Ha we decided to build up the wholesale roasting business and that's when we opened the BrewCR roasting facility and café. We recently extended Brew to include a coffee machine showroom and barista training centre.
Our goal is to provide an end-to-end service and the highest quality coffee beans to the café's and hospitality businesses of WA.
The first principle of roasting is that you have to start with high quality green beans. Our accredited Q-Grader is a specialist in selecting the finest beans at origin. But to ensure we always get the best beans over the long term we've really focussed on building relationships with our farmers. Donations to green bean farmers and their communities is one way we give back.
We have a state-of-the-art Brambati roaster plus an old-school Samiac drum roaster. We've automated as much as possible in roasting from the bean recipes and roast timings right through to the bag packing. This is how we make sure we deliver consistently and without mistakes at high volume.
I’m a believer in not letting anything go to waste. We recycle all our husk and coffee grinds with Rich Grow, recycle all our cardboard boxes and use only biodegradable cups in our store.
Starting your first Café?
Cafés are a lot of work and there's a lot that can go wrong. We’ve seen it all so I thought I’d provide a couple of tips to those out there taking the leap.
A successful café needs to have quality, consistency, speed and customer service. None of these can be traded off, you really need to be firing on all cylinders.
Location is key. Look for a central community location, preferably with all the usual shops and parking nearby.
Over capitalising is a common mistake. Work closely with your accountant, bank and solicitor for your lease. Do the research and put together a cash flow projection to show your expected turnover. Aim for a minimum of 20% return.
Find ways to build rapport with your regular customers. A simple way is just to remember their name and order. Too many café's ask people their name and order over and over again despite being a regular. You can also give a free coffee once in a while to show a little appreciation to customers for their support.
Coffee during COVID
COVID was tough for all people and businesses. Café’s caught a break by not being required to close during COVID but it was tough nonetheless.
As a supplier we felt responsibility to help our customers where we could. We had the basics in place: we were stocked up in case our supply chain slowed down.
We actively touched base with every customer and supported them as best we could. I sent emails out with some information on how we’re weathering the storm and some tips that I hope helped in some small way. I personally made myself available to every customer if they felt the need to call.
What we found was the local community got right behind us. I know some café's experienced issues with customers refusing to follow the COVID restrictions but we didn’t experience that in our café. Our community really got on board and supported us the whole time and we’re very grateful.
Espresso - Alto
Origins - Colombia - Hulia, and Brazil - Labareda
MASL - 1250-1750
Varietal - Brazil, Catuai - Colombia, Caturra
Process - Brazil, natural - Colombia, washed
Tasting notes - Orange, apricot and smooth milk chocolate
Alto won the Golden Bean 2019 Bronze Medal in the Espresso category. Alto is a balanced coffee blend with delicate Chocolate notes and a sweet smooth finish. The beans originate from Colombia, Supremo Huila and Brazil, Labareda. We have built a strong relationship with both farms supplying these quality Beans. In particular Minas hill and the Labareda farm.
It has been an incredible to work with Minas Hill who are an independent green bean supplier, continually visiting and attending cupping sessions with us here at our facility. It is important for us to develop these relationships so we have a deeper understanding and knowledge of the product and the direct impact we have with communities, producers and farmers and the environment.
Thanks so much to James and Peter from BrewCR for all their help this month! Both roasts are available from our gift store until the end of the month.