When COVID lockdowns forced coffee shops to close last April, coffee aficionado and local Newcastle businesswoman Jessica Sullivan moved quickly so that Australian micro-roasters and beloved independent cafes that make our great coffee culture world famous wouldn’t become permanent COVID victims. Instinctively knowing that many of us would be craving and missing our morning barista ritual, Sullivan created a uniquely new coffee subscription business that would deliver a mixed collection of coffees in a gift box featuring a selection of roasters from a different Australian city every month, direct to the homes of coffee lovers. Australia’s first Home Baristas Club community was coined.
“I wanted Coffee Selectors to discover and celebrate Australia’s world-class coffee culture by introducing customers to the best independent coffee shops in a new city every month.” Sullivan also realised that coffee drinkers in Australia were fast becoming more sophisticated in their choice and coffee drinks – “We’ve come a long way from the country that created a flat white.” Australians are now curious to find out more about what they consume and we care about fair trade and sustainability – particularly important in the coffee industry. Similar to grapes in wine, each coffee bean has a story to tell based on its origins, how it’s harvested, roasted, and delivered. Our coffee culture is world-class and it’s our hero micro-roasters who we know very little about that make our industry so special.
Her instincts proved correct. One year later, Coffee Selectors have over 50 five-star reviews from coffee lovers and home baristas who rave about the quality and variety of coffees in every box and relish the element of surprise and excitement of discovering a new favourite bean. “We have a dedicated and growing community of coffee-loving Home Baristas from all over Australia who have to date, sipped and sampled forty-eight coffees in our coffee plan from both award-winning and lesser-known upcoming micro-roasters, and who also vote for their favourite beans with top-scoring coffees every quarter making it into the coveted Home Baristas Awarded box.”
With each monthly box of four delicious coffees, Home Baristas are developing their own coffee palate and preferences in a similar way that wine-lovers taste and learn about different varieties of grapes. Every Australian city has its own unique coffee culture which has been influenced by its history and geographical location – and which in turn has influenced its local taste preferences.
“This is an educational coffee journey that’s full of surprises, you never know what’s going to be the next great coffee you’ll discover each month and most importantly we’re doing our bit to support the important small businesses that make our Aussie coffee culture world-class,” said Domonique Wilcox of Melbourne.
While Melbourne and Sydney are the known main players of our coffee culture, the Home Baristas were all blown away by our Adelaide, Newcastle, Hobart and Perth City Choice Collections. And as affirmation that the Home Baristas know their stuff as aspiring coffee connoisseurs, the Perth coffee tasting bar and roastery Blacklist featured in Perth’s boxed collection, and then the Home Baristas Awarded Collection of its round – recently won champion at Australia’s Golden Bean, the world’s largest coffee competition.
When Sullivan launched the first City Collection’s box last April, she naturally focussed on four of her hometown’s top coffee roasters. So, it was only fitting that she revisited Newcastle’s buzzing coffee culture again for the anniversary box out this month which features four more of our local trailblazers.
Every quarter, after tasting twelve coffee beans and blends, the Home Baristas vote for their favourites based on appearance, aroma, and ultimately taste. The four highest-scoring coffees each quarter make it into the coveted Home Baristas Awarded Collection box which has become a best seller, especially for seasonal gifts. In the last year, Home Baristas have awarded gold medals to roasters and cafes from Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney.
“We are thoroughly enjoying our subscription to Coffee Selectors and count down to its monthly arrival. Sipping on premium coffee from a variety of Australian cities, picturing we are there while satisfying our coffee cravings. All beans received to date have been great and have lead us to reorder some direct from suppliers,” said Leonie in her product review about Coffee Selectors Home Baristas subscription.
Jessica tastes up to ten coffees a month from a different city across the country to choose the top four beans and blends that best represent that city’s coffee and café culture. Each 250gm bag comes with tasting notes that include the unique story behind each roast. She also curates themed collections twice a year for Christmas and Easter featuring roasters from all over Australia who can meet the brief. Australia’s micro-roasters quickly recognised Coffee Selectors as an industry partner who could promote their coffees and cafés beyond their postcode and give them nationwide exposure.
“We are super excited about Coffee Selectors Australia, and the way they curate a boxed collection of coffees each month and send out beans all over Australia to their subscribers. And we are so proud that our Shadow Boxer blend was awarded their people’s choice gold medal!” said Joe Molloy, Head Roaster at Rumble Coffee Roastery in Melbourne.
One of the best things about the Coffee Selectors Home Baristas Club subscription community is they have all been bought together by a love of coffee and a desire to learn more about our favourite morning tipple – they regularly share recipes in their Facebook Group Home Baristas Club and coffee locations on their travels, and their newfound connection directly with the roasters.