We chat to Monastery head roaster Adam Marley about this months Coffee Scout selection.
How long have you been roasting at Monastery and how did it all start?
5 years. I finished my degree but didnt want to work in an office. I had recently discovered the immense difficulties but corresponding potential rewards of meticulously sourcing and roasting coffee – and I decided that was more my path. The socioeconomic issues inherent in the supply chain also drew my interest as it tied-in with what I studied and holds a personal significance for me.
What is your roasting process?
For a new coffee well start with the profile of a previous coffee of similar provenance/specification and work from there – see how it behaves in the roaster (thank you Cropster!) – cup (blind), roast again, cup again, roast again etc. Id say until were happy but really were never truly satisfied!
What are your goals for the roastery?
To connect the end consumer with producer (emotionally if not literally) – simultaneously bringing to their attention the intricacies of the supply chain and hopefully encouraging them to think more carefully about their future purchase decisions.
What makes you unique?
Amazing flavour for us isnt the primary focus – instead, it is a medium we harness to connect with the consumer – these flavours wouldnt exist without the hard work of many hands, premiums paid for quality, long-term, mutually beneficial relationships and often a good chunk of luck!
Why are you passionate about the coffee industry?
We love flavour and we care about people – coffee (well, SOME coffee) combines the two seamlessly – it doesnt get much more open-and-shut than that really!
What are the values of the roastery?
To bring the consumer a better experience and the producer a better, more sustainable quality of life through the trade, roasting and sale of coffee. We never settle, either in the quality of our roasting or the transparency and equitability of the trade we participate in.
And whats the story behind this months blend?
Flavour wise we love this coffee because whilst being naturally processed it is much cleaner and (we feel) more balanced than a more typical natural Ethiopian flavour profile – think somewhere between a washed and a natural – which brings with it more clarity and complexity. Sourcing wise I think this is best captured by Melbourne Coffee Merchants (who responsibly sourced this single-estate lot): Gidey is known for his passion and integrity within the local Limu Kossa community and is well loved. Many call him Abba Ollie (the one who uplifts). He cares deeply about coffee quality and community development and works hard to share his knowledge and better quality varieties to surrounding farmers, in order to help them improve their quality and get access to better prices. His farm is also an excellent example of agroforestry, with coffee growing as close to wild as commercially possible.
You can find Monastery’s coffee in February’s Coffee Scout subscription box.