Meet the Roaster: Sample Coffee

Sample Coffee is a small Australian roastery that believes in the big impact that little things can have. Its passionate team is just as excited about coffee as a kid before a school trip, and this includes head roaster, John Kaye. Although, Kaye was not always a coffee enthusiast. 

“I actually grew up not that into coffee. I worked in a cafe during high school to save for my trip to Europe and one day the barista refused to make me any more hot chocolates and instead started making me flat whites, and that was the gateway. 

“When I returned from my trip I also went back to coffee to pay my way through university. But this time, I worked in more specialty coffee spaces and three years later I found I was more interested in the emerging and exciting world of specialty coffee than I was in anything my degree could offer me.” 

Kaye has developed a love for sharing coffee with people, whether they be other cafes or home enthusiasts, and the progression of the industry.

“There is still so much innovation and development in the coffee industry that there are always new varieties of coffee, processing styles and roasting approaches to share with people.”

The pandemic brought many aspects of our daily lives closer to home, with the temporary closure of all but essential services.

Subscriptions are not a new concept, but the increase in drinking coffee from home because cafes were closed led to home delivery of beans and now, ongoing subscriptions. 

Sample Coffee was ahead of the ball when they launched their Brew Crew subscription in 2015. 

“It was designed as an easy way for home-brewers to get a delicious coffee that suits their palate delivered right to their door, at a frequency of their choosing.”

Subscribers can choose from a variety of plans, from rotating origins, sizes and deliveries.

“The subscription service has been a great way to encourage home-brewers to try and experience coffees they may not have normally approached, to provide more information about the coffees they consume and to put a face to those who grow the coffee we love to drink. 

“Having such an established home delivery subscription came in handy with the continuous lockdowns over the last two years as well. 

“Very little was needed for us to be able to deal with the influx of online activity and demand for home delivery.”

Kaye believes the raw, green bean already contains all the quality that can possibly be extracted from a great roast. 

“The key to a great roast is to represent and express those qualities without overshadowing them with roast-y characteristics. A great roast should have a good balance of sweetness and acidity, have clarity of flavour and an overall balanced mouthfeel and make you want to come back for more!”

Kaye intends to keep roasting really consistent coffee and to grow slowly and organically. 

“We also want to reduce our impact on the environment and keep supporting our community in any way we can.”