HOW IT ALL STARTED
Believe it or not, I hated coffee.
I hated the taste and couldn’t understand people’s obsession with it. That all changed when I moved to Sydney at 17 and learned the Culinary Art of Coffee by David Schomer. This revolutionary new method of making coffee had only been introduced in 1996 and my brother Paul was one of only about 3 cafe owners in Sydney who was using this style. He is one of two people who I owe so much for teaching me about specialty coffee.
I still remember scoffing at him when he suggested I’d be addicted to coffee in no time.
Sure enough, the coffee tasted like nothing I’d ever experienced. The coffee had a sweetness to it without needing to add sugar. The addiction soon became very real and since then, I have made it a personal mission to help educate others about the sweetness of this amazingly complex beverage.
NIDA AND MORE CAFES
My brother’s cafe was across the road from NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts) and I struck up some genuine friendships with the students and teachers there and before long I was asked to put a business proposal together for a cafe to support their onsite staff and students. I was only 18, what did I know about running a business? I said yes anyway and my proposal was accepted.
Luckily enough this is when I met Mars, an artisan roaster who had recently left a Master Roasting position with a global coffee company. He is the second person I owe so much to for helping me get started and teaching me about coffee. We struck up a business partnership that has lasted ever since and we’re now the closest of friends. He is an amazing roaster and understands the delicate nuances that coffee can bring to each cup. If you want to learn more about Mars, read here.
After I started NIDA cafe I knew that Coffee was not just a hobby anymore, but a career of passion. I opened up other cafes around Sydney which kept me quite busy for a while.
However, cafes can only service a local crowd and whilst I could educate people around me, I knew that many other people all around Australia were not getting the same education and experience I was. I knew I had to think broader than just cafes.
COFFEE BEANS DELIVERED
Moving online was an easy decision. It would allow me to reach Australia and the globe – not just with coffee, but also with coffee education. Home coffee machines were becoming better and cheaper to buy and this created a greater need for coffee beans and by setting up an online store we were able to help people get their coffee quickly and freshly.
We created a quiz to help people decide on the sort of coffee they might like and at the same time educate home baristas about the coffees and how some work better with different brewing techniques.
THE FUTURE OF COFFEE
Thinking back to the days when I hated coffee seems so foreign now, but I know that had I not been properly educated about coffee, I would still, to this day, think that coffee needed to be drowned in 6 teaspoons of sugar just to make it palatable. Now I can help bring the best coffees from artisan roasters all over Australia and with tips on how to make better coffee, home baristas can easily create great, cafe quality coffee in their own kitchens.
Of course, coffee wouldn’t even exist without all the exceptionally hard work and dedication of the Farmers in each country. I am committed to giving back to the coffee producers, helping push forward with science to help create a sustainable coffee future for all the generations to come.
My focus is now on helping others understand more about coffee, sourcing sustainable and direct trade coffees and bringing people around the world closer together through coffee.
– Ryd Jeavons