Sourcing coffee from Colombia isn’t as simple as just placing an order when stocks are low. The country yields two main coffee crops per year, so one must be ready to capitalise or risk missing out for six months. Andres Felipe Rodriguez knows all about the delicate timing involved in sourcing these beans. As operator of Crop Del Monte – an importer and wholesaler of direct trade Colombian-grown green coffee beans – Andres is always prepared to capitalise on the twice-yearly cycle but, as you can expect, 2020 has provided some unique challenges. Around the same time the world slowed down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Andres had just got his hands on a new shipment of beans and had secured a new distribution and roasting centre on Overend Street in East Brisbane. Although Crop Del Monte continued to distribute beans to its Brisbane clientele during this period, many cafes in the immediate area had temporarily shut thanks to the lockdown. With a surplus of beans sitting on his warehouse shelves, Andres decided to fill the gap by opening a coffee joint under his own micro-roasting brand Cafetal Coffee Roasters, offering a place for folks to get their fix and learn about the intricacies of Colombian-grown coffee. The coffee shop and retail space opened in May, slinging takeaway orders from a newly installed coffee bar equipped with some serious brewing gear. In good news for those that love the simple pleasure of lingering over a cup, the recent easing of restrictions means folks can now perch on some sturdy timber furnishings and relax amongst the beans and roasting apparatus.
Up until this point, Cafetal (Spanish for coffee plantation) had only made brief appearances around Brisbane, with most of its operations thus far focusing on barista training, coffee education sessions and small-batch roasting. While Andres is keen to continue the educational aspect of the brand at the East Brisbane headquarters, he is eager to showcase the true depth of Colombian coffee to a wider audience by pouring an expanded range of brews. Cafetal’s menu includes milk, black, espresso, iced, V60 filter and cold-brew options, with the roaster’s signature Overend blend (a sweet-yet-balanced mix with notes of caramel, red fruits and dark chocolate) the go-to option for black or milk-based orders. A clutch of single origins are also available (including certified-organic and decaf varieties), as well as Cafetal’s award-winning Exotica Series. Working directly with coffee farmers, Andres is able to craft limited amounts of custom single origins that have undergone extended fermentation periods, heightening levels of sweetness, acidity or any other quality Andres is keen to enhance. Non-coffee drinkers can sip on hot chocolate and chai from Grounded Pleasures, while the coming months will see pastries and juices added to the offering. Folks who seek to expand their knowledge base are encouraged to come in for a chat, while personalised barista courses (we’re talking one or two students at a time) and cupping classes will continue to be held on site.
Cafetal Coffee Roasters is now open. You can find operating hours and contact details over in the Stumble Guide.