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Year of Local – Meet the Producers

by Maple Street Co-op

Run by the community for the community, the Maple Street Co-op supplies local, organic, wholesome and ethical products. It is an integral part of the heart of Maleny and, as part of the Co-op’s ‘Year of Local’ focus, we highlight some of the local producers, farmers, suppliers and growers whose food and drink can be found in this homely store.

The making of Montville Coffee

Born out of a family history of farming in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland for almost a century, the Barnett family started Montville Coffee in 2000 with the aim of learning about how business can be financially and environmentally sustainable while positively contributing to society.

As the first certified Fairtrade Organic coffee roaster in Queensland, Montville Coffee has continued to champion the benefits to the supply chain of supporting these third-party certifications. (The BCorp and 1% for the Planet certifications have been added more recently.)

Director Kevin Fraikin shared with us how a typical day passes at Montville Coffee.

“At our roastery we begin the day by having a coffee together and taking stock of the customer orders we have in the system.

“Green coffee from the warehouse silos is weighed in the loading trolley, sucked up into the loading hopper above the roaster.

“When the roasting drum has reached the target temperature the gate of the loading hopper opens up and the green coffee beans cascade into the hot roast drum, initially making the sound of rain on a tin roof. As the drum continues to fill with green coffee this sound fades out.

“Over the next 10-to-15 minutes whilst the drum continues to turn and adjustments are made to the heat and air-flow settings, the transformation takes place.

“Through the looking glass on the roaster you can observe that initially not much changes as the green coffee dries in the heat of the drum. But after about 5-7 minutes it starts to change colour from green towards brown and develops its flavour.

“When the temperature of the coffee beans gets close to 200 degrees Celsius the built-up pressure in the bean causes what is called ‘1st crack’.

“If you pay close attention, you can hear this slight popping sound, which starts softly with a few beans and gains volume as more and more beans go through this transformation at the same time. This changes the structure of the bean and marks the final and most delicate phase of flavour development to takes place.

“The beans are then dropped out of the hot roasting drum into the cooling tray where a powerful fan cools down the beans and stops the roasting process. Once the beans are cooled down, they go through a destoning process for quality assurance purposes, after which they are ready to be packed and dispatched.”

Kevin added, “Over the years we have been very privileged to have the opportunity to travel with Fairtrade to some of the origins we purchase our coffees from, to first-hand observe the hard work, resilience, and dedication of the farming cooperatives in those countries.

“During our last visit to Papua New Guinea it was very humbling to have the opportunity to share our roasted single origin coffee from this region with the farmers of this cooperative. Even though they grow the coffee, they actually don't roast and drink it themselves. It was a wonderful moment to see them taste their coffee for the first time.

“The synergy and relationship with Maple Street Co-Op is something we truly cherish. From crop to cup, this long-standing collaboration resonates with our ethos of cultivating sustainable relationships, nurturing communities and crafting a positive future.”

You can buy Montville Coffee at Maple Street Co-op, and find it at many cafes across the hinterland.

Maple Street Co-op, 37 Maple St, Maleny, 4552. Ph: 07 5494 2088. Website:



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