If you find yourself wondering about the origins, roasts and flavour profiles of coffee beyond your morning cup of caffeine, it may be time to take a trip to the Maillard Atelier.
The creative workshop in Coburg North is adding a new dimension to our coffee-obsessed city by creating a communal space for coffee lovers to roast, pack and monitor their own coffee, while utilising commercial equipment and the knowledge of in-house roasters
Tony Strickett and Celina Lazarus from First Crop Coffee developed the idea for the space when chatting to clients and listening to their challenges around wanting to be more involved in the roasting process, but facing limitations of space, time and costs. The Maillard was designed to overcome these obstacles by providing a place for cafes to become more involved in the roasting process and for interstate brands to have a local base.
The space is an inclusive and community-driven initiative and while it can definitely be utilised by cafes and professionals, Tony and Celina want everyone to feel welcome. They hope that people who are eager to learn more about coffee and roasting feel like the Maillard is an accessible site where they can learn and grow their knowledge. For those that are new to the process, the Maillard offers a range of services including assisted roasting – a house roaster guiding you through the process from choosing green coffee to sample roasting, roasting and blending.
Beyond cafes and coffee roasting newbies, the Maillard can also provide a space for trainers and consultants to hold meetings, classes or workshops.
The Maillard is already building a reputation for being a central hub for coffee lovers, having hosted a range of events such as the Café Culture Breezy Masters Victoria Latte Art competition and the ASCA Southern Region Coffee Championships. It is also host to regular cuppings for First Crop.
As a truly unique concept, the team behind the Maillard hopes to see the model grow across Australia and eventually across the world. The communal aspect means there are like-minded coffee enthusiasts all working within one space, where everyone is able to draw knowledge and experiences from each other.
Tony and Celina would love to see the Maillard Atelier develop into a community of coffee professionals and lovers that feed off each other, with the end goal of creating great coffee.
Words by Lara Ruffolo