Chocolate pudding, strawberry jam and caramel. Anyone would think I’m writing a story about dessert! But no, these are the flavour profiles of the new Drummer Boy blend released two weeks ago by Cartel Coffee Roasters. Established in 2008 by Nathan Johnston, this is Geelong’s very first specialist roaster with a reputation for sourcing quality beans from around the globe.
Nathan has just returned from Indonesia and is off again to Africa visiting more plantations and farmers in order to maintain the quality and standard he has become known for. What makes this particular incarnation of Drummer Boy so exciting is that some of the beans have been sourced through the Long Miles Coffee Project in Burundi who facilitate the relationship between grower and roaster to help the local community flourish. They also built a washing station in the area to control the quality and price the farmers are paid for their coffee.
The result of these efforts is the delicious cup I enjoyed at T-Roy Browns in the CBD, just down from the station in Flinders St. Troy Benjamin’s cafe is in its fourth year, and he’s a big advocate for Cartel Coffee and what they stand for. With many years experience working in cafes and for a coffee company Troy has gained a reputation for being a big supporter of the locals around the city, most notably his involvement in the Suspended Coffees campaign.
You’ll find rotating single origins from Cartel on offer too but Drummer Boy is the crowd-pleaser because it satisfies those who are just looking for a caffeine hit and others who appreciate the fine nuances of speciality coffee. While I personally don’t often seek out a brew with lighter, fruit driven characteristics, there is minimal acidity in this blend and it still packs a punch but in a very smooth and stylish way, which shows how careful roasting and considered blending can produce excellent results.
Pay the lively little Drummer Boy a visit, he’s hanging out at the following fine establishments:
T-Roy Browns – Vault 363-367 Flinders St CBD
Cup and Bean – 20 Wembley Ave Yarraville
Little Black Pig – 48 Burgundy St Heidelberg
Little Bean Blue – 15 Little Collins St CBD
Cartel Roasters Brew Bar – 1/80 Little Malop St Geelong coffeecartel.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org