From an ordinary looking industrial building in Mount Beauty comes the heady aroma of roasting coffee beans. We spoke with owners Ryan Lynch and Ivan Zirnstein, who prepare and hand pack the beans. Ryan did most of the talking.

What is that beautiful aroma?

That, my friend, is the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans.

You watch over the beans as they roast?

You like our Turkish-made Garanti roaster? Cool, no? We are passionate about what we do here at Honey Bird and it requires all the senses to make sure we get the quality we want from the roast. As the beans roast they change colour and the shine on the outside of the bean changes. We want to see that. Obviously we want to be able to detect the subtle differences in the aromas but we also listen to the beans as they ‘crack’ at certain points throughout the roast.

Why Honey Bird?

I was watching a local native honey eater flying from flowering bush to bush. We call them honey birds. I thought, ‘That’s me, going from place to place sourcing the very best.’ In our case it’s coffee beans.

When did you start roasting?

I was a backyard roaster and started up in 2012. I took over an existing café space. I really wanted to concentrate on getting the roast perfect so that’s all we do here. Roast. Pack. Deliver.

It’s not a big space. Where are the green beans?

We run a ‘Just in Time Operation’. We order the green beans as we need them and roast them to order. We use a blend of beans from Columbia and Africa and prefer to use ethically sourced beans from high altitudes. We also source organic beans for our organic blend.

How do people describe your coffee?

I love Velvet Assassin. It’s smooth, strong, unforgettable. It has a floral aroma and honey almond body with a hit of lemon acidity. One of our really popular blends is Dark Lover. It’s earthy and flinty with a dark liqueur finish. We have a single origin and an organic Swiss water decaf. Then there’s Morning Glory. This has a gentle start with a big finish that really lingers. It has caramel cream aromas and a dark cocoa body with candied orange rind acidity.

Thanks for the taste. They really have personality. Where can I get your coffee?

We prefer to have only one café in a town, people who love coffee as much as we do. You’ll find us in places like Fez in Myrtleford; Snow Road Produce, Milawa, Dianne’s at Falls Creek, Office 3564 in Echuca and Get Naked Espresso, Bendigo. There are more. People can buy our coffee online with free shipping in Australia. We also do small batch roasts for people, starting at 8kg.

Why 8kg?

That’s how much we roast at a time.

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