The regional town of Orange NSW, population 39,000, is not where you would expect to find a quirky espresso bar serving in-house roasted coffee. But, that’s exactly what you’ll find at Bills Beans on McLaghlan street.
When Bill Parianos and his wife, Lisa, decided on a tree change from Sydney and moved their business to Orange three years ago, coffee culture in the regional area was in its infancy. Knowledge of different roasts and coffee strands was minimal, as were advanced barista skills.
“The first time we poured rosettas in front of people, they thought it was witchcraft,” laughs Bill, as he remembers starting off the business. as a self-confessed passionate coffee advocate, he says that training was a key part of setting up shop in Orange. They included a training and cupping room in the floor plans. Three years on, business is booming with 34 single origin coffees in stock and nine staff on the payroll who serve between 500 and 600 coffees a day.
The baristas choose daily which coffee they want to serve and the house coffee, Byng street, is a popular seller, heavily driven by chocolaty notes with a smooth fruit finish.
On the roasting side of the business, the move to the regional area also proved highly beneficial. compared to the city, Bill notes that the altitude of where he roasts in Orange lends itself well to quality coffee. at 860 metres above sea level there is less gas pressure required and a natural cold air induction, which really makes a difference in the flavor profile. Bill notes that although the changes are quite subtle, it certainly carries through to the cup for a great finish.
The couple supplies beans to businesses as far as Sydney and Melbourne and are a strong supplier to regional cafés in surrounding areas. In this respect, Bill works to educate his wholesale customers not only on his product, but also on the industry and the art of creating the finest tasting coffee.
Compared to the competitive nature of doing business in Sydney, Bill says he enjoys the camaraderie that comes with living in a regional area, where coffee businesses can work together to help boost the industry as a whole.
“In the city, the race is on and everyone’s always trying to outdo each other,” he comments. “It’s why I got out of Sydney. I have a passion for coffee and I believe in letting your product and your service speak for itself. It’s an approach that has been successful so far.”
In addition to coffee, Bills Beans offers a limited menu of pastries baked in-house, including Simmone Logue pies, fresh tarts and quiches.