Black Bag Roasters opens $11 million coffee production centre

Black Bag Roasters

Black Bag Roasters (BBR), a subsidiary of the Nomad Coffee Group, has just completed work on an $11 million greenfield site at Truganina, 22 kilometres west of Melbourne’s CBD.

According to the company, it is one of the biggest investments in roasting in Australia for the past two decades.

The factory has installed a 600-kilogram Italian made and designed Brambati roaster and Rovema packaging system to help deliver consistent high-quality coffee at an economical cost for customers.

The multi-sku Rovema packaging machinery allows BBR to pack up to four skus in each box. It can be programmed to pack 250-gram, 500-gram, one-kilogram bags of coffee in the same box. The configuration can be changed in real time based on the needs of customers.

The carbon neutral plant can produce up to 300-tonnes of coffee each week.

“It’s purpose-built and it’s more energy efficient. It has everything we need to continue to grow our business and achieve our sustainability goals,” says BBR Director of Sales, Lance Brown.

Black Bag Roasters started plans for the move two years ago when the business realised that it was quickly outgrowing its shared roasting and production facility at Richmond. The Richmond facility produced both the Nomad’s Group’s specialty and commercial coffee brands.

Full production at the new site, which has easy access to Melbourne’s port and transport networks, will start in late January.

According to Lance, the Brambati Roaster, which is fitted with a catalytic converter that significantly reduces gases generated during the roasting process, gives the BBR product consistency.

“The cup of coffee that we produce for our customers is guaranteed to be always the same flavour profile. It’s the same profile today, it’s the same profile tomorrow, and it’s the same profile next week,’’ he says.

“That is the key to great roasting, to be able to have that control and achieve the same flavour in the cup day in and day out.”

Lance says the move to the new plant at Truganina had helped evolve the total ethos of the business.

“We are green-focused; we champion sustainability solutions; and we’re really proud of our carbon-neutral accreditation. I know these are buzzwords, but they really matter to us – and to our customers,’’ he says.

BBR has been producing award-winning white-label coffee for some of Australia’s leading brands for the past eight years, including Aldi and the Coffee Club.

Lance says BBR’s ethos is simple: life’s too short for bad coffee.

“Black Bag Roasters gives customers an alternative to that mass-produced Italian-style coffee that we’ve been dealing with in Australia for the past 40 years. The idea, when we created Black Bag Roasters eight years ago, was to make a difference and close the gap between commercially roasted coffee and specialty coffee,’’ he says.

“The reason that we’ve been so successful is we’ve been able to offer our customers a point of difference in the market. It’s locally roasted, it’s fresh, it’s award-winning and we really care as a business how it tastes in the cup.”

BBR roasts each coffee individually before post-blending to achieve the desired flavour and balance in the cup.

“Often our customers know exactly how they want their blend to taste or have an example they want to replicate. Our team of roasters and Q-Graders can dissect that blend, identify the exact origins in it and recreate it to achieve the perfect cup. To get the perfect cup you must have the perfect blend,” Lance says.

“There’s so much more that goes into the perfect blend than just the right beans. To achieve our goals and those of our customers we’ve adopted four key principals: capability, adaptability, resource, environment. Independently these principals define parts of who we are; what we do and how we do it. Combined, they create the perfect blend for achieving successful outcomes for our customers. It’s what makes us the ultimate coffee partner.”

It is a 16-week process to take a new customer from initial discussions to BBR delivering a product. Orders start from 240 kilograms and can reach up to 50-tonne shipments. The new facility can produce two-and-a-half tonnes of roasted coffee each hour.

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