“I saw two guys with beards so I thought it was worth trying,” says a customer standing in the newly opened Clement Coffee Roasters in south Melbourne.
Owner Kris Wood, former barista and roaster at St Ali and Proud Mary, along with baristas Shapathanal Myers- Daly and Tim Cowley, are pleasing the market crowd with their unique coffee and idyllic stall.
“Everyone in South Melbourne is so receptive of coffee, that’s probably thanks to a good variety of cafés available in the area,” says Kris.
Formerly from Perth, Kris says he had always intended to learn his coffee skills in Melbourne and take his trade home to Perth. Instead, he has opened his dream café in the heart of the restaurant strip at south Melbourne Market – complete with customised aprons, a stain-glass window and a map of Central America behind their shiny Kees van der Westen spirit Triplette machine.
The ‘bearded’ team of baristas are brewing up two single origin coffees a day, including the Burundi Catare, a bourbon variety roasted by Clement Coffee Roasters on St Ali’s 5-kilo Probat roaster, and a Mundo Novo variety from Fazenda Lagoa in Brazil, roasted by Market Lane. Kris describes the Burundi as having a “rich, jam-cherry sweetness with caramel and coco notes”and the Fazenda Lagoa “a sugercane sweetness, orange acidity and a nutty finish”.
Just like eating out at a restaurant, Kris says people order according to preference. “as baristas, we cater for different tastes and we offer a bit more information and knowledge in an approachable manner,” he says. “We want people to think about the coffee, where it came from, and we want to take that next step of coffee education.”
Clement Coffee Roasters also offers aeropress and french press brewing methods. As for the name, Kris says it’s all linked to Pope Clement VIII, the man who supposedly blessed coffee and made it accessible to the world – and the coffee lovers of South Melbourne.