When Ian Griggs first moved to Australia from North England, he gained a foothold in the hospitality market by selling coffee around Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast.
“At the time we got lots of customers telling us we made the best coffee on the coast. It was enough incentive to want to start my own coffee shop,” Ian says.
Before long, he turned his part time coffee job into a full time career, sidelining his accounting degree.
“We opened the first store in 2008 and gradually got busier and busier. Eventually, our Creek Street store started roasting for the rest of our other locations, one in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast,” Ian says. “Our whole business is built on coffee quality. I want Emjays to be a place where people seek out great coffee, and go back for more.”
Ian says Brisbane is gaining momentum with coffee trends, which closely feeds off Melbourne. “There’s lots of people roasting up here. The industry is moving towards high quality, and that’s largely spread from Melbourne’s influence – we just get it a year later,” Ian says.
Emjays Coffee customers can choose from three main blends, Jungle Fever, Wild Boar, Black Bear, and a selection of rotating single origins. Jungle Fever is a rich yet balanced medium roast, with bittersweet, raisin-toned chocolate notes. Ian says this blend cuts through milk particularly well. The Wild Boar – also great for milk coffees – is a full-bodied, darker roast that’s deep and complex upfront, with mild acidity and a smooth finish. For black coffee options, the Black Bear is the way to go – a light blend that offers a balance between citrus fruits and a creamy mouthfeel.
Clever coffee dripper and cold drip are available in-store, which Ian says highlights the fruity tones of the Indonesian Blue Batak, available at the time of print.
When Ian’s not busy roasting on the shop’s 10-kilogram Has Garanti, he enjoys mingling with his customers.
“The other day a customer stopped me to say he had feedback,” Ian says. “I anticipated it was negative, but it was so refreshingly positive. He said he loved the coffee and the friendly service we provide. What a great wrap.”