Monin explains why the Monin Studio is a haven for flavour specialists


BeanScene takes a look inside the Monin Studio in Sydney, where innovation is constant and new creations emerge.

Café counters and kitchen benches are often a flurry with customer orders. When it comes to new menu items, these spaces transform into creative hubs where flavour combinations are tested and measurements refined.

The limitation for many café owners and baristas, however, is access to high-level kitchen equipment that has the ability to make a good drink great.

This is exactly what the Monin Test Kitchen and Studio in Sydney was established to provide. It’s a haven for flavour specialists to experiment with a bounty of equipment to concoct innovative signature drinks.

While the space is open to all, it’s also the “unofficial laboratory” of Monin Brand Ambassador Karel “Papi” Reyes, which is why it’s also often referred to as Papi’s Kitchen.

“The facility has all the tools and toys you could need,” Papi says. “It’s all about incentivising baristas and bartenders to try new things using our products.”

The list of tools includes a Hoshizaki IM-130 ice cube machine, a Nitro.Cool kegged nitrogen machine, and an SPM i-Pro slush machine, which Papi describes as “the Rolls-Royce of frozen drink technology.” The Studio was created as a space for drink specialists to experiment with Monin’s new and existing syrup flavours. There is no level of expertise required for  café owners looking to visit, but Papi says the Monin team often personally guide each customer through the flavour journey.

“A lot of the time, café teams will come in with no idea what to do or how to get started, but we’re here to help them through the creative process,” says Papi.

“The creative process can start anywhere. Often, it’ll be bringing in new friends and customers who are looking to offer something new at their venue.”

In advance of these collaborative sessions, the Monin team research global trends in the beverage space that cafes may want to capitalise on.

“For cocktail inspiration, we often look to major cities like London, Tokyo, Paris, or New York,” Papi says. “In coffee, however, Sydney and Melbourne tend to drive innovation so we look to the local coffee scene.”

The Monin team also assess each cafe, considering the drinks that would best suit its brand and customer base.

“A signature drink plays a big part in a café’s menu and overall feel of the place. It can give regular customers an incentive to try something different, and new customers a reason to visit,” says Papi.

Finding the personality of a business is crucial to Monin, as the team believes no two businesses are alike.

“It always depends on the requirements and the demographic of the café, as well as opening and closing hours since some drinks might be better suited for the evening,” says Papi.

The café’s location is also an important consideration in the formulation of a new drink.

“If you’ve got a café in the west of Sydney, it’s a very different experience to the CBD, so not everything will work in both locations,” Papi says.

While the Monin team enjoy diving head-first into the creative process, Papi says café owners with their own game plan are more than welcome to take charge of the session.

“We love it when customers have a strong idea of what they want. They will bring in their own coffee blend, and maybe even their preferred milk, and tell us exactly what they’re looking to create,” says Papi.

“If you want to experience the studio, the door is always open for any business big or small.”

Finding these differences is part of the Monin team’s communication process with the café owners, as the team explains each detail to studio guests who may not have a clear idea of what kind of new creation they are looking to make.

“We want to simplify everything for both our new and existing customers,” Papi says.

“It’s all about cementing a strong relationship, because the happier they are, the better everything is for everyone involved.”

For more information or to book a Monin Studio session, visit

This article appears in the April 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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