When Sydney barista Peter Jeon moved to Emerald in Queensland, he brought a love of specialty coffee with him, and wanted to share it with the local community.
Peter opened The Sensory in November 2018, his second café in Emerald following the success of his first, Shelfield Coffee Brewers.
“Emerald is a mining town and many of the people moved here from big cities, so enough people wanted good coffee,” Peter says.
“I thought a specialty coffee shop might work here, and opening my own café was a dream. I knew if I opened my own coffee shop, Campos Coffee would be my first choice.”
The Sensory serves the Campos Superior Blend for its espresso-based beverages, which are prepared with a Mahlkönig grinder, Puqpress automatic tamper, and La Marzocco espresso machine.
“Campos was really big in Sydney and it was my favourite coffee,” Peter says.
“A lot of people are surprised to see Campos in Emerald. I try to bring the same level [of quality] you’d expect to find in the city.”
Single origins rotate on a monthly basis, and are prepared via V60 pour over and as Nitro cold brew. Peter says the cold brew is particularly popular due to the extreme temperatures in Emerald.
“Most of the people here try cold brew or V60 for the first time through us. I don’t think they’d like very strong coffee, so I try to make it smooth and gentle,” Peter says.
Despite operating two cafés close together, Peter says both have been successful due to them targeting different audiences.
“[Shelfield] is not that big, it is more of a takeaway coffee spot. Its customers are mostly people on their way to work, especially in the mornings,” Peter says.
“The Sensory has more of a dine-in setting, which is particularly popular among mothers’ groups. I’ve tried to make it kid-friendly with a play area and lots of open space.”
Though operating in a small country town limits some of his cafés’ supply options, Peter says in some cases this has worked out for the better.
“[In Emerald] there are women running home businesses, baking homemade sweets, muffins, cupcakes, and slices at home, who supply our café. In my experience, customers prefer that home-baked style food,” he says.
However, Peter has established relationships with some key suppliers, like Campos, that allow him to provide a specialty experience in Emerald.
“We are the first café who uses Milklab [barista range alternative milks] in the area,’ Peter says. “Delivery can be costly for a lot of suppliers, so I’m lucky I found good suppliers like Campos and Milklab.”
In the near future, he hopes to live up to The Sensory’s name by hosting cupping sessions at the venue.
“I want to bring that sensory experience to Emerald. I would attend Campos cupping sessions in Sydney and it helped me to understand coffee,” Peter says.
“I want to host filter coffee sessions here too. Because of the area, a lot of people have their own coffee machines at home, like small espresso machines and AeroPress. I want to demonstrate how to make nice filter coffees.”
1 Borilla St, Emerald, Queensland, 4720
Open Tuesday to Friday 7am to 5pm, Saturday 7am to 2pm, Sunday 7am to 12pm
0434 881 329