The Origin of Melbourne Coffee Culture

The city of Melbourne is a city of unique juxtaposition. Buildings as historic as Flinders Street Station across the road from the divisive architecture of Federation Square. It is a city that has never let go of its heritage, whilst simultaneously embracing other ideas and cultures to become a melting pot and the world’s most liveable city. One of the most unique elements in Melbourne has been the culture of coffee. We at Coffex Coffee examine the origin of coffee in Melbourne to discover, how it has flourished into one of the city’s most famous qualities. And it all starts with alcohol…

Refuse booze and choose coffee: Rise of the Coffee Palace

It is the 1880s. In response to drunkenness, antisocial behaviour, and drinking in excess, a social movement, known as the Temperance movement, saw more and more people abstaining from alcohol. The move away from alcohol meant the move away from pubs. Where then will people go to socialise? Enter the coffee palaces. In 1888, one such palace was built on Collins Street. The Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace was erected, an enormous four storey, architectural marvel constructed in the Second Empire style. To put the scale into perspective, the hotel contained 370 guest rooms and a penthouse suite located in the tower. It became a social hub in Melbourne, and coffee culture started brewing.


The introduction of espresso and café culture

In 1890, the Baring Crisis led to Australian bank crashes, and coffee palaces found themselves struggling. Booze returned to the scene, but the taste for coffee remained. The 1930s saw the introduction of the espresso. Before that, all coffee was percolated, and tea was still favoured. But the espresso machine found its way into Melbourne businesses and coffee flourished.

The end of the second world war, gave rise to the adoption of European Coffee culture in Melbourne. Tea took a back seat to coffee lounges, and by the 1960s espresso bars were where many migrants to Australia socialised. Despite the momentum that coffee had developed, the Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace was declining in popularity, and the building was demolished in 1973. It remains one of Melbourne’s greatest losses. But coffee was and is now everywhere.


The coffee scene in Melbourne today

The sense of community that once occupied the Federal Hotel and Coffee Palace now occupies cafes throughout greater Melbourne. Coffex Coffee Roasters have been roasting coffee beans in Brunswick since 1959. Having been a part of Melbourne’s coffee scene, we understand that coffee culture isn’t just established, it’s booming. Selling coffee for businesses we’ve witnessed new restaurants, cafés, bars, pubs, and lounges all taking part and pride in delivering quality coffee. Melbourne’s baristas are some of the best in the world and hail from across the city. With over a century of history behind us, Melbournians have not only the taste for coffee, but also a knowledge and literacy of coffee flavours. And we, as a city, continue to develop and source the best beans, methods and equipment to make Melbourne one of the coffee capitals of the world.

Looking for quality coffee for your business?

Coffex Coffee sell Organic Fairtrade coffee for businesses across Australia. Contact us online or call 1300 263 333.

Coffex Coffee Talks the Ethical Coffee Bean

As we make progress towards more conscious consumers, it becomes clear how easy it is to overlook what goes into bringing a product from inception, to creation and finally into our hands. From eggs, to diamonds, to forest sustainability, some companies are taking a firm stance towards corporate and social accountability. As wholesale coffee suppliers, we at Coffex Coffee comb the world looking for not only the best in coffee, but that which is ethically sourced and Organic.

Fairtrade on a global scale

Fairtrade is a social movement advocating better education, and the unification of farmers to strengthen their position and ensuring fair pay. As Fairtrade points out, the livelihood of 125 million people – many living in developing countries – depend on coffee to survive. Not in the context that we talk about needing a morning coffee though. Poor yield, fungal disease affecting crops (such as leaf rust disease), and climate change can decimate these farmers and their families. 20 percent of which are smallholder farmers whose production, accounts for 80 percent of the world’s coffee.

This is all before we consider the lack of access to current market information, how severely coffee as a commodity fluctuates, or power relations in developing countries that expose farmers to exploitation. Fairtrade currently represent 810,000 farmers in 30 countries of which Coffex is proud to be a part of.

The move towards Organic Coffee

In order to maximise coffee production, many farms have used a multitude of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers. And while an immediate issue is the affect on the soil and subsequent environment, a more pressing concern is the impact it may have on the coffee producers, farmers and, we the coffee drinkers. This has led to more and more coffee roasters, sourcing organic coffee. Organic coffee retains the authenticity of taste, but is also more sustainable, and better for the consumer.


Melbourne wholesale suppliers and the Conscious coffee

At Coffex, we seek Fairtrade coffee and are delighted to bring our customers the Global Café Direct range. If you want to know more about Fairtrade certified coffee providers, there is a list available on the Fairtrade website. For the coffee farmers, this means education for their children, fair wages, and security against corruption and mistreatment. We are also certified by ACO (Australian Certified Organic), which is Australia’s largest certifier of organic produce, meaning that we source 100% Organic Certified Arabica coffee beans. For our customers, this means ethically sourced and organic coffee. Bringing unique flavours from around the world, free from synthetic chemicals, fertilisers, and pesticides.

Want to know more about our Melbourne coffee?

Looking for Fairtrade and Organic Certified coffee? Call Coffex Coffee today on 1300 263 333 or contact us online.

Perfect Coffee Beans to Kick Start 2018

The morning coffee. It is a waking ritual. It is preparation; a way of getting ready for the busy day ahead. And when those days are particularly busy, coffee can become an essential survival tool, more precious than water. Not just for the energy boost, but the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans. The sound of a commercial espresso machine, or the hiss of frothing coffee. It doesn’t matter how you like your coffee. The experience of good coffee is just as important as the caffeine.

At Coffex, we understand that the morning coffee is one of those little things that makes the big things more bearable. So to start 2018, we take a look at some of the perfect coffee beans to kick start 2018.

Natural and hand-picked from Colombia.

Colombia | J.Arcila

We start our pilgrimage with coffee beans meticulously hand-picked, and grown by Jairo Arcila in Finca Santa Monica. Developed by the Colombian Coffee Federation, this varietal was created to fight against leaf rust disease. This natural processing, combined with its location 1900-2200 metres above sea level, helps provide unique and distinctive notes. Specifically, affectations of blueberries, liquorice, sweet syrup and dark cherry.

RFA Certified blend out of Zambia

Zambia | Mafinga Hills

Straight from the Kateshi and Insanya estate comes the complex berry aftertaste of specialty grade coffee beans. Embracing the acidity, of lemon and lime, the citric flavours are balanced with facets of melon and raisins. This mix varietal is grown between 1300-1600 metres. This variance above sea level for either estate certainly contributes to the complexity of the blend, with the higher elevations creating denser beans and different flavours.

Good Coffee and education in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua | B.B. Candy

La Bastilla holds two coffee farms approximately 1350 metres above sea level and from them comes nuances of Blueberries, Zesty Lime, Pineapple, and Vanilla. Our love of such a balanced flavour is paired with appreciation for La Bastilla and their work with the Foundation of Rural Education and Entrepreneurship. A foundation that promotes education to the farms youth.

Roasted in the suburbs. Sourced from the world.

While we roast locally from our Brunswick location, we source from over 25 countries, across 4 continents, because we strive to find flavours to match all palettes. Looking for the finest coffee has taken us around the globe. If you would like to experience more of the unique coffee flavours, see our specialty coffee range. Alternatively, you can buy coffee beans from our classic range, Organic Fairtrade, or coffee pods.

Buy quality coffee beans. Buy Coffex.

For more information regarding our specialty coffee blends or commercial espresso machines for sale, contact 1300 263 333 today or contact us online.

How Do You Store Your Coffex Coffee?


Coffee Freshness – How Do You Store Your Coffex Coffee?

Do you enjoy our premium coffee blends? Is it the pleasant aroma, the rich taste? Everyone can agree that a superb brew always comes down to how fresh the ingredients are. Whether you purchase a single Coffex coffee packet or buy in bulk, as soon as you tear open the packet seal, there is a lot you can do to preserve the freshness of your precious coffee beans.

So how should you store and use your coffee beans?

Check the Roasted Date

It may seem trivial and obvious but it is always worth checking the expiration and roasted dates of your stock. Avoid disappointment entirely by avoiding a packet that has been in storage for too long. Alternatively, you can be proactive in which packet to open next if you are in the habit of rotating your stock properly.

Use a Sealed Container

How often are you dipping into your stash of yummy coffee? Is it worth investing in a secure container? The connoisseurs at home are probably content with a plastic clip or a small plastic container. Baristas and café owners, however, may prefer to use sealed storage tubs to top up their hoppers in a flash without compromising the quality of their product.

Don’t Refrigerate Your Beans

Did you know that refrigerated coffee beans can affect the quality of your product? Refrigeration can form condensation and moisture which can quicken the staleness of the beans.

Protect Your Goods

Proper storage is essential because air, moisture, temperature and light are all factors that affect the freshness of your coffee. For more hot tips, contact the experts at Coffex

Contract Roasting and Great Tasting Coffee


Contract Roasting with Coffex

Melbourne has a rich coffee culture and we are proud to be a significant part of it. In addtion to providing an excellent range of coffee beans for sale online, we also offer contract roasting services. Whether you need to produce your unique blend in bulk or are looking for a specialist roaster to package your goods to an exceptional standard, you can count on Coffex.

Minimal Set Up Costs

Collecting the capital needed to embark on a coffee roasting venture can be costly, especially when you do not have access to the machines needed to do the work. Why invest in expensive gear when the team at Coffex have everything you need? We have a 300-kilogram Brambati, 120-kilogram Probat and 22-kilogram Probat roasters that are more than adequate for your special blends. Whether you need upwards of 10 tonnes of coffee a week or much smaller batches, you can depend on our contract roasting services

Quality Coffee Beans

Our team source the best green beans to fulfil your recipe requirements. For delicious flavour and memorable aromas, it all comes down to the basic ingredients prior to the roast. To learn more about this aspect of contract roasting with Coffex, contact us.

Premium Packaging

Do you need your beans and ground coffee packed into vacuum seal bags with airlock valves for retail sale? We can help you source for a selection of colours and finishes to make your product stand out. We pack 250g, 500g, 1kg and 3kg.

Buy Coffex Beans Online Today

Looking for a blend that is aromatic, sweet and balanced? Perhaps you prefer something more exotic and smooth from Latin America or a richer coffee from Africa? Browse our great range of products.

Over Five Decades of Coffee Bliss

Coffex was founded in 1959 in Melbourne. Over the years, we have refined our coffee blends, manufacturing processes and procurement of quality espresso machines and other accessories to delight baristas, connoisseurs—you—with the best coffee. For more information about our contract roasting capabilities, get in touch.

Coffex Coffee Pods Are Coming Soon │Buy Coffee Beans Online

Coffex Coffee pods are coming

The team at Coffex are excited to announce that we will soon have a new product which will be available via our online store. Yes, we will soon be launching our own selection of coffee pods. These capsules should be compatible with all Nespresso® machines that take coffee pods.

Three Flavours to Choose From


This blend is milder and more delicate in flavour. Full bodied blend with soft berry notes, dark chocolate sweetness and a smoky finish in the end. It is a prime example of a coffee suitable for all day drinking. Carefully sourced beans of Arabica and Robusta from South America, Africa, Asia and Oceania beans make up this perfectly balanced blend.


This is our boldest and most robust tasting coffee blend. It is rich in flavour, full-bodied and smooth in mouthfeel. It is a premium blend of 100% Arabica beans sourced from South America, Africa and Oceania with utmost care. Carefully selected and blended for optimum flavour, this blend works amazingly well as an espresso or milk based coffee.


Our premium decaffeinated coffee beans are carefully sourced with attention to flavour and quality. This smooth & delicate coffee is processed without chemical, which removes up to 97 – 99.9% of caffeine from the coffee. 100% Arabica coffee beans without the guilt of caffeine.

Stay Tuned for our Coffee Pods

Coffex was founded in 1959 in Melbourne. Over the years, we have refined our coffee blends, manufacturing processes and procurement of quality espresso machines and other accessories to delight baristas, connoisseurs—you—with the best coffee.

We are heavily invested in ethically sourcing and roasting sustainable products for the benefit of the environment and our customers. For coffee of the highest quality, give us a call or browse our online store.

Christmas Orders & Christmas Break

Christmas Orders & Christmas Break 2016

To our loyal customers,

Firstly, thank you for all the support that you’ve shown us this year!

As Christmas approaches, the holiday season will soon be in full swing and what this means is usually the chaos of Christmas mail. We are ‘predicting’ that Australia Post will be inundated with mail this coming season and would like to advise that all orders intended for Christmas and New Years should be placed before the Wednesday 14th of December.

We do not wish to ruin Christmas for anyone and hope that everyone receives their mail in the most timely manner!


Christmas Break

We will be closing our offices during Christmas for a short break. Please do take note of these dates:-




Golden Bean Awards

This year, our Global Cafe Direct – Fairtrade Organic Coffee wins a Bronze Medal in the Fairtrade & Organic Category!

They are widely available in our online store

You are just a click away from this tasty and award winning coffee. HERE

Coffex Coffee Roasters Malaysia – Brand New Roasting Facility

On the 19th of September 2015, Coffex Coffee Roasters launched their brand new roasting, warehousing and office facility in Glen Marie Industrial Park, Selangor, Malaysia.

The launch was officiated by Coffex’s guest of honour, Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon, together with Chairman of Coffex Coffee Malaysia, Mr. Ngow Wing Hong and Executive Direct of Coffex Coffee Malaysia, Mr. Kelvin Ngow.

In this brand new 16,000 square feet facility, it will house Coffex Coffee Roaster’s main operations such as roasting facility, customer service area, a retail shop, coffee machines display area, research & development laboratory, national barista training facility, warehousing and head office.


The brand new facility was a result of Coffex Coffee Malaysia’s expansive growth in the region during the recent years. Fueled by South East Asia’s increasing demand of specialty coffee plus the growth in social acceptance towards espresso based coffee drinks, Coffex Coffee Malaysia’s operations have grown nearly two folds in the last couple of years.


It’s brand new Buhler roasters are fitted with state-of-the-art technology, allowing roasters to have full control of the roasting process. Coffex’s brand new roasters can produce to a maximum output capacity of up to 42 tons per month.


Coffex Coffee believes that the path to growing the coffee industry is through the education of people that will voice to the culture of appreciating coffee. And thus together with other members of the local specialty coffee industry, Coffex Coffee Roasters are also the founding members of the Malaysian Specialty Coffee Association, MSCA, which was launched earlier this year.


To find out more about our operations in Malaysia, do check out their website:

Observation of the current small businesses & café environment

That quirky little café that you frequent ever so often during the week for your daily dose of a caffeine fueled beverage might just be in business for not much longer. It has been a long time coming and not something that is new to the industry of late as the large monetized machines of a corporation makes its move into the small café industry.

They creep in slowly, first filling the crevices with its entangling roots, then slowly it eventually makes an appearance right in front of you. They stand out and they definitely cannot be missed (due to their sheer size of convenience)


More and more front facing convenience stores are secretly masquerading themselves from the fact that they are a Supermarket with a café attached to it. Owned by the largest and boldest, they have minimal branding on their store front and a lot of them serve only to tell you the name of the street you are on.
These new concept stores are proving to be more than just competition in the small business/café sector of Melbourne. It really opens up a new ‘can of worms’. Our government claims to be supporting the small business sector but are they really?


Here are just a few of the competitive issues with larger convenience providers creeping into the small business market:-

  1. Rent and leases: With the larger corporations making a move into convenience concept stores/small café sector, landlords are silly NOT to take up the longer lease agreements these giants could afford to secure. Thus, pricing out potential and even more enthusiastic new businesses. It is definitely creating a harder environment for the small players to secure a lease.
  2. Uncompetitive pricing: A sales model which largely aims to offer convenience is coupled with ridiculous pricing offers to attract customers to the front door. It is no doubt a ploy to get customer eyes on their stores. E.g. 4 Large coffees @ $10, where the state(VIC) average sits at $3.58/cup. The buck doesn’t stop there with just coffee, it extends to a massive range of products which they can offer as well (think supermarket offerings).
  3. Pressure on suppliers to reduce cost thus reducing quality product offerings: It is without doubt that when the smaller businesses/cafes are affected, it will naturally put more pressure on them to squeeze suppliers for a lower price on their offerings. Because the only way they can compete in the long run is by pricing down. We do not need a brilliant imagination to figure out how suppliers can offer a lower price product now, do we?


This observation is well and truly happening in Melbourne. We would love to have a discussion with all of you if you agree or do not agree with our observations. If you are in this current predicament we would especially love to hear the facts from you and how you think this would affect you and your business in the long run.

To join the conversation:

Picking your coffee – flavours

Understanding what you like and what to look for…

Choosing the best coffee can often be a process as touchy-feely as a fashionista attempting to pick out her favourite trend of the best current style trends in the latest edition of Vogue. On one hand, a person may love the sharp and bright acidity of a Kenyan SL26 yet despise the chocolaty and nuttiness of a celebrated South American Bourbon without ever considering that both these coffees are amazing in their own way.

So why the favouritism in coffee?

Our preferences for coffee can be highly attributed to our taste buds, though not exclusively; and if only it was that simple. The human anatomy ensures most humans share commonalities (i.e. two arms, ten fingers, two eyes, one nose, one tongue, etc.) and yet, regardless of the commonalities, we are altogether different and unique. Just like how our skin and eye colours differ from person to person, so it is with our tongues. Each tongue has a different dispersion of lingual pappilae or better known as taste buds. Our tongue, being the primary organ for taste (gustation), along with the secondary influence of our cultural environment, ensures each individual would have a favourite flavour.

To make it even more interesting, the vast variety of coffees only means we have to deal with a vast variety of available flavours, further highlighting our differences. However, picking a favourite coffee is really not the same as picking the best coffee, and therefore the Q Grading system was invented as a guideline in order for people to collectively come to agreement on picking the best coffees.

But we’re not here to talk about the Q Grading system; instead we’d like to offer you some guidelines on how to select your favourite coffee based on your favourite flavours. Here are some key things to look out for when choosing a coffee:


Our ability to smell greatly influences our ability to taste. If a coffee smells delicious, it’s very likely to translate to the flavours in the cup. Look out for aromas of nuts, chocolate, berries and even fruits.


Most taste profiles these days include a measure of or a synonym for sweetness. Sweetness is in the cup and is an inherent flavour of high grade coffees. From sugar cane sweetness, to toffee, or even molasses; either way, sweetness is a great indicator.


As the name suggests, this is an indicator of the level of acidity that you can taste in a coffee. Acidity should not be confused with sourness. Citric acidity is often associated with mostly citrusy fruits such as lemon, lime, grapefruits and other citrusy fruits, commonly described as tart or sharp. If you do not enjoy such flavours of acidity, you may instead prefer the pleasant form of Malic acidity. Malic acidity is commonly associated to fruits like green apples, grapes, and rhubarb. It is generally a much sought after attribute in coffee as it is mellow in comparison to citric acidity. Besides Citric and Malic acidity, Phosphoric acidity is perhaps the most sought after and highly prized as it is often found in the most celebrated coffees in the world. The common association with phosphoric acid is that it provides a more tactile mouth-feel instead of the association with sourness that is found in citric and malic acidity. Words such as bright and lively are some of the words used to describe Phosphoric acidity. However, it’s really a combination of Phosphoric and other organic acids presented in the coffee itself which ultimately results in delectable flavours.


Much like wine, coffee has a tactile feel when it hits your mouth. It is a very distinguishable feeling. Some may prefer a heavier body, almost syrupy-like, where some others may enjoy a lighter mouth-feel.


A balanced cup is highly desirable in a coffee, yet it is probably the most subjective matters when describing coffee. In layman terms, it generally describes whether or not the other key attributes in the coffee work together to present itself as a ‘whole’ package in the one cup of coffee.


Last, but not least, one should look for aftertaste. With close to a thousand chemical compounds found in coffee1, the cup is bound to leave some form of aftertaste in your mouth. Great coffees generally leave a pleasant, lingering aftertaste. This being said, not every great tasting coffee has a pleasant aftertaste but it is an ideal attribute to look out for.


In conclusion, these are just some of the words you may find in the descriptions on a bag of coffee, or on a coffee menu, as a guide to help you select your next purchase of coffee. At Coffex Coffee, we celebrate the diversity that coffee brings to our taste palates. We roast our Classic Range to suit those who prefer more traditional flavours in their coffee; however, our Single Origin Range is a lot more diverse. Much like anything else in this world that is worth knowing, we can only come to our own conclusions of what’s best when we have actually tried it.

Happy exploring, caffeine lovers!