Chum Creek Coffee is a micro roastery located in the picturesque Chum Creek area of the Yarra Valley.

Chum Creek Coffee was established after my retirement from 20 years in the wine industry. A long term passion for home roasting and a period of contract roasting for a commercial outlet convinced me that my own enterprise was the direction my life should go. The skills gained in developing my wine palate have translated into the more complex world of coffee cupping, helping with the identification and selection of excellent coffee.

My background in grape growing has given me a personal focus on the farmers who grow the coffee cherries and produce the beans for the huge world market. All too often it is the original source of raw agricultural products which suffers the most in the world economic system. Green coffee beans are the world’s second most traded commodity, next to oil, yet coffee producing countries are amongst the poorest and most marginalised.

Green beans are sourced from all coffee producing regions of the world, Central and South America, Indonesia, India and Eastern Africa; the birthplace of coffee. Beans from Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Sulawesi, India, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Mexico and Peru are featured in Chum Creek Coffee products, along with beans from many other nations.

With this awareness, Chum Creek Coffee only sources coffee that is traded outside of the base commodity market and only uses small, independent ethical brokers and importers. Beans sourced by Chum Creek Coffee must fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Direct Trade: This is where the broker negotiates a price directly with the farmer.
  • Certified Organic: These beans attract a premium price due to higher production costs and lower yields. FairTrade is the main source of organic coffee worldwide.
  • Rainforest Alliance: Coffee farms working in sustainable harmony with the environment, where coffee trees are grown interspersed with the natural forest and not in a plantation. RFA coffee is often organic as the established ecosystem allows natural control of pests and diseases.
  • Bird Friendly: Coffee farms working to maintain the natural ecosystem of the land and provide and maintain a corridor of forest for both local and migratory birds. These birds forage amongst the coffee trees and help control pests and disease.

My personal favourite is the Faircrack fund.

  • Faircrack is operated by its founder, a small specialised importer in Victoria who established the fund to directly help coffee farming communities.
  • Since its inception, Faircrack has worked to provide coffee farmers with the ability to value add to their product and create a more viable local economy by involving a wide range of support trades and industry.
  • In recent years, Faircrack has purchased and installed several coffee pulping mills in a way that allows whole farming communities access. A mill at one coffee washing station in Tanzania has resulted in over 60 local children going on to secondary education, where previously only one had done so.
  • Other projects include the building of coffee tourism accommodation using local builders and materials and giving the opportunity of establishing a broader off farm economy.
  • The current project is the weaving and free distribution of blankets to local villagers living on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. Traditionally, wood is burned in a smoky fire at night for warmth but has resulted in damage to the local forests and is detrimental to the health of the people, especially children.
  • Chum Creek Coffee donates 50 cents per kilo of green beans sourced from this supplier.
  • Chum Creek Coffee also financially supports Coffee Kids, a foundation established to foster the health and education needs of the children of coffee farm workers in Central and South America.
  • Paste the following address into your web browser to see the amazing work done by Faircrack.
  • http://www.youtube.com/user/MrCoffeesnob