Having lived in Brisbane for more than a decade, I am well acquainted with the rise and rise of Merlo Coffee from its early days down in Fortitude Valley to the amazing enterprise it is today.
It is a truly one of a kind coffee hot spot!
A family business, Merlo have always concentrated on quality and producing the very best coffee around.
They believe, as many do, that life is too short for a bad coffee.
Merlo has just released their ‘Caffeinated Christmas Gift Guide for the festive season.
It’s aimed at the ‘Newer Brewer’ or the person who fancies themselves a Coffee Connoissuer.
Like many other Coffee colleagues, they are also offering us all a ‘Keep Cup’, hoping against hope we will get out of the habit of throwing away our take away coffee cup and opting in for one we have to wash ourselves.
Based on the amount of people walking around with cardboard cups in their hands, and given humanities propensity for retaining bad habits, they have an uphill battle on their hands.
If you want to gain an appreciation for coffee Merlo has a one hour session you can take for a fee, that will aid your knowledge.
Their many and varied gifts, their cards and memberships are just perfect for your friends for Xmas. If you need a good coffee maker Merlo have a great selection from a plunger to a Rocket Plus Espresso Machine.
During December they are offering the extremely rare and award winning, Geisha Panama bean from the Don Pachi Estate.
It’s a great Christmas Gift for any coffee lover. It’s something a little bit special.
This bounteous bean is grown by the Serracin family, (who won the 2011 Best of Panama Award for their Geisha crop), in Boquete at Don Pachi Estate, on the border of La Amistad National Park, in North of Panama.
I just love the Merlo gift tins. They keep the coffee fresh and in a dark place, where it needs to be in order to retain its freshness.
My son often brings me one from Brizzie when he comes to visit me in Melbourne, because he knows how much I love their coffee.
Their Private Blend, a favourite, is a classic three-continent, six-bean blend has a distinctively rich, velvety texture. It is exclusively served at BarMerlo espresso bars.
Perfect for lattes, flat whites and plungers.
Merlo have their own Torrefaziones (roasting houses), where they are ‘obsessive’ with the care they take with their beans.
It’s roasted daily, slowly and with purpose to achieve a ‘richer, fuller flavour’.
It’s date stamped and placed into a dehumidified cold room to protect the beans from the light, heat or moisture.
It’s packed and distributed in airlocked bags and tins, within 24 hours of roasting, wherever possible.
The coffee beans themselves are produced through a process of sustainable agriculture, developed with the Sustainable Agriculture network. This is an organisation with a care for the environment.
Their members are all about quality coffee beans that have been ‘produced in harmony with wildlife to maintain healthy ecosystems’.
The way the roasting is carried out, determines the flavour. Merlo wants its coffee to be fully rounded, rich and with a balanced flavour.
I remember well a famous ‘coffee’ family establishment in Sydney where, back in the 80’s everyone flocked to grab a coffee, hoping against hope that ‘Papa’ was pulling the lever because in essence, no other member of his family made coffee like he did.
It’s not hard to like the Merlo family story, it’s one of passion, belief, commitment and care that started in Italy, when Papa Merlo who came to Australia brought with him Queensland’s first Italian espresso machine.
Today both coffee and the Merlo story are big enterprises.
Merlo have five Torrefaziones, 10 Bar Merlos, and their coffee is distributed throughout over a 1000 cafes and restaurants around the country.
They ask us all the question – “have You bean”?
Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2013.