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Small Batch - North Melbourne

Small Batch - North Melbourne

“Most Australians grew up drinking coffee that was oily, bitter and espresso brewed, because that’s how coffee was “supposed” to taste. At home, they might have a plunger and a jar of months-old ground coffee to drag out on special occasions.

Who knew how long ago their coffee was roasted or ground — let alone where it came from? Since coffee was drunk with copious amounts of milk and sugar, who even knew what it really tasted like?

Then some curious souls started asking questions about how and where coffee was harvested; how it was processed and roasted and whether it could taste better. Andrew Kelly was one of them, starting with some intrepid backyard experiments using a heat gun and colander.

Soon, Andrew dreamed of sharing his discoveries by opening a cafe and roastery. That dream became Auction Rooms: a big open space where everything was on display, a menu that raised the bar for cafe food, and an obsession with creating delicious coffee. Since 2008, Melbournians have been flocking to North Melbourne, answering the siren call of what The Age Good Cafe Guide has twice called Melbourne’s best cafe.

As our roasting operations grew, we opened a dedicated roastery down the road. Auction Rooms was our flagship cafe; Small Batch is the coffee that made it famous.

We want to spread the word that with carefully sourced and roasted coffee beans, a bit of knowledge, and openness to a world beyond espresso, anyone can make coffee at home that’s as good as any cafe’s (even ours!), and better than most. We also supply wholesale to a small number of cafe operators who care as much as we do.

Understanding that the best cup of coffee starts with the raw product, we are dedicated to working consciously and meaningfully in a select group of countries, collaborating with producers closely to achieve the holy trinity: coffee that is exceptional, that has a positive social impact and that supports sustainable agriculture."



"Candyman is our flagship espresso blend, launched in 2010. It’s our daily labour of love, a constant work-in-progress: making superlative tastiness from the raw components that we insist on buying well, ourselves (ie not just from the importer as is common practice) All this to create sweet, balanced espresso, with or without milk."

33% - Small holders of Todos Santos, Guatemala

33% - Erwin Argueta, Guatemala
33% - Ahmed Abatemam, Ethiopia

Roast date - 13/03/2023

Process - Washed

Flavour notes - Malted milk, Macadamia butter

"This essentially allows us to celebrate more coffees “we love” (that additionally may have a small lot size), and finds a nice middle point between “single” and “blend”, and sets us a great Quality Control challenge to make an interesting and different product to Candyman that fluctuates seasonally, as the components change more frequently. The Ones We Love will have has less focus on consistency of flavours per se, and more on short run, special profiles with high character."

50% - Fabian Urbano, Colombia
50% - Erick Perez, Guatemala

Roast date - 13/03/2023

Process - Honey process / Washed

Flavour notes - Salted Caramel, Plum, Milk chocolate


"This microlot represents the combined efforts of three neighbouring producers whose farms are located within the municipality of La Argentina. Brothers Floriberto and Alfredo Arena are relative new-comers to the region, having moved about three years ago after seeing the favourable conditions for coffee cultivation – high rainfall and soils rich in organic matter. On the recommendation of friends, they planted pink bourbon and these young trees are now coming into a good harvest in both yield and taste. The third contributor is organic producer Raul Diaz, who needs no introduction. Pink Bourbon – a naturally occurring mutation of red and yellow bourbon – builds on the line’s traditional sweetness with a winey acidity and some ‘exotic’ spice notes." 

Origin - Hulia, Colombia

Roast Date - 13/03/2023

Variety - Pink Bourbon

Process - Washed

Flavour notes - Peach tea, Honey, Brown sugar

"Jorge has become a true leader in coffee processing, through curious experimentation. We lovingly think of him as a poster boy for the switched-on younger generation of Colombian smallholder coffee farmers! Since he stumbled into selling coffee to ASOPEP (Asociación de Productores Ecológicos de Planadas) a few years back, he’s taken advantage of every single opportunity to learn at his disposal.He’s been hungry, caterpillar-style, devouring knowledge of processing, roasting, brewing, and organic farming. He’s a dream “package”. (His nickname is “sorbete”, meaning exactly that.)" 

Origin - Tolima, Colombia

Roast Date - 13/03/2023

Variety - Caturra

Process - Washed

Flavour notes - Toffee, Honeycomb, Cranberry



Espresso - 9 bar

Brew ratio - 1:2.5 (dry coffee : espresso liquid)

Temp - 94 Deg C

Time - 25-30 seconds.

*Adjust grind size to achieve the desired time


Espresso - 6 bar

Brew ratio - 1:2.8 (dry coffee : espresso liquid)

Temp - 94 Deg C

Time - 25-30 seconds.

*Adjust grind size to achieve the desired time



Temp - off the boil

Ratio - 1:15.5 (dry coffee:water)

Bloom - 30 seconds

Flow rate - fast

*Adjust grind size to achieve desired flow rate


Temp - off the boil

Ratio - 1:14.5 (dry coffee : water)

Bloom - 30 seconds

Brew time - 90 seconds (including bloom)

Press consistently over 15-20 seconds.


Stove top

Ratio - 1-14 (dry coffee : water)

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