WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE | INDUSTRY BEANS
By Jo Rittey
First impressions count for a lot in my book. When you walk in the door and you’re greeted with a smile, shown the menu and asked whether you’ve been here before and given the lowdown on how it all works, it’s a winning formula. I feel welcome, I’m not guessing what I have to do next, I’m ready to see what you have for me.
I’m not really sure why I haven’t been here before. Industry Beans is a mecca for coffee appreciators. Brothers Trevor and Steve Simmons, originally of Northcote’s Penny Farthing fame, opened the door of their converted warehouse roastery five years ago and have been collecting awards ever since.
It’s fair to say that coffee is pivotal here. The name kinda gives it away. As does the separate coffee menu offering blends to suit milk cups and blends that work well alone, revelling in their darkness. My flat white is Fitzroy Street; 40% Wahana Estate coffee, from Indonesia, 40% Cauca from Colombia and 20% San Emilio Estate from El Salvador. This blend offers sweet citrus, plum and chocolate notes and I know all this because I read the menu and it told me. I like knowing these details.
Then there are filter options; pourover, aeropress and goldmesh. The descriptions of the beans they use for these coffees will take you places. The fact that the Kenyan Kii AA beans are grown on a farm overlooking the elephant migration route connecting Aberdare and the Mount Kenya national forest is an exotic one. As is the fact that the Guatemalan Las Cuevitas bean is grown in the highlands of Huehuetenango near the Western border of Mexico on a farm run by Maria de Ovalle and her son. Industry Beans understand that there’s more to life than just having a coffee with your breakfast. It’s about embracing the whole story and savouring it.
They also offer beans for cold drip and cold brew, aeropress tea, fresh juices, sodas and chai.
Coffee may well be the star, but Head Chef Jess Allen works an impressive amount of magic in the open kitchen, plating up innovative dishes from a progressive and delicious looking menu. For some reason I was feeling conservative on the occasion, and the avocado smash appealed. But I could have had a shanklish cheese omelette; truffled egg; a green papaya and peanut crusted egg or coffee rubbed wagyu burger, amongst other impressive dishes.
The avocado smash comes out in record time. It’s one of those deconstructed DIY affairs, which I’m ok with. I’m happy to spread my own avocado and chevre, squeeze my charred lemon, cut into my perfectly cooked poached egg and sprinkle my green tea salt over the lot.
If you follow the life’s too short, just eat dessert brand of philosophy, the three desserts featured are works of art. Why not push the boat out and try a Coffee Garden? Coffee custard pudding, coffee caviar, cold drip gel, chocolate soil, pistachio sponge and tuile.
There’s a lot going on down at Industry Beans and all of it is good.
3/62 Rose Street, Fitzroy
Mon – Fri 7am – 4pm
Weekends 8am – 4pm
Jo is a French teacher, a freelance writer and needs good coffee to start her day. Armed with an exotic New Zealand accent and a winning (hopefully) smile, she likes nothing better than roaming the streets of the northside in search of new and old food-related wonders.