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What’s Sumatra with you? Toby’s Estate

Toby's Estate is one of the more prominent and fabled about coffee roasters in Sydney and goes back to the caffeine aficionado legal professional Toby Smith, who inspired by an aversion to mass produced alternatives, decided twenty-four years ago to channel his alchemy in travelling to coffee-producing communities to learn everything about coffee from scratch in a bid to get the beans from crop to cafés.

Upon his return to terra australis, he set up his own modest roastery to hone his craft before he formally launched what became known as Toby's Estate in 2001, i.e. a café, espresso school and roastery.

Fast forward twenty years and Toby’s Estate has evolved to a veritable heavyweight on the forefront of a one-stop shop for everything remotely related to quality coffee, consistently pushing the boundaries exploring and experimenting, learning, sourcing and developing new speciality flavours, blends and beans.

With its focus firmly set on the creation of a fair and sustainable supply chain that supports each constituent and dealing with them directly, prices are worked out in a collaborative manner, taking into account market and other fluctuations to ensure transparency and fair trade. A more than merely positive side-effect is that Toby’s Estate pro-actively invests in local social and environmental projects that are chosen by its producers in a bid to support grass-roots.

What attracted me to Toby’s Estate ever since I first encountered their emissions fifteen years ago, is the meticulous attention that is paid by a dedicated and passionate team of experts to the roasting process, which is individually calibrated for all the different types of beans they blend and brew.

Toby’s core expressions are comprised of the berry and peach informed Espresso Rico and Woolloomooloo expressions, the latter of which is nuanced with hints of cocoa and spicy highlights.

What should intrigue anyone remotely into great coffee is Toby Estate’s Flavour Savour series, which this month’s incarnation land with an idiosyncratic Australian twist: The combination of coffees that constitute Lamington is, as the name would suggest, a tour de force into multi-layered chocolate territory, meandering from milky to dark and interweaved with hints of strawberry marmalade.

Juicy Fruit is an expression whose telling name does not leave a lot of guesswork to work out as this brew is all about a well-balanced melange of vibrant berry nuances.

Toby’s Ahuachapán El Salvador San Jose expression is one of my recent favourite as it ticks all the boxes in terms of what I am looking for in an expresso, with its raspberry flavour that rest against a solid backbone of toffee flavours.


T • December 13, 2021

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