#755 – Sustainable Coffee Cups – Russell Touyz (Eco Barista)/
- June 9, 2020
Russell Touyz – WA Regional Director of Eco Barista
Russell is the WA Regional Director and National Creative Lead for Eco Barista, a coffee cup and packaging supplier who is building a better future through sustainable cups and coffee bags.
Russell has previously worked on the Paper Cup Project, which provided a way for local artists to gain exposure, and get their work into the hands of the community through coffee cups.
On today’s episode of The Daily Talk Show, we discuss:
– Melbourne and coffee culture
– The Paper Cup Project
– Sustainability and compostable coffee cups
– Changing consumer behaviour & COVID-19
– The cost of a coffee
– Coffee snobs and sizes
– Learnings, sales and code leads
Russ on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brussel_sprowers/
Eco Barista: https://www.epsdistribution.com.au/
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Send us mail: PO BOX 400, Abbotsford VIC 3067
The Daily Talk Show is an Australian talk show and daily podcast by Tommy Jackett and Josh Janssen. Tommy and Josh chat about life, creativity, business, and relationships — big questions and banter. Regularly visited by guests and gronks! If you watch the show or listen to the podcast, you’re part of the Gronk Squad.
This podcast is produced by BIG MEDIA COMPANY. Find out more at https://bigmediacompany.com/
It's the daily Talk Show Episode 755. I got for a long weekend with the gronk squad we got Russell towers on the show. Welcome, buddy.
Now you coming in live from Perth.
We need I mean you straight off the bat you're you're our coffee expert for the show. You work for eco barista. You started the paper cup project and you're on the ground in Perth and I need to understand the legitimacy of Steve's girlfriend leaves in Perth. What's her order? What's your coffee order? Long Mac topped up? Long Mac top.
Hang on. You haven't heard that one in Melbourne long Mac top is what you used to say. Yep. But then I got corrected topped up. Yeah, yeah. And so what is that for the Melbourne for the Melbourne audience what actually use that? That's a lot I have an extra short or strong latte that's identical.
exists and why it's rare. But yeah, that's my order as well.
It's very funny how you go to Melbourne and Sydney so long that topped up and you might just get like a traditional macchiato and who people are like, what is this? And they'll be like, well, that's what you asked for. But really, yeah, it's a latte with an extra shot or a strong latte. I'm so glad we cleared it up because we would have gotten the wrong order because it's like, no, it's a lot. It's a long Mac just with more milk. And then you would have butchered it and lost.
Thank you. What are some other sort of things that only happen in Perth? What are the that's pretty much it. That's iconic Eric and longneck. topped up is the iconic Wi Fi order. And it just doesn't exist anywhere else in Australia which is bizarre to think that Australia has a divide in orders were usually pretty universal in the sense but that long map top top and strong latte or a latte with extra shot all very very similar. I mean, really in Melbourne, I feel like we talk about being sort of the the
Coffee city have you know of the entire world actually went to Krakow in Poland, they do extremely good coffee. And I feel like and they would say that when people from Melbourne
go to their cafes if they like their coffee, it's a big deal. But I don't know whether this is a bit of bullshit is what's your perception of Melbourne and coffee? Being in Perth and being in the industry?
I think Australia as a whole, I think we are pretty blessed in the sense that we are probably one of the leading countries in the coffee industry for sure. So I wouldn't be surprised about that Krakow story. Oh, and no one in particular, by far. The biggest the biggest coffee capital in Australia for sure. Which is great. I think it's, it's awesome because like, I don't know, I don't know if there's many things like that in Australia that we've got in that sense, but we've got it down to a fine art. I mean, even America, it's very different. I mean, it's growing now the Australians have definitely had the influence.
There's some really cool cafes that exist there that have Australian managed and they're teaching them about flat whites or they've got Australian residents that go to American cafes knowing that they can get those sort of like smashed Evo and that white combo as they have it at home.
Yeah so I think it's great it's like educating the world and love it. Do you know the Melbourne order? Like that's specific to Melbourne?
When I go I've got few mates in Melbourne and that we always usually sit around a table and then we will just say like six strong lattes and I don't know is that is that well, that's very Yeah, I think it's become more so magic was one that's quite specific to Melbourne magic. It's a it's basically a strong three quarter large I but it's the ristretto so it's not just a full full double shot. It's the ristretto part of it. Which I mean get is over you can't really now because it because then it's it's more of a they try to make it about the richness of the flavour I dislike the strong dislike feel like it
Really getting heat with a double strength lot a lot a three quarters, but we're talking about specific things to Perth selfies with quarters. That's very Perth I guess sorry wi very wi over the weekend. Sorry Ross. I just haven't seen the boys since the weekend. I saw a platypus like Victoria within 15 minutes from our office in Melbourne really into the city. I saw a platypus I mean how good that I've never seen one before my the Yarra River just near my giant platypus walking across be doing too well?
No, it was it was hunting. It was beautiful. And I just saw this little thing bobbing up and down. I walk past this, this old man He's like, it is like one of those when you when you see something so cool when you really want someone to ask you. And I think he's just we said hello. And he took that as a moment to engage and say Hey, have you seen the puppets
and then we stopped and looked and saw this platypus it was I felt very Australian like that is a nice
animal that is so close to the city. So that was the highlight of my weekend. Like if we're doing highlights, Ross, what was the highlight of your weekend? nothing that compares to
Pentacles. That's incredible. And I feel quite Australian listening to that. I haven't. I think I've seen the
coins. It's on. It's on something. It's a what we went down the rabbit hole this morning while having coffee with Georgie boy was Has anyone because I told my man he said like they've got they've got barbs on them or stingers. And then we look down the rabbit hole of Has anyone been killed by platypus? No, okay. No one's ever been killed by a platypus, which is good. It's a good good result.
And shout out to so the paper cut project. Can you can you explain what that was? Sure. So that was something. I started with two estimates in two
In 16, and it was about, I guess, using the paper cup as a advertising tool, or a way of spreading awareness or raising awareness. I just felt that besides having your phone in your hand, I think every day someone would have a takeaway cup in their hand. And this was well before the warm wise. So paper cups were just perceived as no one, there wasn't much hate around them. And we used to think, Okay, what about if we went to these big companies or businesses and say, we can get your brand on these cups, and we can get them in the hands of millennials
in a really engaging way. And it wasn't like we were like the first to think of cup advertising that had been done to death. If anything, we thought the uniqueness we could do would be to work with local artists in a way that the cup didn't really feel like advertising. It was sort of something that people would be drawn to they'd look at it and they'd be paid more to invest, investigate further. And then from there, I liked it. I loved the idea.
Like, urban list and broadsheet where each day there'd be a new post about a local business or a local event or an art exhibition or, you know, raising awareness for not for profit, anything that's sort of happening or the pulse of the city, I thought, why don't we like, you know, every month we could have a new cup, a new artist, a new few businesses on the side to learn about and create, like the sort of support local community that was sort of the goal. And what's the biggest challenge in doing something like that?
Um, well, I knew nothing about cups to start off with. I had a graphic design background, and I just assumed, you know, how hard could it be with paper cups as long as they don't leak or, you know, hurt you while you're holding it? How hard can it be but really, it wasn't it wasn't that simple. Because we're in a country where coffee is literally an art form. Everything is measured out to the millilitre you know, how hot it is in the hand. All of that is really thought out by roasters and cafes, which sounds crazy but that's why things are the way they are and how good they are because you know,
We've got really a lot of experimentation behind it. So yeah, I had to sort of find a supplier that was going to have got that sort of reputation already. So that all we needed to do was sort of focus on the artwork, the businesses and and essentially the marketing of it. And at what point you mentioned war on waste. And there's a classic scene in, in that Docker where they feel the tram another behind the scenes that wasn't filled. They just like put on the windows, like they put cups. So it looked like the whole entire train was full of paper cups. And that's was bringing light to the fact of how many used per year I mean, 711 sales 70 million cups of coffee per year. So that's just one business imagine coals and all the unique businesses around Australia. At what point did your you know focus come from, I need a cup supplier to I need this to be sustainable. And that sort of whole messaging around sustainable
When it comes to coffee cups,
it's a really good point. To be honest, I think. I don't know I think maybe because my age and stage or just the demographic around it, I think it was just a no brainer decision for us to always work with the most sustainable option at the time. So we went to eco barista from day one that was just because we did a bit of research we thought, you know, if we're going to be talking about businesses and brands, we should do it in the most sustainable way. And that was before the war on waste. Insane that I probably wouldn't have called the papercut project
was really easy name to come up with but um, it also it sort of created a negative stigma after the like, there was negative stigma behind paper cups after the documentary, especially with that tram scene that you're talking about. It was it was in burned in people's minds that that image. So I guess, if looking at all the cops who were produced during the papercut project sort of time, none of them said like this cop is, you know, compostable, it's not lined with plastic. You know, it's a better single use option than that.
traditional ones that you're seeing, like you said, the 711 ones that were lined with polyethylene. So like a plastic. So that was a huge thing that we sort of I had to sort of stop and just realise, okay, decide where am I going to go from here? If I just get a coffee that says that it's compostable? And I just put it in the normal bin. Am I doing? Am I doing doing it right? Am I doing it wrong?
It's not like right or wrong. I think everyone's trying to do their best. And you know, by choosing cafes with compostable is the best way forward. But unfortunately, compostable cups need to be put into compost. So it needs to go into an organic waste bin. And that's sort of our that's why I want to say from the bat, like right off the get go that reusable cups are definitely the best option. But our goal and our vision is to try and create organic waste bins, more sort of easily accessible for just people like you and me, but also at cafes and at roasters, and then from that point onwards
We can create a completely closed loop end of life for these cups. So yeah, General waste recycling, probably still going to take some time. And I guess the big thing is knowing the difference between biodegrade and composted and compostable sorry. So biodegradable, I guess, you don't really have a concrete time as to how long it's going to take. And also it just means that it's going to break down into smaller pieces, pieces of plastic, whereas, compostable if you put it in compost, it'll turn into like nutrient rich soil straightaway it will begin that process. So that sort of knowing the difference is a huge thing. So if we give the lay of the land of the cup sane, because I know JJ is being called out on Instagram for holding a cup of tea. Remember, like, in the early days of Instagram, you could take a photo of like if you were out and about and having a coffee, and you're using just didn't matter what cup you could take a photo photo in the background, you know, but you can't like nowadays I feel like the expectation is that if you do that, you're showing that you're a bit
behind the times, I mean, yeah, and then there's also the, the the leads, and then not knowing Okay, as a lead good is the cup bad? Which bit do I put in? Which thing? complicated What? So the, I mean, you know, guys, the polystyrene cup. That's an old school. I don't even know where they are anymore. But what are the lay of the land of the cops in terms of the different types and what what how you can even identify ones like lined with plastic And sure, I think because of the price point of the best, we feel the best option is compostable. I would say the lay of the land is this lot ones lined in plastic soapy and they are they're not great. There's nothing really good about them. Besides the fact that they're cheap for cafe owners, then there's
this recyclable cup that sort of been marketed quite a lot. You'll see that the Australian Open or westville send is simply cup, sort of reasonable cup. That's a really interesting one as well.
But again, you have to drop it off at a correct
collection point, it can't just be universally put it in a recycling bin, you need to find simply cup drop offs. So again, you need to find some sort of location for that. So we sort of love compostable in the sense that it's a universal process. Like you can compost it here. You can composted anywhere, you don't need a specific company to do it. It's just the idea of, of composting. That's why we like that option.
And knowing if it's compostable, not usually because of the price point, if a company is producing compostable cups, they're going to be screaming about it. So it'll be written on the cup. It'll say compostable. Look for compostable not biodegradable because they are very different things you can write biodegradable on the ones lined with plastic, which is why that there's there's that's why there's so much confusion because people are getting thrown these terms without knowing what they mean. So I like to say look for the word compostable or the chemical p Li or poly lactic acid, which is sort of like a question
One starch bioplastic sorts of plastic alternative, those are the things to look for. Usually they'll write it underneath the cup, if not on it. So there's like a small writing under here, they will usually say there for sure. If they don't if there's no information, you can just assume that it's not great. I went to Munich a year and a half ago and there is well travelled.
I feel like when you go to the animal guy that shows
that musics crazy when it comes to how progressive they are with all plastics and stuff, I got a takeaway item, and then decided to have in and they said, Sorry, you actually can't do it like legally you're not allowed to do it. And they taught me in a very German way, which was fine. I ended up leaving and I thought it was a good thing. But
I just wanted to say that I've been
so the city wise like is there any cities in
Australia that are actually doing these things well, and does it matter if it's biodegradable or compost if people aren't doing the compost bit because I would, I would have to guess that 90% of all cups that are bought that are compostable cups. This is just a random number that I'm creating right now.
90% of cups aren't even being composted at once have been used and so do you like what how do you control every part of the process to make sure that people are doing that last bit? Yeah, that that's that's a really good point. And you know, transparently I'm the I just believe in transparency. You know, when I meet with roasters and cafes, I always say that from the beginning, I'm like, it's great that you using compostable cups, but it means nothing unless they're actually being composted, which is done. There's no point there's a difference. You might as well just use the poly polyethylene plastic line one's insane that I can only really talk about Wi Fi but we're blessed to have a company called right solution to you.
Which is a private company, and they offer a really good compost service and an affordable compost compost service. And what's even
great about them is that they drop off the nutrient rich soil after they've finished the compost process. So you can put on your herb garden or you can give it to customers. And then you start creating that connection and that understanding that, you know, we can create that sort of loop. But our goal for this year is each state is to pretty much fine, that sort of right solutions in each state that we can rely upon and pass it on to those cafes and make sure that they've got a bin that sort of says this is compostable. You have to bring back your cup to the cafe, which is another deterring problem. But I'm trying to sort of create you know how you get like a loyalty stamps for when you get a cup of coffee. It would be great in the same way that people are bringing your reusable cups if they just bring back the used a pickup, drop it off and get the stamp at that point. And then sort of create the loyalty with
They bring back the use cup rather than when they bought the coffee at the beginning. And then that sort of creates a loyalty and B, you're getting more cups into into a compost stream. I see reusable cups obviously this, if you think about the money that the government is pulling out, based on what's happening at the moment, understanding that the coffee industry is huge is do you have a number around what the coffee industry in Australia generates per year? I don't I don't I know it's large, but it just insane that with the government side of things, I always asked myself, wouldn't it just like so much of this problem be solved if we had another bin that was just called organics waste? ganic Weisbrod because it begs the question like this, even just your cardboard packaging can be composted. You know, your food scraps, all of that is really great. And you can turn the soil into really like nutrient rich soil. So begs the question like, why do we have like a recycling bin and the landfill levy that we're paying like, I just think there's a
ABC I want to do another documentary I'd love for that to be explored. Because I've seen I've physically seen the cops being composted. I've seen the soil come out of it, and I know it works. So I just can't understand why like vast at home when we're disposing on bin night, like our recycling bins full and I'm like, I don't know if any of this is actually going to be recycled. And so then fortunately, yeah, and so with the compost stuff, like if I had a compost bin, at home, how many cups could I be putting four cups a day like I could just imagine my compost being turning into a like a cup fest like a lot of to one ratio just to achieve I don't know too much about the science. Unfortunately, I'm trying to learn about it more and more each day, but you need to have a balance of compounds and so so I need to eat oranges to find the fruit. Even
for tonight, you can you can cut you can cut the cups out and they only condense quite quickly be cut them up but they do need other things they need like
vegetable scraps and now that sort of Yeah, just God's well what you achieve that compost. What are you talking about is still living at home with your parents and your old man still? Yes, I mean compost. I my dad has a compost I like it my dad. Yeah, we've I mean we've got two worm bins as well and so like it Yeah, but it's like that's just starting now like my cancel they've now got a compost bin and so you get like a little, you know, like it's compost bag and you just throw your scraps in there and it's just gone off to a facility but yeah, you can throw stuff in there as well like mate and everything's crazy. Yeah, I mean and then there's it's it's such a hard run because then I
you live in an apartment block job, which is a whole nother battle where there's a little area
but then there's the communal areas where stuffs getting like the neglect that comes with it. I guess there's, it's there's so much of a focus on it. Now how much of your day is consumed by thinking about this kind of stuff for us.
A lot of it now,
at the beginning, we were always thinking about, like, what new products can we do? And then I just felt that the best thing right now it would be for us to just completely dedicate our focus on providing collection points for our cafes and roasters. Because from there if we're doing that really well, I think people will just want to work with us because that's the first question everyone asks Is, where's it gonna go? So I'm just thinking, you know, rather than doing new colours and new artworks and the cups and all that I'm saying, Let's focus on creating an end of life. And I think that people would much prefer having that and from there once we've got that, you know, working really well we can start you know, making it look prettier and and more on brand for cafes and roasters. I feel like so much of this is habit change and trying to get consumers to change habits. Have you looked into or explored what it takes to get consumers to actually change their habits around this?
Well, I bought the kid cup
era was really interesting. I thought it was amazing in the sense to how quickly it took after that documentary, I feel like everyone sort of bought one pretty much that night. So it's possible consumer behaviour changing is possible. Whether or not the retention of that is I don't know, because I know that a lot of people maybe bought tea cups and then was like, she forgot them. Or I forgot to bring it all left in my car, or it's on my office, you know, I can't have a coffee today because I've lived in my car. But you know, it's good that that people thought, okay, yeah, I need to change, I need to do something. And there's people out here that will religiously still use that which is great. So it can be done. But at the end of the day, you really do need to make things simple. The harder you make it, it just won't take and that's just the way it is. It's extremely hard to change consumer behaviour. So you need to try and just put it in front of them, then it's pretty much what they're doing is autonomous is just they don't even think what they're doing and they just they put it in there and it's done. So you've got to you've got to Spring Boot it really well. Has it all been during COVID because I know there's been a whole
bunch of rules implemented in cafes in Melbourne, what's the lay of the land in Western Australia? Yeah, really interesting. What? What came of that was, I guess people didn't really think of cups as a way that they could, you know, carry germs and cafe owners and baristas were a little bit worried about, you know, touching things that people put their mouths on. And I understand that and that's a legitimate concern. But what was really great is that a lot of cafes, who were like going, Okay, we're going to take away really, they thought, instead of using polyethylene cups, now let's move up. It's worth it for us to pay more and try and get, you know, an organics waste bin and our cafe and use compostable cups. So that was good. They sort of forced no forced to sort of move to a really premium single use option. So that's been good. I do think he cuts will certainly come back, which is also really good. But I just think no one really knows what's going on with COVID at the moment, so we sort of everyone's just forcing to adapt which has also been really interesting for the for the coffee industry is how they've adapted to COVID. When you say premium how
Much more a cafes paying to have, say a high quality, you know, positive impact cup coffee cup, like a barista versus using some sort of really, you know, dangerous, dangerous one. what's the what's the difference in cost? Sure. So cafes sort of traditionally order cups and lids and cartons of 1000.
And let's just talk about a single unit here I would say in wha The most common sizes 12 ounce also, that's another conversation point while we are talking ounces in Australia, but everyone, what is that in males?
What is it? It's like 330 I think three subs come with
theory ounces. Yeah, I don't even bother with Syria anymore. I'm just so disappointed all the time. You're gonna have to unlock your phone for that
thing back. It's annoying. And so anyway, so you get the word out, you say so that
As a 12 ounce and who is probably the most common, I think in Melbourne might actually be the eight ounce which is more common, which is less. So who loved their milk
12 ounce a cup would be like six cents for a plastic line one. And then for a compostable one or P Li line one would be about 10 cents. So it's a jump up. And then you've got the lids. So you've got like compostable lids, which are like this translucent colour. I don't know if this is amusing. But it's like a translation. It's not actually plastic, it's made with that PLR materials telling you about instead of being four cents, that's like six and a half cents. So it jumps up every time we're not using plastic because obviously the good thing about not saying that plastics, right? I'm just saying the reason plastic is used everywhere is because it can do whatever and you can do it really cheaply. Whereas PLR it's harder to produce and there's less of it around the world. So the price goes up. I mean, since going we went to the states last year
we went to California
voice. It was actually accent agnostic. So
now it's actually a real game show people. Yeah, he can't do that anymore.
You'll be called out for now. Whole Foods. Last time I was there had plastic straws and then they've gone from plastic to paper straws. And that is a huge move in a business of that scale. Like how much pressure is on businesses in Australia that are the, the big, the big ones like 711 Kohl's Express and all these people doing you know, fast coffee. It's almost like and how much pressure is there?
huge pressure. It's amazing to think the consumer pal we've got it's you have you're forced to change you really don't have much of a say. The unfortunate thing is you know, you know paper straws I don't know about you guys are
hate them hate the soggy feeling in my mouth but there's new things out there for like me drinking cold metal hurts hurts my teeth too and they say that something limping something rock hard. There's no in between. There's no in between. So what is the answer? Do you guys do a straw solution? We don't really deal with that with straws. We just think there's really nothing salvageable about them. But what I have seen from a different supplier, giving them some idea but um, it's those the cold brew cups you got your pretty much your your clear cups, but it's a sippy cup essentially, it's like an adult
takes away the need for straws. So I think that's a great thing that we can all wait.
Baby like I actually know someone who has a bunch of cafes in there. I adamant we will not ever serve sippy cups, or really sippy cup leads based on really
Paying the sort of low status as the sippy cup as in sippy cup is in your coffee cup that just got the lip on it. Very Yeah, having having a big lip on a on a cup. To me seems a bit bargain like I remember definitely getting a little biscuit on top. Yeah, but also the texture like the, like, I when I went to Queensland.
like, you know, the feeling of like, like the texture. Like it had like a creepy sort of
rib. And it's a nice sort of feel like relative to pleasure. Yeah, but it feels like it's um, surely that can't be good for the environment because I feel like one of the big signs of whether something's good or bad is like, if they can afford to do all the bells and whistles and have like the extra piece and things like that. Probably not great. Any other real
Sort of telltale sign yeah telltale signs of a dirty cup.
I double wall if you ever want to have a wall when it's sort of like it's got like a like a ridge and then it's like this cup and then it's like a ridge and then it's another whole layer it's yeah people that don't want to hurt their hands. First question is how hot Are you making the call? But also dangerous like I know my mom at her place they have the mic the double glazing glass. Oh, yeah.
It's all seems like it's bloody annoying though because you don't know anything about the temperature of the coffee. So yeah, yeah, true. So that Yeah, straight out of an express how you can really yourself. I mean, coffee slaves to they're not they're not big. They're not big in a stretch. I sudden they rape everywhere. Along blacks. Yeah, yeah, for long blacks because we're using hot water then I think cafes should use either either put two cups within themselves, or they use a sleeve. First leaves. But yeah, you don't see them much. It's very interesting.
What about with with cold burgers? I've, I've had one given to me where it's using a traditional cup and not one that would be plastic with a straw. And by the end of my walk, the cup has gone soggy. And is that a common problem? Is there any work like
eco barista cups designed for holding ice?
So paper cups are designed for like holding hot. I don't know, I don't really understand the science behind it. But when the cold although I think that must be something. I guess as it gets cold. It sort of penetrates the world quite differently. I'm not sure. But yeah, it's just not great. It always gets soggy. So that's a known problem. Yeah, that's a thing. That's another thing. I would always ask the cafe to rather give it to me. Like a clear is clear cups out there that we don't produce them because we try and stick to just like the traditional sort of products but it is clear cups out there that are made with that sort of compostable material and
that that would be the best option for that. I mean when I was in Italy
all that standing at the bar drinking a little espresso and I didn't really there was no promotion of takeaway coffee. I mean, you travelled together you travelled before you tell us about your travels Yeah, we did it um a little it's frowned upon now what we did a cruise
very interesting trip. A lot of bingo and a lot of just like reading our
cruises if you feeling anything like that's just
you just got drunk.
You might be feeling motion sickness but it's not because of the boat.
Yeah, we did a bit of Italy and it was it was just loving idea of going to a
Like cafes and just doing one euro for an espresso Yes, it's also a very different coffee to Australia it's dark a very dark roast more bitter. Whereas you know in Australia we've got some light we're not we only do light roast but we also do light roast here so it was very different but I love it I love experiencing all the different cultures coffee it's just so good. And
on pricing of coffee Do you get a sense of what can you do the breakdown of what coffee actually costs cafes to look for profit margin yeah
11 cents for a cup six cents for you know for the lead and let's call it you know, I was gonna round it up to 20 cents that's probably bad business.
Do you have a sense of what a cup of coffee costs? I don't have the exact number but I will say this which will give you a pretty clear indication of why things are changing and I think it's great for people to know this is that coffee used to be a thing that people were like ah huge margin and coffee, you know, sell coffee because it's so
cheap to make and that was the case because you're buying, you know, quickly. roasted coffee from non local roasters, just buying in bulk you're using just normal cow milk. You were using any old cup, any old lead all of that sort of stuff and probably maybe not a barista that wasn't highly trained. And that was enough that was really cheap to make your barista barista process. Charging alley, right? Yeah, like honestly, I reckon they like I'm sure they're on 23 now, and plus, I don't know, see, once you start factoring, I will do
it and then compostable cups compostable lids. So you're ready at like, let's just call it 15 cents for just the cup and live sustainably. Then you've got people that I really want minor figures oat milk or early oat milk or which isn't cheap or milk lab almond milk. You've got people that I won't drink any other almond milk besides milk lab great, but it's very expensive. And then you've got you know, it's you should really use
Local roaster, you know, you should be supporting local. Okay, cool. So they're, you know, paying rent for a small warehouse to roast so their prices might be quite high as well. So all of these things are adding up. And then again, like I said, the wages of a barista, you have to ask yourself how many coffees I need to sell an hour to sort of just cover costs. So it's not really like that. And then traditionally, in businesses, if your costs go up, that's fine, you just keep the same margin. But unfortunately, cafes don't have the luxury of saying, okay, we'll just charge $5 50 for coffee, you won't have anyone come through the door, because down the road will be $4 50 and then you've lost out. So they can't move that up with their costs. So the costs will go up and the prices will stay steady, so your margin will just get less and less. So it's not what it used to be essentially. So that's why food is something that cafes will always sort of offer on top of coffee so that they can make some margin there as well. You mentioned that milk lab, milk collaboration, McDonald's, like a cafe now
How much of what you do? Are you thinking about say the bigger players like if you could get like a McAfee, or say like the 711 or think things like that. Is that on your radar?
It is. I've always thought about it because it just, you know, it sounds great to be working with such a big company. Even I always thought about Jeff dome in Melbourne. No, it's done. Okay, it's like, I don't know. It's like a it's like an old franchise NWA. I don't I don't know if it's like a coffee. Like, yeah, but like older generation more than my favourite needs coffee club. Yeah.
They were noun. They're renowned for craft coffee, but like, I love it.
I haven't had good experiences that I'll just say that. Um, and yeah, I've always thought you know, it'd be awesome if they gave us just the like, just the opportunity to work with them and sort of rebrand them and because they could be doing so they could be doing so much better. But I
It'll be, I think, for franchises specifically, I think because they're ordering such a large volume across the branches, they can probably just speak to the suppliers themselves. They won't know too much about the industry, but it's enough for them to get by. But yeah, I would love the opportunity to work with with a big company. I think it's really important that these big companies adapt and they work and if there's people like, you know, you and me that essentially the you know, the purchase power, it's up to them to sort of stay in touch with us and provide products like Like you said, like McDonald's using milk like awesome, you know, my partner, she will walk us to cafe and before I've even allowed to, like make an order. She'll be like scouting for the milk lab. My girlfriend grey does it as well. And she was spewing the other day where a cafe was had milk lab containers out in the front, but that was only for sale. They were using the shit.
Yeah, that's pretty dodgy. Do you think that I mean, it's so it's, I think there's it really says something
about like, do you think he can categorise a human based on their milk preference or their coffee order because it does get funny like you and Bray and I could have met you know there's a type that really get obsessed about it my great I think it's better milk superior but I definitely don't have that buy in like that I'm like whatever give me some cow's milk it's but then I'm probably certain tire that has no standard
out yet is like is is wi the same in this way I went to like last time I'm going to mention applies for Auckland
went to Auckland and I asked them if they had milk lab and this was going back for like three years ago and
we created the thing perfectly, didn't didn't need but he's like is there any like? Are there coffee snobs in wi Yeah, big time. I think they're everywhere in Australia, which is good. It's my favourite is when people say rusty got to try out this new cafe. It's amazing.
And then apply Okay, and then go then it's not it's all right. And then I know I find out later on that they drink a weak common law.
So don't get me wrong. I'm nothing wrong with that order but don't recommend cafes.
Just like, Yeah, really? You really haven't helped me there?
Yeah, it is definitely, I may be on a bit of a snob, make just sign up, I'm having a realisation that maybe I am.
You gotta be it's good. It keeps it. This covert thing actually created a detox in the community in the sense that people who knew coffee did well because they had to adapt and they had to adapt well, and the ones out there that just sort of said, I want to own a cafe, you know, it'll be simple. And they were getting by just because they were conveniently placed in the city or wherever they were. They struggled because they didn't know how to adapt whilst keeping, you know, hearing their coffee. So, you know, I think it's good to have snobs. I think it could be
landraces in the comments saying you are literally talking to who is biggest coffee snob.
I mean, what do you think about big coffees? So
Tommy's Tommy's criticism of me is that I'll get a large a straw, a large a strong arm and just get a large almond latte. Yeah. And I'm just like, you've just got hot milk.
While and so what's the, from a sizing perspective? We were talking about the answers and all that sort of thing. I, the Mac is large,
nauseous, we tried it the other day. And it was like, I'd say we tried it.
No, you were the only one who had the last time we did ask for a strong three quarter. Yeah. And it was just too strong. They didn't understand what was happening. That's fine. And so yes, sizing like how much thought has gone into the different sizes that you've picked? yet? So 16
Now is one of those 16 ounces probably the size you had maybe Mac is doesn't large. It's kinky. Yeah. Yeah, it's big. It's Look, I don't want to judge
watching my words. And she's not one to argue with.
Look, my mom drinks a 16 ounce and I try not to look but it's just it's a lot. It's a lot of milk and you just sort of you hope that the baristas are putting the same like more coffee so the ratio stays the same, so that's fine. If the ratio stays the same. If it doesn't, then like obviously, maybe you don't love the flavour of coffee, or maybe it's time to just try and go a little bit less milk and start milkshake. I just think essentially having a gourmet day.
That's exactly, yeah. But like truck drivers. I know. Love 16 outs. This is really general but like people who drive a lot essentially or in a car, lot
16 ounce long black and that I think completely fine in the sense that, you know, they don't have the luxury of getting out or getting off every now and then so they just want some it's gonna last a long time and it'll stay hot because it's hot water, long black, no dose
Well you have the 711 to like their trading specialty. They
just like sausage, right? Do they call the trading special? Or if I just argued you made that up? They definitely push for trading. Like there's definitely, like, I wish of a time where I'm on a sort of a worksite at sort of 10am with smoker and just having a you know, what's an easy stereotype to?
Do they call it
they call it
a special? No, I mean, no, I'm sure you're just doing a shit job. I'm literally on their special offers right now. What do they say? Sweet traits. Now I seen them Cal Tech's do some
Something what I love is all the service stations becoming Primo
slightly off topic, but like, I think it's Celtic's. They had significantly less margins or less, less profits in their petrol cell sales and, and they're going down an avenue of creating luxury like this. David Jones now attached to some of these service stations in Melbourne. It's pretty fancy food. You're not like trying on like, no, no. Sorry, Joe. So David Jones have a food court. Yeah, sure. space. It's, yeah, it's seriously impressive. I mean, businesses can't just all be about the bottom line. Nowadays. It's too much social pressure. Too much to hold on your conscience. I mean, Ross, how much have you developed your thinking, you know, obviously starting something that was specifically centred around paper cups to where you are now, how much have you learned not just in your specific niche, but in sort of the broader consumption?
And relating to the environment
a lot so much and I was never really like bookmark in the sense of like, I never really wanted to study even at school wasn't for me, but I guess this is sort of been like a real life sort of MBA for me, I've just sort of had to learn from my mistakes, which I think he's just been really, really great.
I've made so many backups but I've never made them twice. Sorry for swearing. But in fact,
it's just it's so it you just have to adapt. You have to learn, you know, shit situations happen. And you can either just let them you know, beat you up or you can work out okay, what can I do next time to not let that happen again. And I think I think that's I when you were talking about that, the Asha Gunzburg. I just got really like passionate and like angry about it because I just felt like the suppressive nature of that really angered me
In the sense that like I know firsthand how many times like I was in no position to get into this injury industry I knew nothing about it I knew nothing about the advertising essentially either about cuts but I just did it and i i'm not saying things are great right now but I came out on top in the sense that I learned so much and I I'm really excited about where things are going because I made those stuff up and I just think I encourage everyone just to do it just actually do it and then learn you know, it may not go to plan but you definitely learn something from it It may not be money you may not make huge profit for it you may make a huge loss but I guarantee you'll learn something from it and that will be like invaluable What have you learned about sales as a creative guy moving into more sort of the business realm yet that that was probably a huge hurdle I because personally, I hated salesman before this, I hated it. I every aspect of it. I just thought I never want to be like that one day but I am I had to be I had to had to learn to cold email, which was disgusting. I hated the idea of college.
emails I loved emailing people that had reached out to me because I felt like they were looking for a product and I didn't feel like just a random salesman, you know, just, I just felt like when they were cutting me That was great. But for me to go out cold and for us to be sustainable, and to have, you know, enough money to carry on and do this next month, I had to actually go out and acquire new business. And it's extremely also walking in occasion had to walk into cafes without a meeting, because they weren't responding to emails. And I wasn't even going to order my own coffee. I drove in and asked, Is that righteous? Yeah, I heard
Yeah, look, look, it's I have very similar very, very similar
social anxiety about that stuff. I hated it. One thing I always hated was going to shopping centres when people used to set up a desk right in front of like, say you wanted to go to Woollies or Kohl's. And there was like a charity that was more painful and they would grab you
actually emailed like the Westfield. I
feel like my freedoms been breached. I just wanted to go and get some bananas and eggs.
Off the blackboard Okay, exactly. Yeah, I've limited bullets. Three bruises.
Yeah. And so how do you how do you get over that when when you have to do it to be able to make an income.
You just got to do you just got to do it. You just got to walk in there and do it and it sucks. The first one really, really sucks to get hot. What's sort of the telltale sign for you that you're panicking, the the forehead sweats, the hand sweats, they start and I mumble my words, but I'm not confident about them sometimes.
And like sometimes one of my worst things because I always worry about what people think like I always worry if I'm going to offend them. So I've I just don't like saying much
But my worst is like, you sort of have to speak to a manager, right? You, it sounds really wrong, but you're wasting your time with just like a front of house staff because they haven't got they're not going to definitely not going to pass the message on. They're going to as soon as you walk away, they're going to be distracted, you sort of need to speak to the manager. So to make the assumption that they're not the manager, hugely offensive, right? Yeah. So the amount of times and quota and say like, Can I please speak to your manager? I will actually speak to the manager and the manager. Yeah, yeah. Yo, yo, fuck, you might as
well like just get out because you've already made an assumption that they they're not of superior, like, you know, and that's something so what do you say now? You're the manager. So a bit of a question manager Hey, guys, I'd love to talk to someone about your you know, your packaging. And then you sort of like they they say that's me or let me pass you on to you know, Mary, she's just out for lunch or whatever. You know, that's better, but I had to make that mistake a few times. How did you learn to like it? Yeah. What was it literally just saying their reaction when you said it? Yeah.
Just I love just I'd probably just look at someone probably maybe too intensely when I when I talk to them because I'm always trying to gauge if they're happy or sad
eventually I got it pretty quickly
say that oh that was the wrong way of doing it and then try again another time but Emily just unfortunately yeah make how many coffees Did you buy just because the fact that years ago Nick has a coffee there's
so many I am there was a time when I was doing like a sales day and I was going place to place and it's lovely it is perfect and the job that you know when you do have a meeting this I hey Ross, can I make you a coffee or you you need to get your foot in the door quiet, you buy a coffee and then you go to them and say hey guys, just wondering where he comes from? That's really good. But yeah, like you said, You drink a lot of coffee. And I was driving home one time and really she's not probably on podcast you were here now.
I might my house is quite far away from my parents house and I was close to my parents house. If you shoot yourself, this is the best story.
I did. I took
Don't talk to me just lock the doors.
Just ask me about my day. Like, really rude but I need space I
need water on a
so get the compost
can be using composite Oh no.
I have no idea i'm sure surely not. I don't think so it's got it's like dogshit you can't use dogshit in yoga if we can't use dogs.
We're superior and,
and, and so on the
like going into cafes and then to
what do you call it coffee
emails. So the cold email you're not having to see anyone face to face. Any tips? I guess it's a lower level. But any tips to try and actually get a response?
personalised personalization is probably key. People can smell generic emails from all the way and don't get me wrong. I've made the mistake where I've copied and pasted and left the wrong person's name. Oh, yeah.
Just so you say everyone.
Yeah, yep. So yeah, that's good to see seeing all of your customers and now everyone knows who you're working with instead of BCC, no. dumber.
Always trying to know the area and saying like, I've been to have a coffee. I've seen you, you know, you're doing this coffee now or you're working with this roaster. That's great. You know, I love that you're doing, you know, this sustainable option. Like you're giving out coffee grounds to your customers, doing a bit of research, essentially doing a bit of due diligence, you know, five or 10 minutes before you send the email. I think that always goes a long, long way. Because they just feel like okay, this person actually cares about my
And it's not like, Hey, can I help you with your digital marketing? You know, these are the people we've worked with by and then that's all you say, yeah, you really need to get specific with what you want to do, what sort of value you can add. And then, you know, another thing that I had trouble with was follow up emails if they hadn't responded, because sometimes, I would email off to that you haven't responded? And then I'll do a follow up email on that. Oh, hi. Sorry about this. Yeah, can we meet up and everything goes smoothly from that point on? But then part of me for a while, I never used to do that. Because I just thought That's so annoying. Yeah, I get an email from someone and then I don't respond to the email maker and like, what are you doing? Like, you should have received that message. But at the same time, it's like it's worked in the past. So what do you do? So I guess I try and like if I'm doing a touch base email, try and make sure that that email has value, if it means like, Okay, let me talk about new products. We've added maybe those that first initial email didn't like, you know, wasn't appealing to you. Maybe this email will be because we're now working with, you know, this recycling company or something like that. Maybe that will sort of create that sort of
conversation you're using like a CRM like or some way of managing it all. As of now, no, but I have I did toy around with HubSpot, which I thought was really great.
That was everyone seems to have a crack at that, like, we don't like the pipeline, we're gonna do that. But it sort of falls off. Because there's a lot of effort that needs to like, we have to invest in just spending the time in it. And so where did you fall off with it?
I used HubSpot. I spent I still think I do four forms. It's really good for capturing information. And it's free in that sense. pipelines only works really well if you wanted to pay for it. And it's quite expensive HubSpot. So I think HubSpot is only really justifiable if you've got quite a big company and you've got the budget for that. But then now, it's just like a shared like on slack. We've just got an Excel, you know, Excel spreadsheet, and then just a box that sort of has the details where things were left off the date.
And who was sort of the lead person for that. And then it just sort of make sure that we don't contact the same person twice. And we just know where things are, which it's up to us that once we send an email that we update the shared spreadsheet. But there are other options, I think, streak and other CRM, which is quite good.
A table Monday. And so Monday, how many how many people that you speak to a price sensitive or what are some of the other things they care about?
I think it's always a little bit comes down to dollar and cents, the dollars and cents, but it's the I feel it's religious, probably maybe too much of a generalisation. But the younger audience seemed to just prioritise sustainability and then it's like a matter of Okay, once you've got the most sustainable option, then we can work out how we can make things more feasible and lower the costs once we've got that sort of thing done, because we know how important that is to people. Whereas older generations, probably dollar cents is probably the initial conversation you have, and it's very focused around that. But I've also learned just a valuable lesson.
We work in Wi Fi, one of the first roasters I started working with was Margaret roasting. And they just taught me that sometimes when you've just got to join synergy, and you've got to join ethos, like, you know, a similar ethos sorry.
The Dolan sense conversation sort of just goes out the window and it's sort of like, okay, transparently, what is something that we can both do for each other, that we can have a continued strong relationship. And that's awesome. That is a really, really great feeling because you don't feel guilty that you're charging too much. And you know, that you're giving them a product that they actually need to to, you know, continue their business. And when I had that sort of feeling, I was like, shit like, this is this is really cool. Maybe I can try and find lots of businesses like this where it's just sort of like, transparent like, Okay, guys, sorry, the US dollar is gone up. We have to, you know, in order for us to keep that same margin, not because we want to make more profit, we're not we need to up our prices, and you know, you may need to translate that to your customers. That's just the way it is. And just keeping things very open, I think has worked really well. But in saying that, you know, there are so many
Lies out there that will scream terms like biodegradable, recyclable compostable when they're not. And there's nothing you can do about that, that it's not being policed. It's not you know what I mean? Like, it's their word of yours, and that will land that business. And they'll sell things cheaper because it's not you're not comparing apples with apples or whatever they're saying is, and you've lost on that business just because they weren't honest. And you were and you know, sometimes nice guys finish last, but I've had to learn, you know, a few bit of things out there, but Well, yeah, I mean, yeah, belief in your product as well, if you're just, it's not even a question on your mind, helps with the process.
How much you think about other how much you think about other products outside of cups.
Where we do coffee bags, as well, that's another big Avenue. So coffee bags, essentially, when you're getting coffee roasters delivering coffee to cafes, they have to do it in kilo bags and in large quantities. So that's it, they need to find a sustainable way of transporting the coffee while keeping it fresh. So we sort of help roasters in that sense but also
During to Juda COVID homebrewing became extremely popular. So people buying coffee from their local roasters in little 250 gramme bags like this. We do these bags for sample coffee. And yeah, we had to sort of come up with a product there that was, you know, sustainable as well. And that's probably an avenue that it's going to get bigger and bigger now because homebrewing is becoming very popular and sending coffee retail people. Now like instead of using an espresso machine, they're getting like a really nice Yeah, like an espresso machine or a mocha master to do filter coffee. And you know, you can you can achieve really good high quality cafe coffee at home by using local roasters. Yeah, it's awesome. When what's the cost of a cup of coffee in Perth at the moment?
Like if my mom's wearing like 550 to $6 because she's doing all the works on it.
extra hot milk that all of that
cleaning favour your bullshit
at the toilet
just gonna kill it
for 50 to 550 I would say it's probably the the price range most you're paid for a coffee.
I get cold brew quite a lot. And I find that fascinating that it's expensive because it's very easy to make. It's dumping coffee grounds into water and leaving it there for 24 hours. And that's it. And it's about $6 $6 50 sometimes, which is scary.
I'm thirsty for a coffee right now. Ross, would you give me one?
Ross. What are you in Melbourne next?
Well, I was meant to be there.
For the coffee expedition coffee expedition. Why can I not say exhibition? Today I like the idea of an expedition.
Yeah, I'm going online in about five minutes.
And so what's that just like a bunch of coffee people, just all all the roasters or the like, coffee equipment. So roasters, coffee equipment, packaging, everyone coffee just sort of meet up in Melbourne, and sort of discusses, you know, what's what's in the forefront of the industry. And it wouldn't be my first one, which is really upsetting. So I got cancelled because of COVID. But I'm not doing anything digital.
I don't think so. I've got some coffee. Yeah, it's true in person. And look, the moment the borders open on there, for sure. And what sort of coffee do you make at home?
I use a mocha master. So it's like a filter coffee. It's really very easy to do. And we have the name. Yeah. I'm a huge, huge fan of them. And so when you get a mocker mastered, you need to get specific grounds. So do when I go to a cafe and I like it or a roaster, what sort of
grinding do they need to do or should? Or do you ground? Do you get the beans and then grind it at home? I grind them at home but if you if what do you use? Do you have like an electrical? Like do you have one that plugs into the wall? Yeah, I've got a Breville smart grinder. I also highly recommend that
yeah, that they always surface report I think like 180 but they did like a conical burr grinder. So they are like they use essentially the grinders that the quality of the grind is very similar to the industrial ones. So the ones that cafes use, and you get a very consistent grind, easy to clean and very, very easy to clean. Probably like I would do it once every six months if you don't even need to grow Can
I always put them out of dosage. So I weigh out say 60 grammes of coffee I put it through the grinder and once it's all passed, I know you know what I mean? Like it's not like a lot of coffee in there so they don't it's not too dirty. I feel like there's always hacks around how much coffee you put it in the maka master after every single time. I have to do what I need to get
Google because I forget what is your go to like do I've worked out how to make big batches, but I'm not good at smaller batches. I end up always making like a litre of coffee every single day drinking and then drinking it and then having a panic attack at the office. But what's your, what's your go to? In regards to ratios? I do a one to 16 I sort of recommend that but like sometimes your roses will tell you a different ratio based on the bean but a one to 16 is pretty good, universal ratio and how many coffees that? Like I said, that is one gramme of coffee to 16 millilitres of water. So for every gramme of 16 mils. So say you've got 30 grammes of coffee you just say, okay, Google, what's 30 times 16? And then she tells you how many meals to put in. And that's how I do it. Every morning. I work out how much coffee I've got, and I'm like screaming Okay, Google. So one, why did you say one six, so it's one to 16. Is that the ratio? Yeah, that's the ratio.
Yeah, so 100 so 100 coffee.
So I already factored cuz I was gonna say 100 mils and 490 mils of water 100 divided by 16. If you want 10 mils of water, divide by 16. But if you've got coffee first you can. Good enjoy. You want to go
for a full batch of McMaster 260 grammes and how long do you keep it in the actual the funnel bit before you click it and you click it open all the way up to half.
You throw me there, I just keep it open from the get go. I've closed it. The closing thing will I use the closing thing just for like when I take it away to clean it and throw it away? So it doesn't? If I close it, then no so really, okay, here's something so I think that you're not gonna say this is how you do it. But the way that I'm sure, yes, yes. So the way that I do it is you basically have the funnel thing that the water goes into, keep that closed and then you need to add Do you have an agitation stick around so you wouldn't stick it and you need to agitate
And then once it gets to like three quarters of the funnel, you can then open it up and then you get like a stronger bro.
Okay, I like that in Munich,
at time. Thanks for coming on the show Ross. It was fun. I really really appreciate your time. Thank you guys. And so if people want to say I guess cafe owners things like that, but is there any way that consumers do you think can get smarter on all of this sort of stuff?
Um, I think yes, just doing your research and just, I guess everyone is trying to do their research but not not to get angry and and just sort of learn things casually and calmly is really good and not maybe to buy cafe and roasters faces off when when you think that it's one way and it's, they're doing something another. You got to be you got to realise that, you know, cafes and roasters are obviously trying to do their best and, you know, everyone's learning from their mistakes and I think it's just important that
Everyone just starts looking to see where they can improve the industry in certain areas. And if we all have that sort of mindset, we're going to move in a really positive direction. So yep, bring your cape cup you know, keep it clean for your for your cafes. And and just yet try and do as much research as you can about the industry. But yeah, try and drop off the hate. Stop the hate.
Keep. Don't get angry about your coffee, man. Thank you. Thanks for coming on the show, dude. It's a daily talk show. I said my guys have a good one. See you guys.