I tried my first cup of coffee in March this year. Before that, I never understood what the fascination was and was pretty adamant that I would not be serving coffee at The Sweet Meadow.
Everyone had been telling me I was crazy if I didn't have coffee on the menu. I kept thinking, why would you want coffee when you can have a fresh juice or smoothie blend to give you instant energy?! If Boost Juice stores can thrive without coffee then surely The Sweet Meadow can too!
I stuck to my guns until one sunny February afternoon when I was sitting in a historic bakery in Trentham, Victoria waiting for my meal to arrive. Across from our table was a young couple who were both eating salads. I thought to myself, "That's the kind of customer that will come to The Sweet Meadow." A second later, a staff member brought over two lattes to their table. That was all it took. The next day I started researching coffee roasters in Melbourne and headed across to Byron Bay soon after to find out what all the cool kids were using.
I talked to a few roasters but as soon as I walked into Allpress Espresso back in Collingwood, Melbourne, I knew I found the right coffee makers for me. The crew live and breathe coffee and their attention to detail is second to none. Their roasting team work direct with farmers in various regions throughout South and Central America, Africa and Indonesia. They single out growers who care about sustainability and good agricultural practice and also strive for a zero-waste facility at their Melbourne roastery (they provide local gardens like Ceres Environmental Park with the chaff removed from the coffee beans during the roasting process to richen up their soil, for example).
I also love the fact that they don't have wifi at their cafes. In their words, "We want our Roastery Cafes to be a place to meet; a place to step away from your desk and to get your head out of the digital clouds. We want our customers to connect to the space we have built..." Food for thought!
I've been asked whether I'll be serving "normal" coffees instore (translation: coffees made with dairy milk). The short answer? Nope.
Dairy milk may froth up and gloss up better than plant-based milks, but that doesn't change the fact that it's perfect for baby cows, not so much for adult humans. I've written about my stance on dairy before, but to reiterate, I don't think it is anything close to being a health food.
If you ever come across a copy of the book Skinny Bitch, read Chapter 5 and see if your stance on dairy changes. As authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin write,
Luckily, there are many alternatives to dairy products. We will offer soy, almond, oat and coconut alternatives. You'll feel so good dairy-free you won't even know yourself! Soy good.