coffee beans on tree

Coffee grown in the Byron Bay hinterland in northern New South Wales will be showcased at Australian embassies in Paris, London and Malaysia.

Key points:

  • Byron grown coffee exported to Australian embassies in Paris, London, Malaysia
  • Zentveld’s Coffee back to normal roasting after severe COVID-19 slump
  • Best flowering in 32 years expected to deliver bumper coffee crop for 2020

Rebecca Zentveld from Zentveld’s Coffee said it was selected after sending samples for taste testing to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“We’re very chuffed actually, it’s quite exciting to be able to say our coffee’s off to the embassies and that there’ll likely be more to come,”

“We’re sending 250 each of the coffees — our Byron Blend whole bean and plunger/drip ground coffees,— in 200-gram packets suitable for a small office or a gift.”

Coffee tree laden with cherries.
A coffee tree laden with cherries is the result of a good flowering.(ABC Rural: Kim Honan)

The family-owned plantation and roastery at Newrybar also buys beans from other local growers in the region for its blends.

“Being in NSW and the fact that we buy from other growers was something that they particularly wanted to support,” she said.

The roaster is sending 930 boxes of chocolate-coated coffee beans that will also be used as gifts at special events hosted by the embassies.

While the roastery remained open during the pandemic, the business was severely hit by the forced shutdown of the hospitality industry.

Mrs Zentveld said they lost 60 to 80 per cent of their trade when cafes and restaurants closed overnight.

“But we’ve been very grateful with the interest from the home consumer deciding that they’re looking online and finding Australian coffee,”

“The interest in Australian grown product has really shone through in this period, so we’re quite looking forward to the future now feeling there’s more awareness of supporting and seeking Australian produce.”

With the easing of restrictions at eateries, roasting has now returned to normal.

A good hedging and hemp seed the key to bumper crop

Coffee harvest on the farm in spring is expected to deliver a bumper crop with the trees laden with cherries.

Mrs Zentveld said the coffee trees blossomed after drought-breaking rain last November.

“During that late spring we got enormous flowering; the biggest flower set on our coffee farm that we’ve ever seen in 32 years,” she said.

“Now we’ve got a lot of fruit set on our trees, and we’re just watching that coffee fruit slowly ripe until they become ripe and red by October, November.”

The grower revealed the key to the higher fruit set was a good trimming during winter and feeding the trees only organic food, including hemp seed husk.

“So what might be waste for another food industry becomes nutrient matter for our coffee trees,” she said.

“Otherwise we’re only putting on aged cow manure, eucalyptus bark, a bit of lime, not much else, it really is natural food.”

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