In 1962, a young Italian immigrant recognised the need for locally roasted coffee beans in Melbourne. That young man was Giancarlo Giusti, today the patriarch of one of the city’s longest running roasters in Carlton.
It all started when Giancarlo purchased a red grinder for just Åí1 and subsequently started roasting and selling coffee out the back of a shop on Lygon Street. While he initially sold espresso to like-minded immigrants, word soon spread about the amazing coffee on offer. By 1969, Giancarlo was supplying multiple venues throughout the city with his delicious beans.
More than 50 years on, Giancarlo merged his coffee business with Grinders Coffee and started to influence the way the business was roasting on a larger scale.
A lot has changed since those early days: Giancarlo has retired, but can still be seen fussing around the Lygon Street store, making sure everything is still on point.
The store has recently undergone a major renovation and the newly refitted coffee bar gives a nod to its heritage while pushing the boundaries of the Grinders offering into new territory. The on-site roaster and coffee bar in the centre of Melbourne’s Italian quarter, ensures Grinders Coffee stays at the forefront of our coffee culture, featuring a robust and well-curated program of coffees roasted onsite.
The large and ornate wheel from Giancarlo’s original red grinder is now a feature of the venue, sitting front and centre behind the feature floor-to-ceiling windows, while shelves line two of the walls behind the wheel, holding coffee-themed paraphernalia and numerous boutique blends.
Grinders is the largest roaster of fair-trade coffee in Australia, with six different brands roasted under the business name. These include Grinders Coffee, Giancarlo Coffee, Fix Coffee, Romanza Coffee, Grinders Single Origin and Grinders Capsules. The beans used for these blends are of the highest quality and are sourced globally by the team from quality coffee-producing countries such as Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Uganda, Ethiopia and India.
Drop by the cafe bar to sample what’s on offer. The 277 blend is a brand-new offering for Grinders, named for the street number where Giancarlo set up his roastery all those years ago. A blend of beans from Brazil and Ethiopia, the coffee is roasted to taste delicious in milk, creating a smooth, well balanced and chocolatey cup with fruity overtones and a sweet lingering finish. If you’re after something a little different, try a single origin – the knowledgeable baristas will be able to guide you towards an interesting coffee, perhaps from Colombia, Costa Rica or Indonesia.
On hot summer days, your coffee choice is clear: sit back with a refreshing cold brew served with tonic water. Once you’ve enjoyed a coffee at the bar, you can peruse the take-home bags and coffee gadgets. Those who are looking to invest in their home operations will find equipment and machines aplenty, with expert advice provided to ensure you can brew to perfection.
Being such a large part of Melbourne’s coffee scene for over 50 years, Grinders continues to bring a new twist to coffee service in Carlton. It ensures that the city’s coffee culture shines bright, allowing every local to indulge in their favourite caffeinated brew.