Melba Coffee Roasters
2/41-43 Stephens Road, Dandenong South VIC 3175
1300 263 522
Tucked in a brick-fronted alcove in Dandenong South, Melba Coffee Roasters is quietly roasting up some of the best organic, fair-trade coffee in Melbourne. A locally owned and operated business, the roastery is fired up six days a week to create quality coffee for drinkers all around Australia and overseas to enjoy.
Owner, John Frangoulis, wasn’t always a coffee drinker and his foray into the roasting world started a little differently. After completing a university degree in biomedicine, he took up a job as a coffee salesman to learn more about people and their life experiences. It wasn’t long before he was hooked and two years later, Melba was born. At a time when Italian coffee was dominating the Melbourne coffee scene, John chose Melba as a name that would resonate with his Australian crowd.
A couple of years down the track, John was joined in the business by his first cousin, who confusingly shares the same first and last name thanks to a Greek tradition. A true family business, John’s brother-in-law, Diego Ayala is the barista trainer. From salesman to coffee roaster, John knew that in order to control the quality of his coffee he needed to be hands on.
From salesman to coffee roaster, John knew that in order to control the quality of his coffee he needed to be hands on. He travelled overseas to coffee farms and enlisted the help of experts to learn more about roasting. He maintains the high standard of his coffee by creating personal connections with the farmers overseas and continually checking the quality. Much like winemaking, roasting requires constant conversations with the farmers to understand what they’re expecting from the upcoming crops and any changes to quality.
Melba’s choice to offer an organic product also differentiates its style, and although initially a huge challenge, it eventually paid off, with 2017 marking the celebration of their 15th birthday. The Rainforest Alliance and fair trade coffee and fair trade is sourced from boutique, microlot and specialty producers, roasted on-site in one of their four customdesigned and built roasters.
Their most popular blend, the No. 6 blend, won gold at the Golden Bean Coffee Roaster Competition and stands out on shelves with its Day of the Dead skull logo. The imagery is a nod to John’s wife’s Mexican origins as well as the use of beans from Mexico, which have a unique flavour profile due to mineral rich volcanic soils. The micro-lot selected specialty coffee has notes of nuts and chocolate with a delicate acidity. Continuing this personal connection, the Olivero Blend was named after John’s son and his other shop in Dandenong Market – Cafe Valentina – after his daughter.
Supplying to more than 100 cafes in Australia and overseas, Melba’s humble roastery is proving the team’s direct relations with farmers in Mexico and Rainforest Alliance countries pays off when it comes to quality and taste. With a wide range of single origins and blends, and multiple awards to its name, you know you’re in good hands.