Roasters change focus to find the perfect brew

DOME has decided to move the core of its roasting business to Sydney after a trial completion of its $750,000 technology driven roasting machine.

Dome chief executive officer Nigel Oakey cites cheaper freight costs and proximity to major wholesale markets as the main drivers for the change.

“We recognised one of the things to rethink was our production systems, they were stretched to the limit,” he said.

“We had to upgrade and rethink the distribution or we’d run into problems.

“At the same time we recognised that if we were to expand our wholesale product we’d have to look at upgrading the packaging and distribution channel and proximity to our customers’ head office.

“It’s a cost-neutral exercise to get the quality and consistency right. It also provides a base for the later part of our five-year program to attack the eastern states.

“You have to face up to the isolation factor in WA. If you intend to sell to the eastern states you have to have the infrastructure in place as close to the target market as possible.”

Dome scoured the world to discover the roasting techniques of the world’s best coffee roasters and stumbled upon an Italian production, the Illy coffee brand.

“We’ve been running a trial of the same machine used to produce Illy. Illy is one of the most expensive coffees on the market and we saw the way they did things as world class,” Mr Oakey said.

“The roaster is a $750,000 investment in technology based in Sydney. There are a lot of variables in producing coffee because of the human factor in roasting.

“We needed to eliminate that in terms of roasting. Now a computer matches a roasting profile, not the individual. That means we can deliver a consistent roast every single time.”

Mr Oakey said the role of Dome’s roasters would change focus and the company would be working with green bean suppliers to ensure consistent quality.

The new roaster has a 120kg roast capability compared with a 30kg roast currently produced by the roaster located at Dome’s headquarters in Nedlands.

Although Dome’s current principal market is Perth and South-East Asia, Mr Oakey said freight costs would be reduced by roasting the green beans when they arrived in Sydney.

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