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Quality control pours the perfect cup STORY MIKE WATSON

Once roasted, coffee becomes a fresh product and starts oxidising naturally, so over time loses flavour. Fresh is best, so buy small amounts often. JO STEELE


G R E A T O P P O R T U N I T I E S . C O . N Z ISSUE#01


he smell of roasting coffee beans is a seductive force. Jo Steele’s Volcanic Coffee roastery is humming with the reassuring swish of roasted beans in the cooling tray and aromas of freshly made espresso. It’s a busy weekday morning for Jo, and it’s all go. The successful Taupō businesswoman and mother of two is the energy behind Lake Taupō Coffee Roasting Company widely known as the brand Volcanic Coffee. Jo suggests I sample a long black from her compact Wega espresso machine. Her on-going self-imposed quality control of the final product is apparent as she delivers the perfect cup. Volcanic Coffee launched five years ago after Jo’s job as a film marketing manager finished. The transformation from celluloid to caffeine was reasonably straight


forward for the former Wellingtonian. Jo had a reputation for producing a good brew for her friends back in the early ‘90s. When the opportunity to buy a commercial Turkish drum roaster came up, Jo jumped at it and Volcanic Coffee was born. “I’ve learnt that operating a business is 80 per cent persistence, and 20 per cent love. You have to love what you’re doing but commitment is key,” Jo says. “Demand is so great that I need to be roasting every day,” Jo says. “But as a small business, I have to also ensure I’m taking the time needed to grow Volcanic Coffee and look after my valuable customers.” Inside the roastery, which is housed in a custom building alongside her home, sit the basic tools of the trade. Half a dozen sacks each weighing around 60-70kgs, containing AA grade green arabica beans from Colombia,

GO Magazine (Great Opportunities) Nov 2013  

Great Opportunities is an annual Business & Lifestyle magazine that profiles why Taupo is a great place to live, work and play.

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