Numero Uno Artisan Coffee Sustainable Stories

 In Sustainable, Sustainable Stories

Sustainable Stories No 4. Numero Uno Artisan Coffee

At Fish & Co we are dedicated to sustainability not only for seafood but also in business. We thought it would be interesting to share a little background on our sustainable partners so you could get to know a little more about the people and their businesses that makes it all possible for us to deliver our delicious sustainable experience here at Fish & Co.
We would love to hear what you think or on ways we can improve on connecting sustainable stories?

Your Name   Gina Di Brita

Where do you live?

Sydney, Australia

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Numero Uno Artisan Coffee has gone from strength to strength since its humble beginnings in my garage within Sydney. I am just where i want to be and more importantly, thoroughly enjoying myself. I owned and operated a farm working in agriculture for 13 years in Far North Queensland – Mareeba, thereafter; marketing and employment training services before launching my coffee company in 2003.

My journey in the coffee industry began after answering an ad for a marketing position for a boutique coffee roaster in Melbourne, after moving from Queensland with my three daughters and later becoming the company’s distributor in Sydney.  ” I started Numero Uno as i felt there was a big gap in the market for specialty coffee. Commercial companies didn’t seem to be doing anything personal or specialised and this is where i knew my strengths lay.

Looking back, I’ve realised up until now all my working roles involved communications and negotiations with various people from different backgrounds and age groups. The greater variety of people and situations i was exposed to, the more i understood just how critical, clear, open communication is in order to understand any situation and achieve success, no matter what the industry. I’ve always tried to balance my work and family life, but at times it’s been difficult. I truly believe the way we think is what we will become or how we see our own lives.

My mission in life is to continue helping improve the quality of the lives around me and in business, continue investing in the team around me, my customers, suppliers and the partnerships of small hold farmers. I’m constantly searching to improve my business with the focus for more ethical and sustainable outcomes for effective change towards communities locally and globally.  If something isn’t working, I will make the necessary changes until it comes back to being harmonious. Above all, I appreciate the importance of building relationships and that they take time, respect and have to be nurtured.

Tell us about your business:

Numero Uno is a high end artisan coffee roaster using only  Strictly High Grown (SHG)100% Arabica coffee. Their process of selection is vigorous, using the internationally recognised standard of cupping and tasting protocol – Cup of Excellence (CoE) to evaluate samples of raw green beans from the various grades of coffee from each origin.

This is a necessary quality assurance method when selecting beans for a desired flavour, aroma, body, acidity, aftertaste and balance, but more importantly, this procedure is used for detecting any defects within the coffee. Numero Uno has access to some of the best coffees in the world. The cost associated with the range of grades is significant and also requires constant management and seasonal purchases to maximise freshness. Numero Uno pay significant premiums to offer a high quality seasonal product, while at the low end of the scale, roasters take advantage of cheaper grades and older coffees resulting in poor and “bad”flavours, such as bitter, sour, mouldy, fermented, baggy and dirty.

Numero Uno also provides a range of complementary products and services such as premium Organic Leaf teas and drinking chocolate, barista accessories, quality crockery, commercial & domestic espresso equipment, after sales technical service including full Barista training by accredited trainers and a consulting service for new start-up cafes.

What are your longer term goals for the business?

Numero Uno seeks to differentiate with sourcing coffees that are unique in flavour and superior In quality and only exclusive to Numero Uno. They currently source from both green bean brokers and directly from the farmer/Origin. They are working towards sourcing all raw beans directly from Origin/ Small holder farms. They are currently collaborating with the Women’s Coffee Growers Association of Colombia to form a partnership of direct trade, introducing some high-end specialty Colombian coffees that are grown in high altitude micro-climates with the emphasis of using natural pesticides and fertilisers for their crops.

This is a huge advantage over some of their competitors. Numero Uno are in the business of developing great tasting coffee – not caffeine. They believe there will always be a market for quality coffee at the specialty end of the coffee spectrum as long as relationships are nurtured and respected. And as far as possible, tailor the quality to the requirements of the customer. But the pursuit of quality coffee must also be honored by adequately rewarding the grower and their workers.

Numero Uno is knowledgeable when it comes to raw bean selection and origin knowledge. This knowledge is highly valued amongst their customers and piers as it creates a sense of confidence and increases value in the ongoing relationship. This is supported by the Roasting and brewing knowledge, barista training knowledge together with equipment/management knowledge.

They are coffee roasters with a commitment to quality and have a duty of care to inspire the customer through education and awareness programs to inform them about quality and the labour intensive work it takes to produce a great cup of coffee before it is shipped to Australia.

Who are your customers?

Numero Uno targets no specific gender or age group. The appeal is far more pshyco-graphic than demographic.

Numero Uno’s customers are made up of wholesale, home & office, the corporate sector and the coffee enthusiast. Numero Uno ‘s customer is confident and astute, who takes ownership and responsibility when it comes to product/brand knowledge. They are highly aware and understand environmental and ethical concepts and the impact this can have both at an individual level and then globally. They do everything they can to live ethically and have a strong sense of urgency. They acknowledge and support the increasing costs of an excellent cup of coffee as long as it is in line with quality.

They seek to have a memorable coffee experience with positive flavor attributes  and quality such as sweet, smooth, complex, syrupy, balanced, fresh and clean.

What does ʻsustainabilityʼ mean to your business?

As coffee is the second largest traded commodity after oil (petroleum), it is vitally important that in a business context, the demands for growing this  product commands sustainability, preserving for the future – without exhausting all of its resources or destroying its own basis.

Numero Uno artisan roasters continues to actively seek coffees farmed from ethical and sustainably grown crops.

Wherever possible they are committed in establishing relationships and buying directly from the coffee producers currently in Colombia, Honduras and Nicaragua.

These producers and their workers are paid a living wage which also assures them of educating their children and improve living conditions. In addition, these farmers they have partnered with, produce coffee using farm practices that does not harm the environment, including water and the many species of wildlife.

Through their ongoing membership and partnership with Alliance for coffee Excellence (CoE), they are supporting exemplary coffees worldwide with the goal to provide sustainable economic rewards to high quality farmers, enhance overall transparency, provide top-notch education and build quality infrastructure in the global coffee industry.

They further support sustainability by buying coffees through programs such as certified Rainforest Alliance, Fair Trade, USDA , and UTZ certified farms produced according to internationally recognised social and environmental standards.

Numero Uno’s close relationships with the farmers have a responsibility  to share the human story and struggles that underpin each cup of coffee by collaborating together for future coffee generations.

What is your businesses biggest achievement?

Founder Gina Di Brita and Head roaster, Armando Sierra having recently travelled to Central and South America have forged strong relationships with small holder coffee growers, particularly with women coffee growers in Colombia. Continually seeking and building relationships with the coffee growers directly  are seen as increasingly becoming important as global demand grows for specialty coffee and availability. Numero Uno’s long standing relationships keep them in a good position going forward as the market potentially becomes more competitive for specialty beans. This means, better traceability and more control of raw coffee bean selection at Origin, cutting out the middle-man and giving back to the growers and their community.

The Numero Uno brand has been in the market place since 2003. The company has stayed true to its core business of only sourcing and roasting quality coffee with the expertise of Head Roaster, Armando who has a background in food science and comes with 10 years experience within the National Coffee Federation of Coffee in Colombia.

The team at Numero Uno are seen as approachable and quick to resolve any problems. They have a true passion for coffee excellence: both focused on getting to the next level and continual improvement.   They represent value.  Value for money for great quality products that means the customer or consumer are left with a pleasurable and unique experience that will inspire passion, individuality and addiction.

They have recently been invited by the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (CoE) a non for profit association to assist as jury members in judging the top 10 coffees from Colombia.

In 2010, a state of the art teaching lab was built , where their dedication to training baristas, office and home enthusiasts is on offer on a daily basis in a “one-to-one” learning environment.

They have won bronze, silver and gold medals for all their blends through roasting competitions such as the annual Golden Bean, the annual Sydney and Melbourne Royal Agricultural Society Shows culminating to their Silver medal award in March 2014 for their seasonal blend – Picasso.

If you could chose, what would be your last meal and with who (dead or alive)?

I’ve always wished to dine with Nelson Mandela because he was no ordinary person. His life journey encompassed so many extra-ordinary moments as a revolutionary, a prisoner and then finally a president, not to mention the “adoring” love for his wife and children.

He was a well educated man  who experienced every level of  emotion, but never gave up as a freedom fighter and for what he believed to be unjust against humanity.  After 27 years in prison Nelson Mandela was freed in 1990 and negotiated the end of apartheid in South Africa bringing peace to a racially divided country and leading the fight for human rights around the world…. What an achievement! I wish I had the opportunity to meet this admirable human being whom i hold in very high regard, even after his passing away.

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