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The Roast

Season 2

It’s a little cup of joy for so many of us. Coffee is often part of a daily ritual and an excuse to gather with friends and family. Did you know coffee farmers are growing beans right here in Australia? It’s thanks to some pioneers who set up the industry – including my guest today. The Zentvelds are second generation coffee farmers in Byron Bay and were the first commercial sized coffee farmers in NSW. Partner of Zentveld’s Australian Coffee and President of the Australian Coffee Growers Association, Rebecca Zentveld is today’s guest and we discuss:

  • The countryside in northern NSW is spectacular in the morning and Rebecca’s favourite moment of the day.

  • She shares the back story of husband John’s family, who really kick-started the local coffee industry back in 1987.

  • The rich volcanic soil in the hills behind Byron Bay which, along with the cool conditions, produce a naturally sweet coffee.

  • Australia is free of domestic pests or diseases that impact production of coffee.

  • Rebecca was one of the first in Australia to set up a coffee roastery in 1993 – which is still doing well 30 years later.

  • The focus on presenting Australian coffee at its very best.

  • Rebecca’s appreciation for coffee started when she was living in Melbourne in her early years which, is where she met husband John.

  • Why she made the shift from an urban setting to living, and loving, life on the land.

  • The work still to be done in promoting Australian-origin coffee to the world as the industry has been recognised by AgriFutures Australia as an ‘emerging industry’.

  • Rebecca wants more people to grow coffee – she says ‘We can’t offer our coffee to everyone – there is such room for growth, and I want to see others grow in Australia.’

  • Mother-in-law June, who is now 80 years old, planted a 50-acre natural rainforest on their border which, is now an attraction. They no longer have a fence – the rainforest and creek create that natural divider.

  • What does Rebecca love most about the land? Compost!

  • Her favourite aspects of country living.

  • The most unexpected thing to happen to Rebecca.

  • Common misconceptions about her work.

  • Rebecca’s ultimate dream for the future.

We hope to see you back on the road soon, to learn more about how Australia grows on the next episode of Australian Farmers with Angie Asimus.



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