Giancarlo Giusti has a perhaps controversial opinion about coffee. “I think Australians know more about coffee now than Italians do,” he says.
Italian-born Giusti is the founder of Grinders Coffee Roasters. In 1960, when he first set foot in a predominantly tea-drinking nation, he had no idea of the impact he would have in helping shape the local coffee culture. By 1962 he had opened Grinders on Lygon Street in Melbourne to bring the Italian tradition of espresso to Aussie palates.
Sixty years on, Grinders is one of Australia’s most trusted coffee brands, and its fifth largest coffee roaster. And Australia? It’s now considered as one of the world’s top destinations for coffee.
Grinders marketing manager Burcu De La Cruz says that in the same way Giusti always considered his customers his “friends”, one of the key pillars of Grinders today is its community.
“As a company, we respect where we came from and at every stage of our journey we are listening to people, to our customers, and adapting to always satisfy Australian taste buds,” De La Cruz says.
Australian coffee drinkers today are among some of the most discerning in the world. Not only do they know their Arabica from their Robusta: they care about where their coffee comes from and the impact it has on the environment and society.
A good coffee can put you in a good mood and set you up to have a good day
Hence the company is investing in technology, sustainability and ethical practices. It is the largest branded roaster of Fairtrade green beans in Australia. It has a partnership with Rainforest Alliance, helping advocate for better working conditions and terms of trade for farmers and workers in developing countries.
Grinders has a mission for all its packaging to be 100 per cent recyclable by 2025 and was one of the first commercial roasters in Australia to introduce compostable coffee capsules. Grinders is also working closely with leading roasting experts to ensure its processes are optimised for renewable and low carbon energy.
In celebration of their 60th anniversary, Grinders is running a consumer promotion through their café partners and Time Out, asking café patrons the question: ‘How does your café give you the grounds for a good day?’ and turning their answers into social content.
There is a major $10,000 prize for one lucky customer, plus daily prizes.
“As so many people know, a good coffee can put you in a good mood and set you up to have a good day,” says De La Cruz.
“At Grinders, we make that coffee uncomplicated – you don’t have to think about it, you know you are going to get the best quality, ethical coffee, so you can simply enjoy the company you are with.”