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First a confession: when we moved to Redcliffe, my first caffeine experience made me seriously consider giving up the black stuff for ever. But then good fortune showed up in stubbies and a singlet – a plumber and coffee connoisseur in one, and it was he who led us to Neli Coffee.

Since then, the coffee bar has been our regular hangout, not least of all for the guarantee of a perfect cup every time. But there’s more to Neli than creamy cappuccino and smooth espresso – this small outfit roasts its own beans and supplies cafes in Queensland and beyond.

The husband-and-wife team behind Neli weren’t always obsessed with good coffee. Edward recalls their first café in Redcliffe, which featured a tin of Nescafe behind the counter. Lucky for us, somewhere along the way, things changed. Perhaps it was Janelle’s time working at the café in the NSW Gallery or perhaps they tuned in to the nation’s growing awareness of fine beans and milk that doesn’t scald the tongue.

Either way, interest became passion, and that passion is poured into every cup. The couple has travelled far and wide to learn the art of roasting, and on a Friday morning, the sweet smell of Papua New Guinean, Guatemalan or Brazilian beans wafts over the Clontarf trading estate. The bean are then stored in The Bean Room, a temperature controlled facility that Edward had way too much fun building.

In the short time that Neli has been roasting and blending, they’ve managed to pick up some impressive awards, the latest of which is silver at the Royal Sydney Easter Show. For a humble outfit in little old Redcliffe, that’s a pretty big deal.

The winning blend is the Mexican Chiapas Organic Single Origin, which also won silver in the Golden Bean awards. It is described as, “bright in the cup with a lovely citrus acidity, mild body with hints of nut. We love it as a ristretto or espresso, or with milk as a double shot latte. It cuts strongly through milk and has a real chocolate finish.”

To say that the discovery of Neli Coffee was the key to my ultimate happiness in Redcliffe is no exaggeration. We even bought a house close by (ok, that was kind of a coincidence). Through the coffee bar, we have made some amazing friends, and it’s fantastic to see Janelle and Edward being rewarded for their passion and hard work.

The funniest thing of all is that I don’t even drink caffeine any more, but I still manage to get my Neli fix by way of their pitch-perfect Swiss water filtered decaf. Obsessed much? Perhaps…


Click here to view Neli Coffee online

Published: Mar 14, 2011 3:39pm by johegerty.

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