Embracing the change: Sydney cafes swap to reusable only cups

Embracing the change: Sydney cafes swap to reusable only cups

Tell us a bit about your background, how you came to open your venues and what your ethos is in these venues:

Well myself (Jacobe) came from Byron Bay, so I’ve always been brought up on the ocean and in the garden with a sustainable living approach, which has brought me to where we are now. I’ve always wanted to open my own venue [sic] but also wanted to create something unique and different; there’s so much competition out there and everyone seems to be doing the same thing with food and coffee. Lucile wanted to bring a bit of her French culture and how she was brought up on a farm, and to showcase her passion for simple good French food.

What inspired you to remove single use takeaway cups from your coffee service?

Well being from Byron Bay it’s easy it’s installed into us from a young age to use reusable products. Also seeing the huge problem in the world today with single use products and how it’s turning into a disposable culture, it’s been my passion to do what I can to do our part to help the world become a step forward in becoming a more sustainable business.

What are the challenges you have faced, or expected in your project or removing these cups from your service?

Well it is a big risk to see how everyone adapts to the change at our Mona Vale store, we went on to inform everyone over a month saying we will be ridding our store of takeaway coffee cups. Also another challenge was making sure we have enough stock and to make sure we don’t lose to many tradespeople or customers that want to be quick, which is why we use the Huskee swap and go system.

With our Dee Why store, we just wanted to make a statement on the Northern Beaches and be the first to not stock takeaway cups at all, and to encourage customers to sit and enjoy the experience in beautiful atmosphere. And if they don’t have time to sit, then they are able to get onto our Huskee swap system.

Were there discussions with staff about this change, or did you decide to do it?

Not really, we always knew we wanted to go this way, we just didn’t know we would be doing it so fast!

Tell us a bit about the response from the community: 

Well we ran a few Instagram posts for both cafes and the response was amazing, we have so many people supporting us and sharing the posts.

It really means a lot when the local community backs you in such a full on movement like this.

Do you expect this to become more common in businesses in the coming years? Why?

Yes for sure, especially if more people get on board and share the movement, more business will get on board the bigger the impact we can have. We need to be more forward thinking about our future and reducing single use plastics.

There’s a quote from Miyamoto Musashi which I always am reminded with in regards to this subject “Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world”

What do you think about ONA Coffee removing single use takeaway cups from their wholesale distribution to cafes?

Well ONA have always been forward thinking in the coffee industry this is one of the reasons we wanted to work with ona, I think this is awesomeness and this movement makes me like them even more haha, other companies will follow. The coffee industry needs a change like this, and maybe the world will follow in our footsteps.


Learn more about sustainable and reusable alternatives and the #giveupthecup campaign at onacoffee.com.au/sustainability

ONA Coffee goes solar

The solar panels, installed throughout 2019, were part of Ona Coffee’s long-term plan to reduce its carbon footprint and work towards more sustainable practice, says General Manager Tom Beaumont.

“Sustainability and more energy conscious practices are at the forefront of our immediate goals,” Tom says.

“As part of the values we hold at Ona Coffee, we are always trying to develop innovative ways to do what we love. At the same time, we feel a responsibility to ensure that we are taking care of the planet as we do this.”

The newly installed panels, which cover the entire roof of Ona Coffee’s head premises in Canberra, power the roastery, offices, and adjacent café. Ona Coffee Founder and former World Barista Champion Sasa Sestic believes the switch to solar is also part of the roaster’s connection to origin.

“Over several years, we have been investing in ways to make coffee farms more sustainable, starting from the soil and trees through to post-harvest techniques, such as carbonic maceration, which use significantly less water for fermentation,” he says.

“However, we also need to acknowledge that on the consumer end of the coffee chain, there are many ways we can be more sustainable.”

In addition to solar power at its Canberra facility, Ona Coffee is looking to bring its sun-charged ethos to its new premises in Melbourne, set to open in 2020.

“We’re looking at every single aspect of the planning, building and operations of our Brunswick site to ensure that we are as sustainable as possible,” Tom says.

“Part of this will be adopting solar power for our energy use, as well as using a range of recycled and repurposed materials.”

Ona Coffee’s solar energy is just one project the company is taking as part of long-term sustainability measures, says Marketing Manager Jordan Montgomery.

“From our connection to origin through to our partnerships with our customers across Australia and the world, we’re putting measures into practice to make coffee more sustainable,” Jordan says.

“We can’t leave these decisions and actions for future generations to deal with. It’s our responsibility to act on issues of climate, waste and energy now.”


Republished from the original article at Beanscene Magazine

Golden Bean Roasting Championships 2019

Although several weeks have passed since the announcement of the Golden Bean Roasting Championships, the trophy for the Small Franchise Champion has just made its way home to Canberra to the winner, Espresso Room.

Founder and Director of Espresso Room, Michael ‘Mick’ Rose is no stranger to success in the Golden Bean competition, having won the Overall Small Franchise Champion trophy twice previously.

“It’s a really fantastic feeling to do well in such a well-regarded competition, especially with the amount of entries we’re seeing these days,” said Mick.

“The Golden Bean competition grows even bigger every year and we’re honoured to be selected as the winners in the largest competition of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.”

Having opened the first Espresso Room cafe in Canberra in 2015, Mick’s business has now grown into multiple venues across the ACT, all of which use ONA Coffee.

“Saša [Šestić] and I have been really good friends for years and when it came to opening the first Espresso Room, it was only natural that I use ONA Coffee,” said Mick.

“It has been an incredible journey as our businesses have grown in their own right and with each other – we’ve built an even stronger friendship over the years and receiving awards like the Golden Bean trophy is an indication of how great relationships like this lead to great things.”

As part of the Small Franchise entry, Espresso Room contracted ONA Coffee to enter multiple coffees in three categories: milk, espresso and filter.

Head Roaster of ONA Coffee, Sam Corra personally roasted and packed all of the entries for Espresso Room, which included several house blends and single origin coffees.

“Seeing Espresso Room win this award again is really rewarding, especially when it comes to the house blends,” said Sam.

“It’s great to know that the coffee these venues are serving customers every day from behind the bar are also enjoyed by our peers in the specialty coffee industry.”

To read more about Espresso Room, visit their website or follow them on social media at @espressorooms .



Ona Coffee Melbourne to open in 2020

Original story by Beanscene Magazine via web.

Melbourne is often touted as one of the coffee capitals of the world, alongside the likes of Seattle, London, and Milan. This is in no small part due to the city’s many specialty roasters emphasising innovation and development, community engagement and education, and coffee quality and sustainability.


However, there are roasters across Australia that share these values. This is why for Canberra-based Ona Coffee opening a location in Melbourne has been at the top of the agenda, Founder Sasa Sestic tells BeanScene.

“When I got into coffee, it was because I was inspired by Melbourne and the roasters there,” Sasa says. “At the beginning, we felt handicapped or disadvantaged by not being a part of that scene. But being so isolated in Canberra meant we could bring our own identity and vision to coffee.”

While Ona already has several wholesale accounts in Melbourne, the roaster hadn’t established an office or headquarters in the city. Marketing Manager Jordan Montgomery says a physical location would provide this and help Ona become more of a household name among Melbourne consumers.

“We enjoy a great reputation throughout Australia and overseas, and are especially excited to continue growing our local community with a new site in Melbourne,” Jordan says.

“We’re excited to have a space where people can learn about us, try our coffee, and have a personal experience instead of just reading about Sasa or buying our coffee online.” 

Despite a desire to contribute to the Melbourne coffee scene, the Ona team was not willing to settle until it found the right location. It eventually did on Ovens Street in Brunswick.

“When I started coming to Melbourne, the cafés in South Melbourne, Fitzroy, and Brunswick especially stood out to me. We were hoping to be in an area where specialty coffee has a long history,” Sasa says.

“I always was and still am impressed by these beautiful old buildings in Melbourne, with high ceilings and rooftop windows. It was important to us to find one of these premises with a nice, vibrant character. We found this location – a classic Brunswick sawtooth warehouse – and said to each other, ‘this is the place’.”

The 450-square-metre site sits between Anstey and Brunswick Stations, around the corner from Sydney Road, and has in the past housed furniture and art studios. Sasa says they intentionally looked for a location off the main road. 

“Something I love about Melburnians is that they are willing to go the distance and seek out these special places, so there’s a lot of great cafés that are off the main streets,” he says.

“We’re happy we found a place we believe represents Melbourne coffee culture that we can combine with our own heart and soul. We’re very excited to be a part of the community and share the unique profiles people look for when they come to Ona cafés and shops.”

Ona Coffee General Manager Tom Beaumont says the Brunswick location is well suited to the values held by the Ona community.

“The community connection throughout the northern suburbs of Melbourne is particularly strong. The area and building is welcoming to all walks of life,” Tom says.


“There’s so much we can access from this building at arm’s reach, whether that’s woodworkers, electricians, artists, or pottery. There’s also many cafés and coffee friends in the area. That local reach is appealing and adds to the character of the building.

To design the venue, Ona has reached out to Brunswick-based Breathe Architecture, the firm behind Seven Seeds and Bibelot among other hospitality venues, and the nearby Nightingale 1 housing model.

“The Nightingale project is epic. But it’s also not overly done and has a real focus on sustainability,” Tom says. “We want to carry that across to our venue and do our best to maximise the use of repurposed or recycled materials. 

“It’s still early days, but a good term to describe our plans for Ona Coffee Melbourne would be as a ‘coffee sanctuary’. We want to create a comfortable and inviting space that will complement what’s already here – the exposed brick and natural lighting – instead of trying to change the character of the building.” 

The open space will allow the team to be flexible with how it develops the café, though Ona Coffee Retail Manager Caity Reynolds says a high-end espresso bar will be front and centre.

“We want to offer a really interactive experience with the barista, where people can come and ask questions, to learn about the coffee and where it’s come from – the whole process of getting the bean from the farm to them,” Caity says.

This focus on interaction will also be implemented in a walk-in retail area that’s more than “just a shelf on the wall”.

“We’ll have a space where people can walk in, pick things up with their own hands, and have a close look at it,” Caity says. “While they’re exploring the retail section, they can learn about the coffee they’re buying, instead of picking something up, putting it in a bag, and off they go. We want them to understand the story behind it, particularly the coffee beans, and our work with the farms through Project Origin.”

While coffee will be the main attraction, Caity says a fully fitted out commercial kitchen will elevate Ona Coffee Melbourne from espresso bar to a full café experience.

“We’ll have a big focus on vegetarian and vegan food and local sourcing. It will be similar to the quality you’d expect at The Cupping Room [in Canberra], but we’d be tailoring the menu to suit the local demographic,” Caity says. “Brunswick has such a diverse demographic, and we want to create a space where anyone can come in and feel comfortable.”

While Ona Coffee Melbourne will take a community-centric approach, Tom says the roaster’s existing wholesale clients will also benefit from the increased presence.

“We have a loyal customer base here who have been enjoying our coffee for many years and have been very committed. The new venue will be hugely helpful to wholesale operations, not only due to increased support on the ground, but as a place they can come to chat, engage, and share their experiences,” Tom says.

“We’ll also have exciting facilities revolving around training and education incorporated into the venue – for both public and wholesale. Ona has a strong drive on education and training, headed up by Training Manager Hugh Kelly, which is focused on sharing that with the community.”

With a location now confirmed, Tom says the team can turn its attention to making Ona Coffee Melbourne a reality – and intend to do so in early 2020.

“It’s taken us a while to find the right place and we’re not going to rush this now,” Tom says.

“We’ve got an opportunity from the get-go to think sustainably about all the decisions we make and to tie them into our values – innovation, community, and excellence.”

This article appears in the October edition of BeanScene Magazine. Subscribe HERE.

For more information, contact melbourne@onacoffee.com.au or follow @ona.melbourne on Instagram.

New OCD distribution tool released

The announcement of the new model was made today by ONA Coffee’s founder and inventor of the OCD, former World Barista Champion Saša Šestić.

“We’ve been producing distribution tools for more than four years, since we designed the first coffee distribution tool in 2012,” he said.

“We are always trying to find ways to make coffee more consistent and this latest model is another step up from the tools we’re produced in the past.”

The OCD tool was first publicly used by Šestić on stage at the 2015 World Barista Championships in Seattle, USA. Since then, various models of the tool have been used in cafes across the world and on the world competition stage.

“Since 2017 we have had a sponsorship program for barista champions competing in the World Barista Championships, providing them with OCD tools to use,” Šestić said.

“It’s incredible to see both baristas in normal cafes and World Barista Championship finalists using this tool in order to help them be more consistent.”

This latest model of the OCD includes several new features, including a lighter weight (100g less than previous models), reduced retail price and an advanced, static-reducing coating on the base.

“No tool is perfect and over the past few years, we have been working to find a way to reduce build up of coffee grinds from static electricity,” Šestić said.

“We’ve employed the use of this new, static-reducing coating on the base of the OCD V3 so that we can practically eliminate that problem and create better tasting, more consistent coffee.”

Šestić and his team worked with The Coffee Excellence Centre at the Zurich University of Applied Science in order to test the new model of the OCD and the new coating.

“This year we started collaboration with Profesor Chahan and his amazing team in Switzerland to ensure that the OCD V3 is the best distribution tool in the market,” Šestić said.

We compared this new model with other tools and we are very happy with the results, which we are excited to share with everyone very soon.”

The OCD: V3 will be available for pre-order via the ONA Coffee online store on August 12 and available for worldwide sale on August 19.

For more information, visit onacoffee.com.au/ocd-v3

ONA Coffee announces new barista training courses

The new courses are designed by Head Trainer of ONA Coffee and World Barista Championship finalist, Hugh Kelly. He says that the courses have been tailored to cater for different degrees of knowledge and experience in the coffee industry.

“In the past we have offered a beginner course for barista skills, latte art and filter coffees,” he said.

“Now we are looking to really expand the breadth of our courses and offer more group and advanced options, for those really looking to further their knowledge and improve their skills.”

The courses are conducted at ONA’s training facilities in Canberra and Sydney, with the Sydney training space recently having been redeveloped to cater for more classes.

“We are really excited about what we’re now doing in these spaces, especially with the improvements to the training room in Sydney,” Hugh said.

“Our focus is to make sure we are sharing as much knowledge as possible, so that people really take away a lot from these courses.”

The new courses now include a Foundation Barista Course, Latte Art Course, Filter Coffee Course and Advanced Coffee Extraction Course, with more to come in the future.

“Our next step is to introduce a range of Intermediate courses, for people who have experience in coffee but are just looking to make that next step up to a more advanced level,” Hugh says.

The excitement doesn’t just stop with new courses, with Hugh also announcing 10% off all of the new courses during the month of July.

“We want people to come and try out the courses for themselves, to bring a friend or organise it as something fun for their kids during the school holidays.”

“Learning about coffee is so much fun and is a really valuable skill. We’re excited to share the knowledge we’ve gained over the years with a new generation of coffee professionals.”

Use discount code ‘July’ to receive a 10% discount on all course bookings via the ONA Coffee website. 

To read more about the courses and book, visit onacoffee.com.au/barista-courses/