NOOSA BEANS MAKE GREAT COFFEE
Introducing the only coffee growers in the Noosa Shire
THERE’S no shortage of quality coffee roasters in Noosa Shire. The likes of Clandestino, Noosa Cove and First Batch and many more are first-rate suppliers of Noosa’s “nectar”. Indeed, your correspondent is as much a caffeine slave as the next person, and can frequently be found hanging off the end of a flat white mug in one of our many upscale coffee houses. But there’s only one commercial coffee company that actually grows the beans in the shire – in Kin Kin, to be geographically precise. Noosa Black is climbing the rankings among serious suppliers, local shops and espresso bars, but it’s still in its infancy. Traecey and Peter Hinner planted more than 6000 coffee trees in February 2005. They considered the idea of growing coffee, despite some advice to the contrary. “People said growing coffee wouldn’t work here, but we thought ‘let’s give it a go’,” Traecey said. “Australia imports a lot of coffee; why not grow it locally? “There are lots of small farmers (further south), with one having up to 25,000 trees. They mature after about eight years, but you can get some crop after about four years.” They chose the single origin, disease-resistant, no-pesticide Arabica K7 variety, developed and recommended for use in the Northern Rivers area of NSW. The process is simple, if lengthy, and beans can be hand or machine-picked, but the machines can destroy some of the trees if not carefully done. It’s still early days for the young company, but already they are supplying some IGAs, a new Sunshine Coast Airport cafe, and a few local shops and cafes. Noosa Black is also a Snail of Approval award-winner in the Slow Food Noosa movement. “We started with 6400 trees but lost some due to frost, and are replacing,” Traecey said. “Our five-year plan is to grow and expand.” Besides, there are other benefits. “I love the ocean, but it’s good to sit here on the veranda and think ‘life’s good’,” she said.
Traecey Hinner inspects her coffee trees at her Kin Kin property.