Zach Oakes is head roaster and founder at Profile Coffee. After cutting his teeth at specialty coffee mainstays St Ali and Campos Coffee, Zach felt an affinity with the young, vibrant coffee industry. Developing his skills and gaining an understanding of the intricacies involved in sourcing, roasting and brewing, he realised that in order to fully inject his own passion and philosophies he’d have to create his own unique brand.
Having worked in cafes and coffee roasteries in Victoria’s North, East and South, when it came time to setting up his own place, finding somewhere in the West was not an obvious choice. But after discussion with friends and work colleagues, who already lived and worked in the West, plus many visits over several months, Footscray was put at the top of the list due to its diversity, sense of community, and down to earth relationships between locals.
“I always felt other places I worked had relationships with customers that were a bit too transactional. The vision for Profile is more than great coffee, it’s about creating relationships with farmers at Origin, and then being able to tell these stories to the brewer or drinkers here in Australia. Finding a place to call home needed to be part of a community that has diversity, honesty and acceptance. We’re far from a ‘cookie cutter’ coffee company and fitting into a cookie cutter community wouldn’t have worked.”
These aspects of the West pair perfectly with what Profile are doing in the coffee industry. Zach, a Spotswood local, says “The key to good coffee is good relationships; Profile is the link between grower, barista and drinker. The idea of a short feedback loop is key: by minimising the number of hands that coffee passes through from crop to cup, these relationships are made stronger, the coffee tastes better, and we feel more connected to the cup”. Working collaboratively with the farmer, barista and drinker, Profile enables all involved to have a better connection and understanding of their effect on the final product”.
When not roasting and brewing, it’s hard to pass up a good brew at Hop Nation, a movie at the Sun or some killer Japanese at Azabu Juban… running around Newport or Cherry Lakes also helps balance out the caffeine intake as well.
Profile coffee will be opening its doors to the public in June, but for now you can still order online or give Zach a call and he’ll take care of your your coffee needs.