Bringing packaged coffee – even a specialty brew – to Melbourne from anywhere else in the world is a bit like taking coals to Newcastle, but Jonathan Chiu and Stuart Forsyth, two Melburnians who’ve been working in coffee in London, have decided to do just that with their new cold-brew coffee range, Minor Figures.
The tetra-packed 18-hour cold-brew milk and black coffee is made in London, with locally roasted coffee and organic British milk.
“As Stuart and I are both Melburnians, we were keen to bring our cold brews from London to Australia. I wanted to move back and bring Minor Figures to my homeland,” says Jonathan Chiu.
The black version is a straight Ethiopia Guji that’s rich and very clean, with a distinct “coffee” flavour and some juicy acidity. As a cold brew it’s not as boozy as cold-drip, and has a clean, dry finish. Some sweet berry fruit comes out as it warms up in a glass.
The milk brew is a blend of Brazilian and Sumatran coffees with certified organic milk. The flavour is quite milky, and the coffee doesn’t cut through as much as a made-to-order specialty cold milk brew might. But it’s not fake-coffee tasting like some supermarket coffee milks, either. There’s just a hint of that long-life milk thing going on (or is that how UK milk tastes?)
Chiu was managing director of Make Mine A Builders tea, where he gave the lucky winner of one competition a chance to blow up a building, while Forsyth was the general manager of the KeepCup European operations. In 2014 the pair teamed up with Will Rixon from Dose Espresso to produce Minor Figures. The product won an award for innovation at the 2014 London Coffee Festival.