Tinkering at home, buying more equipment, doing some work experience, taking the plunge into doing it as a business venture. It's a very familiar pattern 'round these parts. There's examples of it in wine, beer, gin, whisky, chips, and jerky - now coffee beans. It makes sense really, as coffee and booze are such great friends. They have so many processes in common, coffee is so helpful on the morning after, terroir plays a part, as does brewing, technique, fermentation... Then there's the bloke behind this brand; a spritely, enthusiastic, warm, knowledgable, mischevious character - It's overwhelming, so much so that this introduction has been difficult to write, so many bloody false starts!
Pictured is our mate Ciaran Ardren, a big fellow both physically and in spirit, he loves coffee more than I love patting dogs and that's saying something. Fifteen years ago he decided he wanted to take his home caffeiene habits more seriously after seeing James Hoffman win the World Barista Championships - and I can't blame him, James Hoffman is such a charismatic coffee nerd. Ciaran washed dishes, cleared tables, taken orders, then ground beans, dosed, brewed, steamed milk, poured and served his way up the hospo food chain, eventually landing head roaster gigs at places like DiBella & Vertue, before deciding to launch his own brand.
It's called Constance and takes its name from Klane Constantia, a winery in Cape Town where Ciaran spent a lot of time growing up (and boy did he grow up, he's a big unit) and it kicked off in early 2021 just up the road in Coburg North.
His beans and blends are extremely carefully composed and are considerate, he's connected with the producers and works with mindful producers and wholesalers throughout the chain, sustainability is at the forefront - when you're done with the bag you can toss it straight in your compost.
Most importantly, they are bloody tasty and full of charm. If I was asked to surmise, they taste like they've been curated by someone who really really gives a shit. If you like Coffee and keeping it local, please consider giving a Constance Coffee a try - you can buy or browse here.