This week, latte drinker Kat Loughrey, trialled the new coffee-driven startup, Three Thousand Thieves, to discover the joys of quality artisan coffee being carefully selected and delivered right to your door.
You’re not Melburnian if you don’t drink coffee, right? I’ve always enjoyed a coffee from a cafe, however the notion of making coffee at home or the office had always been lost on me – that is until I brewed my own high quality coffee, courtesy of Three Thousand Thieves, causing a stir around the office with the alluring smell wafting down the hall, and in return brought many interested faces to my door.
“We are a service that compliments your existing coffee habit, not competes with it.”
Three Thousand Thieves is a monthly coffee discovery subscription, best described as a wine club for coffee. Every month, they hunt down and curate Melbourne’s best artisan roasters, and then deliver it straight to your door – either as coffee beans or ground coffee. Most roasters offer subscriptions of their own brands, but what makes Three Thousand Thieves unique says founder Athan Didaskalou, is that they are the first to bring them all together and offer something different each month in your delivery.
The experience: The moment the box arrived at my office, the tantalising smell of the coffee beans was the first thing you notice. Once the box was opened, your treated to a 250g bag of carefully selected coffee beans, an outline of this month’s coffee on brown card, plus some photos of the Melbourne-based roasters – a nice touch. A simple yet well-crafted experience, all with sustainable packaging.
The coffee: Now the big question – so how was the coffee? I was treated to Balaclava’s Common Ground Coffee – L.E.S Blend. Now I’m no coffee expert, but I can hand-on-my-heart say that it made a delicious and hearty brew, without any bitter after-taste. It certainly perked up my day at work!
I had a chance to chat with Three Thousand Thieves (TTT) founder Athan Didaskalou, over a hearty brew to learn more about his experience in building this side project:
You have a day job, what are the challenges of balancing a growing side project at the same time?
I work as a strategist for DT. DT promotes a culture of entrepreneurship and learning-through-doing, and working in that environment definitely rubs off on you. Bosses all love the idea, in fact I have a few of them as customers! My business model is based on a monthly cycle, and because of this, managing the workload is a lot easier – I only have a couple of late nights preparing before delivery day. I think it’s important to maintain the balance between work and the venture on the side. It’s also about setting your priorities from the get go. It forces you to be organised and cracks down on procrastination. With the right business model, you can do something a little fun on the side and maintain your sanity.
What inspired you to start TTT? Is your aim to grow it into a full time business for yourself?
Like most people in Melbourne, I love my coffee. This came from a problem I wanted a service for myself: why can’t someone find me all the different coffees in Melbourne and sell them to me?! I hope to continue to grow the business in parallel with my career in digital. The two go hand in hand – what I learn from in one I can use on the other.
How do you find and select the coffee that you provide?
Word of mouth is the only way. Everyone always has their own special place, with their favourite special blend. It’s about talking to the right people to find these places. Then it’s all about taste. We have an espresso on location, and take a couple of bags with us. My partner and friends are all coffee nuts, so if we all like it, it becomes the chosen one for the month!
What can we expect in the future?
Going international! The demand for Melbourne coffee is huge, especially in the US and in Asian majors like Hong Kong and Singapore. Feedback from customers has shown us that people love to make coffee at home, but don’t like the typical wankers that usually condescend the everyday drinker into trying something new. We want to break down those barriers and run education pieces on cold drips, pour-overs and the like without the snobbery.
In your mind, how does Melbourne coffee compare to the rest of the world?
Melbourne is the quintessential coffee city: our culture has geared this one thing into a thriving economic beast. Rarely can you find so many coffee houses, so many roasters, so many people obsessed with quality than what you do in Melbourne. New York for their pretzels. Naples for its sauce. Melbourne for its coffee. We live in a rare one-in-a-million city for coffee fanatics.
Favourite spot to enjoy coffee in Melbourne?
There’s a little gem in Kew called Adeney. Bit of a drive, but take your partner and someone’s dog and enjoy getting away from it all before the weekend kicks in.
About our Curator // Kat Loughrey is the Melbourne Curator of The Fetch, a community where professionals can discover and share what’s happening in their city. Kat is also a Digital Executive in the sporting industry by day (fuelled by coffee) and can be found exploring Melbourne’s arts and music scenes by night. Follow her on Twitter at @KatLoughrey & @TheFetchMELB.