Started in 2009 at Melbourne’s Prahran Market, Market Lane Coffee has grown to become beloved by baristas and home coffee enthusiasts across Australia. With an honest approach to the story behind each cup of quality coffee, Jason Scheltus, Director at Market Lane Coffee sat down with us to share the importance behind the brand’s approach to coffee and service.
Founded by Jason Scheltus and Fleur Studd, Market Lane Coffee was created with a clear purpose; to make great coffee accessible, simple to understand and appreciate and easy to make at home. Vastly different to the coffee landscape today, Market Lane Coffee opened at a time where Australians didn’t make a lot of coffee at home. While a very small portion of people had home espresso machines, the remainder were drinking instant coffee.
Located close to the food stalls at the Prahran markets, the team at Market Lane Coffee were focused on engaging and educating customers, while in a retail frame of mind. From roasting their coffee in store, hosting free daily cuppings and serving coffee tasting flights, the brand has grown exponentially over the past 12 years.
While expanding to seven shops, each carefully chosen to ensure that locations resonate with the brand and more importantly, the customers, Market Lane Coffee have maintained their focus on transparency, seasonality, education and quality, while also shifting slightly to include sustainability as a core value.
Open about their core values of transparency and quality, Market Lane Coffee take pride in the special relationships they have fostered with coffee producers around the world. Frequently travelling to origin countries, the Market Lane Coffee team meet with producers to understand possible risks, challenges and opportunities they may be facing. As a result of their open and honest approach, the team continue to nurture their existing deep and trusting relationships with many producing partners becoming dear friends and almost like family..
In addition to visiting producers, the Market Lane Coffee team continue to foster their relationships with ongoing quality feedback at four key stages of green coffee; before it leaves its country of origin, once it arrives, three months after arrival and finally, six months after arrival. Incredibly useful to producers, this open line of communication allows producers to understand how the coffee is tasting over time, and evaluate if they need to make adjustments to improve the following years crop.
‘What really makes our roastery special is the relationships we have with producers around the world.’
While serving specialty coffee across Australia for over 12 years, Jason has noticed many trends within the industry come and go. One current trend that he has proved interesting to Jason is the increased demand in single origin coffee.
‘People have a real interest in learning where coffee comes from, who produced it and how they produced it.’
Seen through a massive increase of sales in single origin and filter coffee offerings over the last ten years, the transparent and honest approach of Market Lane Coffee have made experiencing their single origin offerings engaging and exciting.
Spread across various departments of Market Lane Coffee, you can normally find Jason taking on such tasks as planning and purchasing coffee, tasting coffee for quality control and overseeing production (just to name a few). When not at work, you can find Jason either enjoying a simple filter at home with his family or exploring the exciting offerings from other roasters and cafes around Melbourne.
Always eager to try new varieties of coffee, Jason shares that his favourite coffee from Market Lane Coffee is one from Colombia called La Esperanza, produced by William Buitrago. Clean and beautifully balanced with a juicy acidity, La Esperanza is sentimental to Jason as it reminds him of his last trip to a producing country visiting William’s picturesque farm.
‘It’s a beautiful coffee, and drinking it reminds me of my special time there.’
Passionate about coffee and its importance to a lot of people around the world, Jason is quick to mention that growing coffee is the main source of income for millions of people around the world. With a great appreciation for producers and the journey form bean to cup, Jason thoroughly enjoys leading a team that share the same values.
In the coming months, Market Lane Coffee look forward to reconnecting with the coffee community by offering new public classes. Including a Coffee Appreciation class for those who have started to started to explore different types of coffee but don’t know a great deal about it, the Market Lane Coffee team are also excited to launch an Espresso Making course for aspiring home baristas. Hands on and very intimate, these classes are taught on a La Marzocco Linea Mini and is the perfect place to start for people who wish to master the art of coffee at home.
To find out more about Market Lane Coffee and their upcoming classes, visit their website.