Zentvelds Coffee

True blue Australian coffee that’s rich, sustainable, and packed with flavour

Freshly roasted coffee, from the hills behind Byron Bay straight to your coffee cup. 

Zentvelds produce pure, Australian grown coffee that’s focused on good taste and local, homegrown beans that carry the mark of the Australian climate.

They’re the true Australian coffee specialists, and they’ve rightly earned that badge of honour through years of hard work, experimentation, and a passion for roasting delicious, sustainable coffee. 

This ain’t your ordinary coffee obsession

At the tender age of 23, Rebecca and John Zent moved from Melbourne to John’s family farm in the hills behind Byron Bay. The move was fuelled by a career change and a desire to start producing locally grown Australian coffee. But let’s rewind a little bit… 

Years of living in Melbourne surrounded by thriving cafe culture had inspired Rebecca and John to develop an appreciation for good coffee. A cup of coffee was no longer just a cup of coffee –  it was an adventure, an experience, a journey into flavour, texture, and body. 

The more the couple engaged with Melbourne’s renowned coffee roasting scene, the more they started paying attention to the roast profiles and cup offerings coming from the city’s best cafes. Each cup had its own story and its own origins. But Rebecca couldn’t help but notice that the majority of the beans being roasted, served, and tasted in Melbourne were coming from overseas. 

In a country where eating and growing locally was prized, it was a mystery why coffee was still being imported from across the globe. Australian estate coffees, while still new, were available and ready for drinking. At the time, there were only five local growers in Australia, but that was good enough for Rebecca. 

Her passion for a great cup of coffee took over and morphed into a desire to roast her own desired cup profiles from local beans. 

A career change fuelled by a passion for great coffee

While John got a ‘real job’ at Southern Cross University, Rebecca went on a coffee experimentation journey. She bought a 10kg roaster and began learning how to roast. In the early 90s, learning a new technical skill like coffee roasting was not easy. There was no internet or coffee roasting courses to attend. She had to devour information the old-school way: with hands-on practice and a tonne of experimentation. Rebecca continuously roasted, tasted, and improved. 

And at age 23, she took the plunge and decided to commit to her coffee obsession full time. The couple packed up and headed up north to live on John’s parent’s farm, where they set out to roast pure Australian grown coffee. It was quite an entrepreneurial career change, but Rebecca had a vision – and that vision has served her and the coffee loving community of Australia exceptionally well.  

John’s parents, John Snr. and June Zent, were no strangers to coffee. They were already local coffee entrepreneurs who helped establish the NSW coffee growing industry just a few years earlier. Working closely with the Department of Agriculture agronomists, the couple had trialled new varieties and figured out how to grow and determine the coffee quality from seed through to growing, harvesting, and processing. 

But even with all that experience to go from, there was still a lot of work to be done before Zentveld’s could proudly show off their premium, locally grown coffee. Rebecca knew that the coffee they were producing had to be amazing to compete against the cheaper, imported coffees coming from the developing world.

And, without a doubt, the quality of their coffee speaks for itself. 

True blue Australian coffee that’s rich, sustainable, and packed with flavour

The cool climate terroir of Australia provides the perfect conditions to grow beautiful coffee that’s sustainable and ethically produced. Rebecca worked hard on her in-law’s beautiful property to unlock the flavour potential of her beans with the nuances of farm processing factors. She focused on good taste first and sustainable practices second, making a coffee bean that’s not only delicious but makes you feel good inside and out. 

Zentveld’s pride themselves on their coffee’s incredible flavour. They vacuum pack and nitrogen gas flush every batch of coffee on the day it is roasted. This helps lock in lasting freshness, aroma, and crema when the bag opens. The result is consistent roast and blend profiles that reproduce the same incredible flavour time after time, year after year… 

Rebecca and John’s life is devoted to their coffee making prowess. The couple taste tests daily, pulling samples after roasting over the following week. At the pinnacle of all they do is experimentation, allowing them to continuously extend and develop their coffee range as they discover new coffee origins and how farm processing affects the cupping qualities and flavour potential of beans. There’s always a new way to do things, a technique to capture great taste better… 

Amazing flavour first, great practices second

Don’t underestimate the value of good farming practices in influencing the flavour profile of a coffee bean. Zentveld’s have nailed the process with impeccable practices that allow them to grow their coffee naturally without disturbing the beautiful surroundings of the family’s property. This doesn’t just make their coffee taste better, but pits them as a more sustainable option than cheaper coffee imported from abroad.

No pesticides are used in the growing of Zentveld’s coffee beans. The couple are lucky to live in a location that doesn’t harbour the same pests and diseases seen in the hotter climates of other coffee-producing nations around the equator. They also avoid chemical agri-fertilisers. These practices are a bonus that gives Zentveld’s an edge amongst imported coffee beans. 

The cooler climate of Northern NSW, compared to the hot tropics of most coffee-producing countries, also means a longer ripening season. This makes the beans sweeter than usual, adding to the unique flavour and delicious aroma of Zentveld’s coffee. 

The couple try to lower their carbon footprint where they can. Investing in the latest water-saving equipment means Zentveld’s uses minimal water in their processing when compared to other coffee growing nations. They also return all crop and waste matter from their processing into mulch or compost, increasing the health of their soil and creating more water-holding power, so even less water needs to be used next time. 

This isn’t a place for coffee snobbery

Zentveld’s don’t just make exceptional coffee. The couple’s delicious range extends to selections of decaf coffee, hot chocolate, chai, leaf and pyramid teas, and chocolate-coated espresso beans. 

Decaf drinkers are respected here, a rarity in the coffee-making world. Their decaffeinated coffee range is water-processed and highly appreciated for its delicious taste. Chocolate lovers at heart, the couple also brew their own drinking chocolate made from just pure cocoa and sugar. 

Zentveld’s have extended their range to encapsulate everything a barista could want, all with the added bonus of being produced ethically, sustainably, and locally, for a true blue Aussie cafe experience like no other – from crop to cup.

Read about other Australia’s Best Producers recommended by the CHEFIN Australia team.