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Minor Figures Bring Their Award-Winning Cold Brew Coffee Poppers Back Home to Australia

Ethically sourced, ready-to-drink, long-life cold coffee. Brilliant.
By Imogen Baker
October 21, 2015
By Imogen Baker
October 21, 2015

You might not have heard of Minor Figures, Australia's new cold brew-on-the-go coffee popper distributors, but you will soon. The coffee wizards, comprised of Jonathan Chiu, Stuart Forsyth and Will Rixon, have had a massive year since setting up their own microbrewery in London in August of 2014.

After taking out the 'Most Innovative Product' award at the London Coffee Festival, they found their particular brand of ethically-sourced, ready-to-drink, long-life cold coffee on the shelves of Whole Foods, Selfridges and Harvey Nichols. Now they’ve conquered the north, their sights have been turned to us here in the Southern hemisphere.

Jonathan and Stuart are both Melburnians at heart and when they collectively decidedly to bring their on-the-go cold brew to Australia, Jonathan packed up and came with it. Attempting to offer an alternative to the coffee powder-made, factory-produced iced coffees dominating the Australian market, Minor Figures has just launched two cold brews: a straight black version and one with organic milk. We had a chat to him about what it's like to move halfway around the world for the love of good coffee.


So Jonathan, what made you come back to Australia after such a long sabbatical?

I’ve been over in London for eight years. We started the Minor Figures business in August last year and one thing we realised pretty quickly was that it’s a summer drink and we were going straight into winter and we wanted to be able to sell all year round. Stuart Forsyth, one of the co-founders, and I are both from Melbourne, so we thought it seemed like the logical market to open a second office.

From #bellsbeach to #bournemouth. #coldbrew #beach #esky #surf #takeanywhere #specialtycoffee

A photo posted by Minor Figures (@minorfigures) on

So the idea is specialty coffee in a stay-fresh popper. How exactly do you make it?

Ours is a cold brew, we use an immersion method. We put our coffee straight into a tank, we control the oxygen and temperature of the tank and brew it for around 18 hours, using cold filtered water, and then we filter it out, catch all the coffee grounds and make sure it’s super clean.

Can you walk us through why we should trade in our flat whites for cold brew?

What happens when you brew in cold water over a long period of time, it reduces the acidity and bitterness of the drink and it leaves a naturally sweeter, clean coffee. It’s different from, say, if you had hot coffee that’s gone cold, that would be bitter, thicker almost, whereas this is cleaner, lighter and it’s a great alternative to a hot milky coffee on a hot day. It's just water and coffee, so you can’t hide behind anything — it has to be really high quality.

Who brought the #ducks to the #swan party? #InDisguise #coldbrew #coffee A photo posted by Minor Figures (@minorfigures) on

What’s your aim with Minor Figures? What’s in the future for the brand?

The future for us is to be the ones who make cold brew coffee more mainstream accessible so that more and more people drink good quality coffee, rather than the rubbish iced coffees that are out there. This is in a Tetrapak so you just stick a straw in and you’ve got real, specialty, single origin coffee ready to go whenever you want.

We want it to be for everyone, not just the cool kids in the know who’ve got the disposable cash to buy it. It’s not about being just for the cool kids. I was out sampling at Narre Warren a couple of weeks ago and I was happiest to see the mums of Narre Warren buying it to go on their caravan holidays, rather than the cool kids in Collingwood.

Find a Minor Figures cold brew coffee distributor here and get gulping the good stuff.

Images: Simon Shiff.

Published on October 21, 2015 by Imogen Baker
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    Minor Figures - October 21, 2015

    Also suitable for the cold kids ;)

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