Scott Jones: Founder, Master Roaster, CEO / by Amanda Jones

Turning up to his first day with his own desk, Scott walked up the steps into an old terrace house and began his journey with coffee. 

This was 1986, Bob Hawke was Prime Minister and Neighbours was broadcast for its first season. Australia was drinking filtered coffee that sat on the counter of cafes for hours. Scott was about to change all this.

Working from his desk upstairs and with a small coffee roaster downstairs, Scott spent a year in marketing before moving to Brookvale to start his roasting career. 

Collaborating with other roasters to understand the flavours and profiles of coffees, Scott was able to envision a different kind of drink than what Australians were used to.

From packing, deliveries to book keeping, Scott made his way through the organisation, understanding each aspect of the process. But what was the most gratifying part of the process was to see the customer’s reaction to drinking a well roasted cup of coffee. 

As Australia began its love affair with espresso Scott began to take his expertise around the world; setting up roasteries in Vancouver as well as roasting for champion baristas in Seattle. Along the way Scott was able to introduce more and more people to his passion for coffee and start to see the skills that he was working on in the roaster percolate into the mainstream and start to be appreciated on a much wider scale.

In 2013 Scott came out of the shadows. While consulting for some much larger food service companies gave him an intimate knowledge of the industry in its myriad complexity, there came a time where establishing his own brand began to be necessary.

Partnering with Kevin Crouse, in 2013 Black Drum was born. Focusing on the uniqueness of coffee where each bean reacts differently to the heat and conditions of roasting, Scott described how when roasting a beat develops as the beans pour into the roasting drum. The beat continues as the beans become ready to be packaged or ground and tapping into this rhythm and sharing that with customers was Black Drum’s mission. 

Since then, Scott has been able to grow with the business and share his passion and relationship with coffee with many more people. Trips to Brazil has seen Scott meet with growers, while excursions to South Korea have led to a Black Drum brand on the Korean peninsula.

What this all comes down to, however, is a love for the complexities of flavour that coffee can express. As Scott highlights, people have gotten to know the origins of wine and the process that goes into a craft beer, and now understanding the personalities that coffee has is the next step. 

While he might be working from a slightly more salubrious desk, the same passion for coffee animates Scott as it did in those much earlier days.