Joost Cause: An Eco Cafe Is Melbourne


Meet “Silo by Joost”, a brand new eco buzzword cafe in Melbourne. “Joost” being Joost Bakker, described as a “passionate eco-entrepreneur and sustainable design champion” by Broadsheet Melbourne. Augmenting that championship level of passion evidenced by Joost is chef Douglas McMaster, “recent winner of the Young British Foodies award for Most Irreverent Chef”, according to the Silo press release. The blogger at The World Loves Melbourne took a recent visit, with some great insight on Silo’s green bona fides:

Silo by Joost deals direct with farmers – so farmers pull up straight outside the café for delivery. Direct trade. No packaging. Silo uses large 20L stainless steel containers for the milk – no 2L plastic cartons. I understand this is also a first for a café in this country.

The mineral water also comes in eco-kegs from local sources. As Danny remarks, “Why do we need to always get mineral water from Italy?”

Resusable milk crates slide into fridges. Wine bottles are reused. An E-Water system of hospital grade cleans dishes – it salts and sanitises and kills bacteria on contact. No need for chemicals.

The material along the counter is cosset – a mix of recycled plastic with sawdust added. Its funky and its sustainable.

The fit out is about recyclable materials. The use of space here is also revolutionary. I couldn’t work out where the dining area ended and the kitchen started – it merges with customers and staff embracing in one big communal festival. No concept of them and us.

As for their coffee, Silo has an admittedly slick-looking Wega Green Line three-group machine. The aforementioned press release says it’s been “stripped of its outer shell”, a process you can read and oggle your way through here.  The machine anchors the entryway of the space, and is employed to serve a custom three-bean espresso blend roasted by long-time Melbourne mainstay Genovese. The three beans in question are 20% PNG, 60% Indonesia, and 20% Panama; the blend is being billed as totally shade-grown and organic, though our team of Australian investigators reported back to us that the folks at Silo weren’t sure which farms the coffee actually came from, so there’s no way for us to cross-check on the organic thing.

Silo is also serving a single origin coffee served via pour over from Australia’s own Mountain Top Estate, a plantation and washing station in Northern New South Wales. It’s exceedingly rare to see Australian grown coffee in the United States, so nyah nyah nyah, we got to serve some roasted by Single Origin Roasters back at our International Delight cupping party, which was really a lot of fun.


In conclusion, this Joost fellow sounds like a real character, and Silo mills their own flour (!?), and the whole thing looks “mad cute” (as our design expert would say), so let’s call Silo by Joost official reason #169 why we want to visit Melbourne as soon as possible. Check out their official website here.

Photos from this piece by Pip Grenda for Broadsheet Melbourne.

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