The Melbourne Identity: J. Scheltus

It’s long been one of those whispered factoids in America, a nugget of knowledge used to wow the newly initiated and curious: “Sure, we have great coffee here in (San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Grand Rapids, Minneapolis, Austin, lots more fill-in-the-blanks), but did you know that there’s an amaaaazing coffee scene in Melbourne?”

We’ve never been. We desperately want to. In the meantime, have a look at this quality interview with Jason Scheltus, director of coffee for Market Lane Coffee. In a career trajectory that mirrors that of our other favorite Australian cultural node, The Go-Betweens, Jason made a name for himself first by traveling to London. He worked there as roaster for Monmouth Coffee, one of many players in the heady days of London’s mid-2000s coffee explosion. (A moment in time which, not coincidentally, would make for an engaging novel; we’re thinking sort of like Martin Amis’ “London Fields”, but with roasting instead of darts.) He eventually returned home to Melbourne to start Market Lane, and well…just read the interview already, it’s really good… we’re gonna keep watching Go-Betweens videos on Youtube…


Birds of Unusual Vitality: Jason Scheltus

Working in a young industry that is in a constant state of flux also means that there’s hype with every new coffee, every new machine, and every new technique. And while change is good, in the end it should come down to the quality and integrity of the product in the cup, not the amount of hype surrounding it. As a result of this hype, as Jason so eloquently puts it, “There is a significant amount of bullshit going on in the industry that we need to root out…”

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She plays hard to get along with but she might drop by, she’s never had a nickname, but then, nor have I…

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