Sample Coffee Stories #2: Marie & Brew Crew’s birth

On today’s stories: how Simon and Reuben created Brew Crew, and a rare case of a female-led Rwandan coffee.

Simon with a bag of Marie’s coffee

Simon with a bag of Marie’s coffee


The tasty coffee Brew Crew sent you last week and going fresh again today.

Country: Rwanda Varietal: Red Bourbon Process: washed Flavours: golden sultana, red apple, chocolate and walnuts Importer: Melbourne Coffee Merchants Roasted with: Probat UG15

Marie became a widow during the horrific Rwandan genocide of 1994. Coffee was the primary way to rebuild a ‘new’ life with her five surviving children.

The typical Rwandan coffee farmers own about 300-500 trees. This is a relatively small quantity, so the beans are processed together with other farmers’ and sold under the name of the processing station.

However, Marie’s case is different. Her coffee farm has about 600 trees, and she is planning plant +200 next year. Because of this higher-than-average quantity, she can undertake the milling process Dukunde Kawa (meaning ‘love coffee’) Cooperative without having to mix with other farmers’ beans, hence having better control over the final product and sell it using her name.

SAMPLE STORY #2 - SIMON, REUBEN & BREW CREW You may not know Simon (pic 1), but you may have seen a lot of him at Sample. From our website, bag labels and shipping boxes… he’s got his hands (and brain) in all. He is also the co-founder of our online coffee subscription, Brew Crew, together with Reuben.

We’re not exactly sure how to describe him, but he is an awesome mix between digital and design wizard with a nerdy passion for coffee and other beverages.

Reuben and Si met, of course, on an afternoon bouldering session at some outdoor rock face around Sydney. The first still worked at Mecca and the second was just getting into the coffee world.

The years passed and he became a regular of the Surry Hills espresso bar on the early days, deepening in that geeky world of “sampling” coffees and forging a friendship with the guys at the bar.

While keeping up to date with the latest Silicon Valley tech trends, he also learned about many US craft roasters that offered ‘online’ coffee subscriptions. At the time, there wasn’t many of them back in Australia. So he started dreaming.

During Xmas 2012, Reuben, Simon and a few other friends were holidaying in Thailand - guess what, rock climbing. And the conversation started: Si wanted to send coffee to people. Reubs knew how to roast coffee, and (also!) wanted to sell coffee to people. That’s when Brew Crew was born.

Since then, our subscribers have received a brand new origin every time, to brew, experiment and learn from the comfort of their homes. It is now a reality.

There is more to tell about Simon’s input in all visuals and systems at Sample… but that we’ll save that for another time.


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