Responsibility

The journey of coffee start on roads like these


Our mission

The simple act of serving a nice cup of coffee touches many communities and lands across the globe. Starting in the forests and farms where coffee grows and finishing in our very own neighbourhood. Our daily purpose is to deliver a consistently exceptional coffee experience while acting responsibly with the everyone involved in the journey.

These are the values that drive our work, and the actions that get us closer to our mission:

Coffee


We will only serve the coffees we love to drink ourselves, creating an everyday experience that is both humble and exciting.

This is our vision ↘︎

We roast, source, brew and serve the coffees we dream of drinking every single day

That is our job.


We cherish diversity

We focus on exploring the different flavours that each region and culture imprints in their coffees. We source small lots from a variety of producers and origins so our customers and we can sample the world through coffee.


Our work builds upon the natural attributes of coffee lot

Each coffee has unique flavours and aromas, defined by the fruit variety, geography, terroir, harvesting practice and processing method, and warehousing conditions. Our role in this long journey is right at the end through the roasting, packing, brewing and serving. Our mission is to highlight the amazing natural properties of each bean, honouring the hard work of those at the beginning.


The journey matters as much as the outcome

We believe the delivery is as important as the quality of the goods; it all makes the experience. We pay attention to the little details in our production and service, being kind, approachable and generous.


Anyone can feel the joy of great coffee

The ritual of brewing and drinking an excellent coffee is peaceful, grounding and very, very pleasant. And the best is that anyone can experience it, whether in a cafe or brewing at home. We’re here to share what we know about coffee and facilitate the goods and tools so anyone can feel our delight, wherever they are.


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People


We value the work of every single hand that make our business possible. Mutual respect, honesty and collaboration are the pillars of our relationships.

Learn more about our connections ↘︎

Respect, diversity and equal opportunities for all

We want to create an atmosphere and opportunities where everyone - staff, customers, suppliers - feels safe and supported. We won’t accept any gender, religion, cultural or economic background discrimination. The only thing that we look for is a passion for coffee and the world around it.

More in our Respect, Diversity & Inclusion Guidelines.


We use our business to support a responsible, local economy

Specialty coffee is our main thing, and it is rather exotic and hard to find locally. We source ours through trusted importers that not only find amazing beans but also invest time and resources back at each origin, supporting farmers on their way to building more resilient economies and long-lasting harvests.

For the rest of our product and service sourcing, we aim to engage with other local, independent and like-minded small businesses that are part of our local economy. Same goes for our wholesale partners: we love to work with people who put people and planet at the same level as profit.

Learn more on our Supplier Guidelines.


Only traceable coffees

All the coffees we buy are traceable, including those we use for our blends. We share valuable information for each coffee, accessed publicly through their dedicated webpage. We’re working on ways to include more sensitive (but relevant) information in relation to price transparency; until we get there, we share a summary of key indicators in our annual impact reports.


We take care of about our staff, truly

We can’t expect to offer an awesome service if the people who deliver our product are not feeling valued. We appreciate our staff’s work just as much as our farmers’; they all make the Sample Coffee experience. Caring about our workers starts by paying fair, legit and transparent wages; offering ongoing shifts; being flexible and supportive; and facilitating opportunities to grow together.


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Planet


We acknowledge that our trade leaves a footprint on the ecosystems. We want to change this by, frst, reducing the impact of our daily operations, and second, supporting environmental action and advocacy.



See how we are taking action ↘︎

Measuring to reduce our GHG emissions

Our goal is to leave no trace. This means, ultimately, producing net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions derived from our trade. Yeah, it is a rather complex topic and probably even harder achievement, but many organisations and individuals to work towards this.

Our journey towards carbon neutrality starts by measuring the impact of the different operating areas. From energy supply to waste and transportation. We are beginning to crunch numbers, and we’ll publish the information as soon as it comes.


Towards a circular economy: our coffee bags and the swap system

Circular economy is about eliminating waste by finding continuous use for all products and byproducts.

Our coffee bags are made of recyclable soft plastics. At the end of their first life containing our beans, customers can dispose of them at collection points or back at our Pro Shop. From here, the Plastic Police collects and gives them a new life as, for example, urban furniture.

In line with this circular mindset, we have a few swap systems that let our ongoing local customers get their takeaway goods while creating zero waste. From our wholesale tins to our coffee cups, food bowls and bean containers.


We advocate for the use of reusable wares. While the habits change, we choose to offer fully recyclable packaging

In an ideal world, all of our customers would take a moment to dine-in at ours, or use their BYO/swap containers for takeaway. The reality is a bit different: there is still a large customer base who asks for takeaway in disposables.

We want to help speed up the behavioural change by introducing incentives that reward zero waste habits. We have a 20 cent surcharge on takeaway goods on disposables, we’ve introduced the swap system and we avoid publishing images of those in our media.

On our journey to that utopia (perhaps not that far away), we have chosen Australian made and fully recyclable takeaway packaging, like our bamboo + bioplastic cups and lids, our paper + plastic food containers, and our recyclable plastic coffee bags.


The compostable myth

Did you know that many of those disposable containers and cups that claim to be compostable are only so when done at a commercial facility? Did you know that not many councils offer a compostable materials collection system right now?

This means that those cups and lids end up in the landfill unless these systems are accessible. For this is the reason, we’ve decided to stick to recyclable materials until composting services are widespread and available around our local government area.


Our menu is thoughtfully designed for a lower impact

Much of the environmental impact comes through the food and drinks we serve through our bar and kitchens. We know that improvements can be made while still offering a creative menu that is lower on emissions. We wrote a journal post on how our kitchen staff deliberately designs our menu and servings for zero waste, prioritising local and seasonal. Moreover, we are starting to cut progressively on products from water-intensive industries, like meat and almond milk.


Our electricity is carbon-neutral and 100% certified GreenPower

Sample Coffee roastery and cafes buy 100% GreenPower, an electricity scheme that feeds to the grid the equivalent to our total consumption using power from renewable sources. Old Gold is still not in this program, as we are not in control of the provider, but it’s up next in our list.


We do business with those who operate responsibly

Whenever we need a new product and service, first we think twice about it: “Do we really need to print that?” Then, we research about its materials, its process and its life after use: “How is it made? How is it going to behave after the customers or we use it?”

We are critical with our own actions but also with those of the companies or services we hire. Whenever we can, we prioritise those who not only have a great product but are also trying to do better for their community.

Discover some of our current suppliers at List Of Preferred Suppliers & Products, and if you know any purpose-driven company that we should work with, please get in touch!


We share our profits and give back to the land

Each of our retail coffee bag sales donates 20 cents to planting native trees with the Carbon Neutral Charity Foundation. We are also part of the World Coffee Research Program, a global organisation that works in the field and the labs for a brighter future for coffee.


Other little things

We use Ecosia as our main search engine.
Most of our staff lives locally and walks, bikes or shares rides to come to work.
Our coffee sacks and schaff gets used and composted in local gardens.


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Culture & Community


We give first, we take what we need, we share what we have.

This is how we build community ↘︎

The Sample Coffee Library: sharing is caring

We want to make coffee brewing and coffee culture accessible to anyone around us. With this purpose in mind, we created the Sample Coffee Library, where we share gear, books and magazines with our neighbours and customers.


Supporting local and emerging artists

Our cafes get a bit of traffic, so we want to share this exposure with local and talented individuals by giving a chance to show on our walls. Part of our initiatives are our newest mural by Joel Cameron in Surry Hills and our Pro Shop emerging art program, which rotates every few months at the Pro Shop.


Bringing people together through events and workshops

We love interacting with our community, whether that is in person or digitally. We do this through brewing workshops, tasting experiences, competitions and parties that bring us together with those who love coffee and hospitality.

Some events we really enjoyed are the Tea Craft tea tastings, the short brewing courses with James Perry, the Ball fundraiser roaster competition and party and the online Aeropress Games.


The bigger picture: coffee and culture shift

We acknowledge that the coffee industry is built on slavery and colonialism, oftentimes taking advantage of vulnerable groups and objectifying their image to sell this exotic product.

This year, 2020, we have started important conversations about how we present our coffees in the media and we have created our own guidelines, establishing parameters to guide how we communicate our stories and share our products. Acknowledging our past actions, we wish to be part of a wider cultural shift that is more just with everyone.

We are sharing our Brand Voice & Communication Guidelines with anyone that is curious, which is a work in progress and open for comments and improvements.


Sharing our voice, leading to action

We want to use our voice to start conversations about topics that matter. Always from respect and compassion, we use our communications to not only talk about coffee but also about other important issues that surround the community that drinks it, building a culture of action and awareness.


We donate goods, time and money

Every year we donate part of our profits, coffee and time to different local organisations and social initiatives. From school fundraiser raffles to coffee for a movie set, we love giving what we can. We gather those figures in our annual impact reports.


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Transparency


We believe that the only way to gain trust is to speak honestly, share information and lead by example.





Practising transparency and accountability ↘︎

Our communications are realistic and data-driven

We love sharing our progress, milestones and challenges. We avoid claiming statements without providing further evidence. We are accountable for our corporate actions. We admit we are not perfect and that there’s work to be done.


Once a year, we publish an impact report

We take the time to measure, analyse and compile meaningful metrics and stories that talk about each financial year. We hope that, further than knowing us for our product, you learn more about how we operate behind the scenes.

Download our Impact Report 2020 (FY 19/20) ⇣
Download our Impact Report 2019 (FY 18/19) ⇣
Download our Impact Report 2018 (FY 17/18) ⇣


We are a certified B Corporation

We became a certified B Corporation in April 2019. B Corps are companies that balance financial profit and positive social and environmental impact. Some that you may know are Patagonia, Who Gives a Crap, Burton, The Guardian, Future Super, Australia Bank…

Learn more about what it means to be a certified B Corporation.


We use our media to share the little things

While the annual reports are comprehensive and broadly detailed, we use our Instagram and our Journal to share meaningful stories on a quicker, more informal note.


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Not a sustainable brand

Sustainability is ‘the ability to exist constantly’. We acknowledge that the coffee industry is complex and based on deeply rooted practices that often take more than the planet can give; similarly, it is not equally fair with all workers in the supply chain. The global coffee industry, and we as a tiny fraction of it, can’t be identified as sustainable.

However, we believe this can change if everyone walks in the same direction. We are committed to being part of a paradigm shift that puts social and environmental outcomes at the same level as financial success, building an economy that can exist over time and does not generate irreversible harm.

While we are not a sustainable brand, but sustainability is certainly our major aspiration.


Ideas, conversation, change

If anything, this place is the start of something important: a conversation about our world, and how we can meaningfully relate to it through coffee. We’re always up for a chat, willing to hear about new ideas and learn ways to do better. Please get in touch and be part of our journey.



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