We chatted with Craig Jones from Opal Coffee, our latest members about opening in New Zealand and what Opal are all about. Look out for Craig at the Cup Tasters as what better way to meet our coffee community than entering yourself into a Championship?!
Tell us about your company? Opal Coffee is an international specialty green coffee trader. The small family business has grown to become a major producer and exporter of fine green coffee to roasters. We are headquartered in Indonesia, Australia, the USA, and now New Zealand.
Our mission is to lead a sustainable business by supporting the livelihood of our local farmers and maintain trust-based relationships with our partners.
How long have you been trading? Originally formed in the early 2000s, we have just launched in NZ in 2021.
Tell us about your role? I look after sales and importation of green coffee to the NZ Specialty market.
What is the best part of your job? There are 2 parts that I really love. Trying amazing coffees from around the globe and meeting with all of the roasters or green buyers.
What is the biggest challenge your business faces? Global logistics can be a hard puzzle to put together and has been exacerbated by the challenges that Covid has brought. It is our job to get coffee from farmers to roasters with the least stress for all parties.
What is your favourite part of the industry? The connection. I am eternally humbled by the idea that there are so many of us around the world connected by the seeds of this tree. Whether it be entire communities at origin, those of us that are employed, or the millions of customers at the retail end that we are grateful for.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the industry since your company has been operating? Some things have gone full circle and will probably continue to do so, but I feel that high-quality coffee is now more easily available and is more traceable.
What change would you like to see? Even more collaboration and transparency along the entire supply chain.
What would be your dream ‘coffee experience’? I love origin trips. They’re my dream coffee experience. You learn so much, so I am really looking forward to being able to visit farms and mills again.
Name two coffee legends would you want to have coffee with, and why? What would you drink? John Burton. I spent most of my working career in Australia, so as a New Zealand coffee professional, I am embarrassed to say, I’ve never met him. I would like to cup some coffee with him and chat. He’s obviously the most respected in the green bean trade in NZ.
James Hoffmann would be my second. I met him briefly once and I really admire what he has and continues to do. His Coffee Atlas is one of the best learning tools a young professional could buy. I drink black coffee, so hopefully, he’d dish up a filter or espresso of whatever they were showcasing at Square Mile