After a long addiction to regular espresso and an urge to try something new, lifelong tinkerer James Bullock hammered together some gardening supplies to create his first ever cold-drip tower in late 2020. The result leaned a little to the left, but ultimately made some of the smoothest coffee he’d ever tasted.
Inspired by the flavour, James and his workmate, Christian Price-Wright, set out to make not only the world’s best tasting coffee, but also the healthiest.
Out of the different ways to brew coffee, cold-drip has one of the longest preparation times. Made by slowly dripping cold water through ground coffee, the total brew time is somewhere between eight and twelve hours. For Holy Joe the brewing period is essential; the flavour of cold-drip often being described as smoother and more complex, owing to the timing and lack of high heat usually required to extract the necessary oils.
‘I used to be probably one of the slowest baristas in Brisbane when I was young and working my first cafe job,’ says James – now titled Brewmaster at Holy Joe. ‘I was a perfectionist, and that meant my queue for a latte was ridiculous. Now we can proudly say that the coffee is well worth the wait.’
Parts of the Australian coffee industry have made steps to transition to a sustainable future in recent years, and co-founder Christian says that Holy Joe is well equipped to take part in a generation of conscious businesses.
‘We’ve always been inspired to create a sustainable company, from the very beginning. Our packaging is completely plastic-free, even our cork seals are home-compostable,’ says Christian.
An interest in local produce also inspired them to think differently about wastage, and they give all of their spent organic coffee grind to a local farm project, because they want to ‘give as much back to the land as possible.’
Holy Joe is also the first cold drip coffee to include medicinal mushrooms, an addition that James says was a no-brainer after years of including adaptogens in his own brews. ‘We knew the long-term benefits of these amazing superfoods, and thought that your morning coffee was a great way to get a daily dose.’
‘We’ve also made sure that we use only Australian species of organically grown mushrooms; we really believe in the simple sustainability of sourcing locally.’