Coffee review: Ground Control Coffee

5/29 Industry Drive, Tweed Heads South NSW 2486

There is no mistaking you are near Ground Control Coffee as, if the intoxicating scent doesn’t give it away, the crowd of cars vying for parks out the front will. Following our noses, we came upon the warehouse in a busy industrial estate and immediately knew we were at the right caffeine dealers.

Mitch Kane co-owns Ground Control with his uncle Matt, and happily came to sit with us to drink some coffee and engage in some caffeine-related banter. Truly, this is how every day should begin.

Mitch informs us over quite a few coffees (seriously we tried everything they had to offer!) that their journey began in a café in Ballina, where they started roasting coffee, developed some contacts and started to wholesale beans. In 2015, the opportunity came to consolidate what they were doing, so they moved into their current premises and began purchasing better beans and training up some gun baristas to showcase their product.  “We want our customers to be well looked after, so we have invested a lot in the beans and training our staff” Matt informs us as one of the aforementioned gun baristas Levi brings us over yet more coffee to drink.

“We pride ourselves on consistent, high quality coffee delivered with speed”, and that is exactly our experience at Ground Control. There is a consistent buzz of people coming in and out during our caffeinated morning in the winter sun. With no kitchen, the punters truly are here for the coffee, whether to buy the beans off the shelf, or sit and enjoy their favourite brew in the laidback warehouse space.

Currently they are roasting around 500kg of beans a week on their Joper roaster that are dispersed into their Major Tom, Love Bites and OG blends as well as single origins, which happily for me was Ethiopian Yirgacheffe on our visit. All coffees in house are made on a Ruggero machine that Matt spoke about fondly as “it has been here since we bought the place and has never failed us”.

The Major Tom espresso had an intriguing liquorice and rosemary aroma, packing a healthy acid punch with an earthy note running through the fruit and nut dark chocolate taste. The OG blend, which won a silver medal in the organic category at the Golden Bean awards, was also sampled in espresso form. With a squeaky acidity that smacks at the back of your mouth followed by a citrus heavy fruit flavour, it is easy to see why this blend of beans from Peru, Nicaragua and PNG is such a favourite. My favourite blend though was the Love Bites touted as being “for the consumer who likes their cuppa with a little oomph!” The malted chocolate scent wafting off the piccolo was heavenly, with a rich red berries flavour that was enveloped in ribbons of chocolate. No great surprise I took a bag of the Love Bites home with me so that I could enjoy it over and over again.

The Ground Control Coffee espresso bar is open 6:45am to 3:00pm Monday to Friday and 7:00am to 12:00pm on Saturday with their beans available both in house and online. Visit the website for more.

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