Most people expect to hear about Salvatore when you talk about St Ali. If we wanted to talk business, he’s the man to talk to. But if you want to talk coffee, and the effect specialty coffee has had on this city and the world, there’s only one man in the St Ali family that carries that kind of metal.
Matt Perger is the Dean of Coffee at St Ali, where his role is Barista, Roaster, Green Coffee Buyer, Consultant, Competitor, Educator, Business Partner, Inventor and Researcher just to name a few. While the job at hand keeps him busy, Matt’s creativity leads him thinking about bigger goals such as “wanting to reinvent the espresso for the 21st century”. Grand and noble.
In the 3 years with St Ali he’s managed to win the World Brewers Cup, place 2nd in the World Barista Championships and win the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship in 2014. It’s fair to say that Matt and St Ali are a match made in heaven. Knowledge and hands on experience is what is keeping the St Ali brand alive and well.
“St Ali is not a normal brand. It’s masculine, amorphous, and has a mind of its own.”
In April St Ali will be 10 years old, but still behaves like a bratty 2 year old. They have 50 staff and are all synonymous with Melbourne and its coffee. As one of the very first Specialty Coffee brands, it has a place in the heart of all coffee conscious Melbournites.
Orthodox is their new-age rendition of the classic Italian Espresso Blend. It’s chocolaty, sweet, rich and super friendly. Filled with red fruits and toffee, this isn’t a blend that will blow minds and change the game. It’s quite deliberately the opposite, and that’s what makes it special. Orthodox is our bread and butter, the crowd pleaser. It’s easy to make, versatile and you can serve it to your coffee-obsessed nephew or moka-pot-loving grandmother and everyone will be happy.
The guys here are a pretty international bunch. Although firmly grounded in South Melbourne, St Ali seems to be branching out around the world. Last year they took St Ali to London, Milan, Jakarta and Seoul in search of International partners and audiences. So far they’ve made some incredible friendships, but they’re hungry for more – Matt and the family are ready to take the world and their coffee by storm!
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Photos by Bobby & Tide.
Stay in touch with St Ali via Instagram @St_Ali