May 01, 2019


Some things just belong together. Like wine and cheese, summer and cricket or gin and tonic. In introducing you to this month’s coffee, it is impossible to separate the twin arts of coffee roasting and artisan sourdough baking. The team behind First Love Coffee, Brenton Lang and Andrew Gibbs are the founders of Rustica Sourdough. Founded in Fitzroy in 2012, Rustica has been at the forefront of the artisan baking revival in Melbourne and the company has gone from strength to strength, serving beautiful breads, pastries and coffee at five of their own cafes throughout Melbourne.

For Lang and Gibbs, the step from artisan baking to coffee roasting was a short one. “At Rustica, we’ve always had a real passion for specialty coffee and wanted our own influence in creating a unique blend and brand,” says Lang. “We set out to try to capture the idea of ’First Love’ when developing this blend. We wanted a taste profile that was bright, and evocative, that was something that customers felt indelibly familiar with; something they’d find themselves looking back on and reaching for over and over again.”

“The Polaroid” according to Lang, is an honest cup comprised of washed process beans from Tanzania’s Mt. Meru, Peru San Ignacio and Brazil’s Capricornia region.

“It typifies what we love in a blend: an enduring combination of flavours that is approachable yet suggestive. Rich notes of brown sugar and vanilla give way to a mild nuttiness that is complex and balanced. The blend also has some lovely floral and maple tones.”

Lang and Gibbs are very passionate about sustainable and ethical farming practices. For First Love’s Polaroid blend, each of the beans comes from small producer groups that are committed to their community and sustainability. The Peruvian San Ignacio is produced by the Tocto family. Their farms are highly regarded in the region for their entrepreneurship, respect for local farming traditions, and direct roaster relationships that can help improve rural livelihoods.

The Tanzanian bean is from the Aranga group, which was formed by 10 farmers that broke away from a mismanaged cooperative to establish a more democratic group focused on bean quality and the upgrading of cooperative facilities. Finally, the Brazilian bean is produced by a group of more than 20 passionate farmers as part of the ‘Four Seasons Project’ that have turned their farms into modern, ecologically sustainable producers. The Polaroid – named for the way an old Polaroid snapshot captures a moment or “memory” in time, is the house blend on the bar at all Rustica venues, and used this month for both our filter and espresso roasts.

Commercial Espresso Machine Recipe

  • Dose: 21g
  • Yield: 40g
  • Extraction time: 28 seconds
  • Hario V60, Pour Over Method

  • Dose: 13g
  • Yield: 200ml
  • Extraction time: 2.30 mins
  • The team at Rustica have big plans for First Love this year too. If you happen to be in Melbourne, keep an eye out for it at their new flagship bakery café site on Chapel Street in South Yarra, opening this September. As frequent patrons of Rustica’s Fitzroy home base, the team at Three Thousand Thieves fell in love with First Love the very first time we tried it, and we’re pretty sure you will too. Enjoy!