August 01, 2023
The time has come to feature one of Perth’s coolest roasters, Brightside Coffee Co! We love this small team of coffee-loving westerners because well... they seem to be having tons of fun doing what they do. It also doesn’t hurt that their coffee is consistently epic – truly the perfect morning treat.
Brightside Coffee Co. has been on our wishlist for quite some time. Don’t be fooled by their ‘newness’ (the business launched in 2022) – the Brightside Team, led by husband and wife Matt & Edith Muhl, is definitely not new to the coffee industry. Matt actually first stepped into a roastery when he was a teenager. Since then he’s been blending up a storm until one day he and Edith decided they wanted to start making their own undeniably delicious morning coffee go-to's. Understanding the importance of that first cup of coffee in the AM is their specialty and we’re incredibly grateful for it!
We sat down with Brightside Coffee Co. Founder, Matt Muhl, and asked him a few questions about Brightside’s beginnings, what he sees for the future of the business and how the Perth coffee scene is looking these days.
Tell us about you. What’s your coffee background?
Well, my descent into the world of coffee wasn’t exactly a “happy little accident” as Bob Ross would say, but it was close! Some of my family and friends worked in
coffee. I was keen to earn some money on school holidays and was super lucky to score a job as an assistant roaster at a very excellent coffee business back in
2008. After that, I kinda just stuck around in various jobs and roles. I ended up being the king of blending up the production orders – the “fastest blender in the West”! Eventually, I had a go at higher education, but it wasn’t really my thing. I dropped Uni faster than a filter-roasted washed Kenyan and went full-on coffee mode in 2011.
How did the brand/project get started?
our kids and also my wife) and I are pretty keen on finding coffees that we really
enjoy and make the effort for. Coffee in the early AM sets the tone for most of our days, so getting it right is really important to us at home. We made the assumption that was true for lots of people, so Brightside was kinda the answer to our own needs. Along with a general flippant disregard for risk management, combined with coffee industry knowledge and roasting experience – starting a coffee roasting business seemed like the way to go!
We had pretty clear goals for Brightside when we sat down in September 2021 and wrote out all our plans on big post-it notes that covered our living room walls. We wanted a highly visual, fun and easy-going brand that was approachable for home coffee enthusiasts and newly minted coffee addicts alike. Our conversational approach to coffee is a result of us wanting to resonate with a very broad and diverse range of coffee drinkers. Our marketing and branding has been very successful in achieving that (so far). We launched the brand in January 2022, which isn’t that long ago actually!
How would you describe your coffee to someone who’s never tasted it before?
Pretty darn good coffee. Super nice flat whites. Juicy as $#%^ pour overs. Our coffee is roasted for sweetness and balance, but bright enough to showcase delicate flavours. We specialise in coffees with a broad appeal but with the occasional “go-getter” thrown in the mix. ‘Go-getters’ are our coffees with funk, unique processing methods or just something different.
What do you consider your most notable coffee achievements? Specifically, how has coffee shaped you and brought along some unique and awesome experiences?
Brightside is my most notable achievement! The achievement isn’t the money we make or the amount of KG’s we sell, it’s building a business with my best mates that I love coming to every day. We also work a 4 day work week, which is easier said than done. Work is a big part of our daily lives, so building our business around the 4 day work week has been hugely rewarding on a personal level for myself and I hope our staff. I think that’s an achievement!
Shout out to Aaron and Brendan of Filament Coffee (best cold brew coffee in the Southern Hemisphere of the Universe). Justin the roaster, Sam the packaging professional, Edith the sounding board and voice of reason and all of the people who’ve spent some cash on Brightside. Including you, reading this in your kitchen! These are the people who have shaped my life through coffee.
What do you think is most exciting in your local coffee scene right now? Can you tell us a little bit about Perth and Western Australia’s burgeoning specialty coffee scene?
There’s tons of community in Perth coffee. Lots of cupping events and shared experiences for the public and coffee professionals to
enjoy. We are also seeing more and more green bean importers landing coffees direct to Perth which is excellent for us as we get variety and supply stability. I think the most exciting thing for me is the increased variety of coffees available now.
Tell us about what’s in store for Brightside for the rest of the year? Any exciting or upcoming projects to note?
It’s a big year already for us! We are midway through moving the warehouse (literally next door) and we have recently upgraded our 12kg Diedrich to a 30kg Giesen (as well as a 6kg Giesen for singles), so we are pleasantly enjoying the more relaxed pace of work. In general though, we aim to reach more coffee drinkers at home, increase our knowledge and expertise in roasting and just have a good time.
Sakoko is a naturally processed lot from the Ermera region in Timor Leste. It’s a
harmonious balance of fresh grapes and raisins with a boozy note. There’s also some wonderfully strange tropical vibe amongst it and a cacao finish. It’s a
total banger. Brightside picked this coffee because of its geographical closeness to Australia. They wanted to showcase some of the amazing coffees in our corner of the world.
The coffee is from the Railaco processing station in Ermera, Timor. It’s roasted gently, for just 10 minutes. They do this to maintain the delicate grape and raisin notes in the coffee and make sure it has the clarity and juiciness that we all love in filter roasted coffees!
A harmonious balance of fresh grapes and raisins with a boozy note
Suggested Recipe for Filter:
6.5 grams of coffee per 100mls of water.
Aim for a 3:00 minute brew time.
45 second bloom with enough water to
saturate the coffee.
Pour approximately 50% of the remaining
water into the brewer then top up.
The Good Times Blend
ESPRESSO & CAPSULE COFFEE
The Good Times Blend is a classic coffee – super smooth, creamy and a little bit
chocolatey. Basically, it’s the perfect everyday coffee.
It comprises three separate coffees: two from Brazil and one from Colombia. The Brazil Uyara is from Brightside's pals over at Southland Merchants. The Brazil Santa Izabel Yellow Bourbon is from Noble Tree Farms and Finca Pequena. Then finally the Washed Colombian brings it all home!
The Good Times Blend tastes great through dairy and alternative milks. It’s also incredible as an espresso and delicious as a long black.
Brazil and Colombia
Notes of cookies, cream, and chocolate
Suggested Recipe for Espresso:
Coffee in: 21g
Coffee out: 42g
Time: 30 seconds
Temp: 94 Celsius