September 16, 2020

Stella coffee

Stella is the brainchild of coffee stalwart Tim Varney. Through responsibly sourced coffee, Varney’s mission is to bring about a little jolt of nostalgia in our lives - and to celebrate the joy that comes with a good solid cup of joe. Especially during these difficult times!

Varney entered the coffee scene over 15 years ago. He started off as a barista at the Italian cafe Il Fornaio in Melbourne. From there, Varney moved over to the UK to work as the quality auditor for the famous Illy Caffe in London.

His love for all things coffee led him straight to the world renowned Norwegian roaster and green importer Tim Wendelboe. Wendelboe is a big name in the coffee industry. He opened up a few highly-regarded cafe and roasteries in Norway and a coffee farm in Colombia. Varney was working in London at the Tate Modern when he heard Wendelboe was opening a cafe in the hip Scandi capital of Oslo. He admired his work in the industry and flew to Norway hoping to meet Wendelboe and pick his brain. Meet him he did. A chat led to an interview which led to Wendelboe asking Varney to be his new bar manager. Varney then set down his roots in Oslo and worked under Wendelboe for six years.

He returned to Melbourne in 2013, to co-found Bureaux Collective, Australia’s first co-roasting workspace. He also co-founded the World AeroPress Championship, a coffee community building competition spanning 65+ countries. He’s now the project director at hospitality co-working space Worksmith and fronts-up Stella Coffee as a side-project.

Varney’s been a busy man since he’s been back in Australia. We can’t express to you how excited we are for the launch of his very first coffee brand. No doubt it’s going to be absolutely exceptional.

“Right now, we’re experiencing some pretty incredible challenges. With this has come an opportunity for pause and reflection. Pondering simpler times. Perhaps daydreaming about what we wish we could be doing right now. But, we’re also realising how grateful we are for what we have, and appreciating the simple pleasures, like coffee.” — Stella’s Tim Varney


Sourced by Cafe Imports, Tega & Tula is as close to the birthplace of coffee as you can get. Situated amongst wild forest in the Kaffa zone of Ethiopia, Tega & Tula is a 500-hectare pair of farms that produces beautiful organic coffees.

Interestingly, the farm was founded by Ahadu Woubshet, a former COO of the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange. Woubshet was interested in a more first-hand experience with coffee and an opportunity to focus on quality coffee production through organic farming practices, which is much better for the people working the crop and the environment involved.

Tasting Notes: Candied fruit, ripe nectarine with a soft, creamy mouth feel. Clean aromatics supported by soft caramel sweetness with a luscious finish.

Recipe: 60g coffee per litre of water


Gran Galope is part of Cafe Import’s ‘Regional Select Program’ and was created to highlight the unique profiles that are inherent to specific micro-regions within Colombia. The region in this case is Pitalito, Huila.

During the harvest season, growers from within the Pitalito communities have their coffees cupped and scored for potential inclusion in a “Regional Select”. A “Regional Select” is a coffee that scores between 84–86 points and displays characteristics indicative of its growing region.

Just like growing regions in wine that drive a wine’s style, coffee regions have a similar influence in the coffee’s style. Topography, sun, altitude, soil, and rainfall all contribute to the end result. Huila is framed by the Central and Eastern ranges of the Andes, with most of it sitting in the beautiful Magdalena Valley. This provides great variation in climate, with temperatures on farms varying from 17°C to 23°C. They also benefit from the nitrogen-rich volcanic soil. Typically coffees from Pitalito boast complexity and intensity of flavour, making this coffee perfect for espresso.

Tasting Notes: Apple, caramel, red berries and a rich toffee sweetness. Buttery body and lingering, balanced finish.

Recipe: 1:2 coffee to water ratio