Our Industry


Membership is open to anyone involved in, or who has an interest in promoting the Australian Subtropical Coffee Industry.

Download a Membership Application form if you wish to become a member and have a say in this vibrant, active association that has become the peak industry body for those involved in the Australian Subtropical Coffee Industry.

Australian Subtropical Coffee is grown between Noosa and Coffs Harbour. There are approximately 35 growers on 300 ha with potential production of 600 tonnes of dry green bean per annum from 850,000 trees.

The map below is interactive. To enlarge the map click on the blue link below it. Use the on screen controls to move around the map. Zoom in on a place marker to see the plantation or locality of one of our members and their contact details.

View ASTCA Coffee Plantations in a larger map

Ashtons Australian Coffee see website

Bangalow Coffee see website

Bush Block Organics

ByronAromas Coffee see website

Byron Blue Coffee see facebook

Carool Mountain Coffee see website

Coffee Australia see website

Coffs Coast Coffee see website

Coorabell Coffee see website

Gordon Dudley

Espressi Coffee

Eureka Coffee see website

Xavier Fabian

Gavin Henderson

High Trees Coffee Estate see website

John Musgrave

Kahawa Estate see website

Kasaroma Coffee see website

Mackellar Range Australian Coffee see website

Mountain Top Coffee see website

Mount Mee Coffee see website

Nashua Coffee

Northcoast Agroforestry

Paul Quin

Peasley Horticultural Services

Pioneer Coffee see website

Jim & Twiggy Punch

Offgrid Coffee Roasters see website

Omaroo Coffee see website

Three Valleys Coffee see website

Tregeagle Coffee

Tullamoor Coffee

Robert Turich

Lee Williams

Wombah Coffee see website

Zentveld’s Australian Coffee see website

Zeta’s Coffee see website

Lynne Ziehlke

Coffee Production

Worldwide, coffee is grown and produced in many and varied ways. A brief overview of the life cycle of coffee production in the Australian subtropics, from seed to cup, follows.

Plantations generally have the coffee trees planted in rows 4 m apart and within the row, trees are planted 90 cm apart. This is to facilitate mechanical harvesting of the crop.
The aim as far as possible is to follow environmentally sustainable farming practices on our deep, fertile red volcanic soils.

Flowering takes place after spring rains from October through December. Flowers last only 2-3 days and are heavily scented. In a heavy flowering, the plantation looks like it is covered by a blanket of snow!
After flowering the fruit (called ‘cherry’) remains pinhead in size for 4-8 weeks.

Rapid cherry growth begins 4-8 weeks after flowering and continues for a further 6 months as the green cherries increase in size until they look like grapes clustered along the branches.
The lack of coffee pests and diseases in our subtropical region means we do not use pesticides or fungicides and our coffee is free of contaminating chemicals and fumigants.

Ripening usually begins in June and continues for 3-4 months as the cherries change in colour from green through orange to crimson and then a deep red-purple when they are ready for harvest.
The mild temperatures at low altitude and the tempering effect of our proximity to the coast provide an extended ripening period for the coffee cherries.

Harvesting: On the bigger plantations, the cherries are harvested mechanically. The self-propelled harvester consists of a frame that straddles the row. Attached to the frame are two vertical shaker shafts that have fibre-glass fingers radiating from their length. As the shafts rotate, the fingers oscillate back and forth, shaking the branches and the ripe cherries fall on to a conveyor belt which moves the cherries into a bin on the harvester. The harvester can be fine-tuned to maximise the harvest of red cherry and minimise the harvest of green cherry.
On some plantations, cherries are hand-picked. This is a meticulous process that ensures that only cherries at peak maturity are harvested.

Processing: Within hours of harvest, the ripe cherries are processed to remove the fleshy pulp which is high in fermentable sugars. There are different methods of processing the ripe cherry. The one most used in this region first separates the red from the green cherries and overripe naturals. Then the pulping machine ruptures the cherry, expelling the coffee beans within and separating the pulp from the beans.
These beans are called parchment. The sticky mucilage covering the beans is removed either mechanically in the pulping machine or the beans are fermented for 24 hours and then washed.
The parchment beans are then dried to 12% moisture either in the sun or mechanically. Dry parchment coffee can be stored for years under suitable environmental conditions with minimal loss of quality.

Hulling: Prior to roasting, the parchment is passed through a hulling machine which mechanically removes the outer parchment and underlying silverskin – the result is green bean.
Coffee is traded internationally as green bean.

Roasting coffee transforms the chemical and physical properties of green coffee beans into roasted coffee products. The roasting process is what produces the characteristic flavour of coffee by causing the green coffee beans to expand and to change in colour, taste, smell, and density. Unroasted beans contain similar acids, protein, and caffeine as those that have been roasted, but lack the taste. Heat must be applied for the chemical reactions to occur.
Roasters typically operate at temperatures between 200 –250°C (400–480 F), and the beans are roasted for a period of time ranging from less than 10 minutes to up to 30 minutes. At the end of the roasting cycle, the roasted beans are dumped from the roasting chamber and cooled with forced air.