Dylan Goodwin Sharpe on growing Black Monty Coffee Roasters in Newcastle

Newcomer: Dylan Goodwin Sharpe, founder of Black Monty Coffee Roasters, enjoying a cup of coffee at RAW Energy Cafe in Newcastle. Picture: Simone De Peak
Newcomer: Dylan Goodwin Sharpe, founder of Black Monty Coffee Roasters, enjoying a cup of coffee at RAW Energy Cafe in Newcastle. Picture: Simone De Peak

Black Monty Coffee Roasters. Orders taken by phone: 0408 478 820

Coal and coffee. 

Both are an integral part of life in Newcastle.

By day, Dylan Goodwin Sharpe works in a Newcastle lab testing coal quality.

By night, from about 8pm to midnight, the 27-year-old works in his converted garage in Belmont, roasting coffee beans to make his signature Black Monty cold brew as well as Black Monty roasted beans.

Slowly, Goodwin Sharpe is building a business. His cold brew is available at Sherwood Coffee Bar in the West End and Newy Burger Co in Newcastle uses it to make shakes. His single origin roasted beans are used at RAW Energy Cafe in Honeysuckle (Dylan’s blend) and The Goods at Carey Bay.

Goodwin Sharpe began drinking coffee seven years ago when he was attending university, but, as he says, he “didn’t start drinking good coffee until I moved back to Newcastle” about five years ago.

Dylan’s interest in coffee grew when he and his wife, Emily, were part-owners of Sherwood.  “I started roasting my own single origins and stuff, just at home,” he says.

With friends and family enjoying Dylan’s roast, he decided to get more serious. “I started with a modified popcorn maker, doing it for myself,” he says. He was buying 2-kilo bags of green beans, and roasting 30 grams (one cup’s worth) at a time.

As his confidence grew, he obtained an electric roaster from his coffee bean supplier. Now, he uses a large gas roaster.

“There is no downtime,” he says of the big roaster. “I could roast forever.”

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During summer, his cold brew accounts for more than 50 per cent of his business.

“I roast my own coffee for cold brew,” he says. “You’ve got a lot more control than using somebody else’s roast. Normally you can only buy an espresso roast from shops and stuff. I like to roast it a little bit lighter for the cold brew, because it keeps the sweetness in there.”

His Black Monty cold brew is made in a 24-hour process.

“It takes quite a long time,but it’s worth it,” he says.

“You don’t get any bitterness in the coffee because it’s extracted cold.  If you’re not a coffee addict, it’s a really nice way to enter into drinking coffee; it’s nice and sweet. You just get the fruity flavours and not so much of the bitterness.”

Goodwin Sharpe deals only in seasonal single origin. He has been roasting a Sidamo Ethiopian heirloom bean, but is also offering a Chinese single origin from southern Yunnan at the moment. 

Emily is a key part of the business, doing the photography to promote Black Monty Coffee on instagram and facebook, as well as offering her opinion on the roast.

“I need a bit of honesty,” Dylan says. 

“And it’s good to get other opinions, because I roast coffee the way I like to drink it.”

Black Monty offers free delivery in Newcastle. Prices start at $13 for a 250-gram bag.