Two varieties of iced chilli coffee have been launched today at the Scenic Rim dairy using syrup developed and produced by James Sullivan and Douglas Bates’ Chilli Coffee.
It came after the pair took a punt and popped into the dairy on their way home from Warwick a few months ago.
They had already been to see other milk companies and figured it worth a shot.
It took some taste-testing to convince the Dennis family, who owns the dairy, it was an idea worth pursuing but once they had sampled the syrup in their milk they were sold.
In a Facebook post on January 17, 4 Real Milk’s Greg Dennis aka “Farmer Gregie” says the launch will be a high on what has been a rollercoaster ride at the dairy.
“I've got to say the 4 Real Milk journey has been a roller-coaster ride ... providing highs and lows that I couldn't have imagined, or at times even described,” Greg says.
“Perhaps the most exciting collaboration was a random visit to our farm from a couple of complete strangers in the spring of 2020. Jimmy and Doug from Chilli Coffee Australia called into our farm - looking to work with a milk company and launch an iced coffee.
“Just so happens I was all ears - and we at 4Real loved their product, and their motivation. After a lot of groundwork (thanks to our 4Real manager Tracy!) in the last few months, tomorrow morning will represent the first ever batch run of 4Real Dragon Breath and 4Real Dragon Espresso. Uncle Ray has already claimed the first bottle of the batch.”
It was a case of being at the right place at the right time. James says they were told the dairy had been thinking about adding a flavour and now had a marketable option.
“We have five syrups in development and they’re taking all five of them,” James says.
Two varieties (Second Breath and Wild Ride) will be energy drinks and the fifth is still top secret.
There are plans to send Wild Ride into space via a rocket to be launched near Goondiwindi in the coming months.
“We’re trying to get Elon Musk’s attention and if for no other reason, who gets to shoot their coffee into space,” James says laughing.
Last week, the pair found out they had won an Australian Enterprise Award for most innovative coffee production start-up. Oh, and they’ve launched a cooking show on Youtube!
James says 4 Real Milk is distributed to more than 100 Woolworths outlets as well as BP service stations, selected IGA stores and other outlets.
Samples will be sent to them and it is hoped distribution will flow from there.
“We’ve had people say I don’t drink coffee, try it and buy a bottle of the syrup. It’s really simple to use … it’s a straight mix,” he says.
“I want everyone to know where it is. I’ve got customers hanging out for it. We’re pretty confident,”
He says there is potential to work with other small dairies to take it far beyond Queensland and there’s plenty of scope for new products at 4 Real Milk.
“They make yoghurt and our syrup on top is fabulous,” he says.
James Sullivan and Douglas Bates launched Chilli Coffee in March 2020 but it’s a journey James started about two years ago.
The experienced coffee roaster, barista, and lover of coffee and spicy food’s first foray into chilli coffee was a pretty basic pour-over version.
He knew he had an idea that would take off, he’d started selling it from his coffee truck, but needed some help to take it to the next level.
James had been looking for an advisor and jumped at the chance to be part of a State Government mentorship program. It was at a program event, in December 2019 that James met Douglas and they instantly connected.
“When I got home, I said to my wife, ‘I’ve just been in an episode of Shark Tank which was bloody awful but there’s one good guy and I think he got what I was talking about’. I was going to ring him, but he beat me to it and rang me first,” James recalls.
Want to read more about their amazing journey? Here’s a story we put together last year
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