Neli capsules home coffee market

Published 11:00am 21 October 2022

Neli capsules home coffee market
Words by Kylie Knight

High demand has prompted Clontarf’s Neli Coffee to produce a second batch of its Jetty Blend coffee capsules, just two months after the product’s debut in the local market.

Neli Coffee owners Janelle and Ed Thomas say they worked on the first batch all year, releasing it in August and had almost sold out when batch two arrived this month.

It will go on sale, under the same name, next week.

As they have with every other aspect of their business, the couple researched the market carefully before diving in and are thrilled with how it has turned out.

“We were put in touch with an Australian-based manufacturer and when we found that they could do compostable capsules we were excited and interested because it resonated with the sort of things we do,” Ed says.

“So, I went to Adelaide and met with them and had a look at how they actually make them and then we did some samples.”

Coffee beans used in the capsules are roasted at Neli Coffee’s Clontarf base before being sent to Adelaide where they are processed and placed into ‘industrial compostable capsules’. The capsules will break down within 90 days.

There is rigorous quality control testing by the firm during the production process.

Ed and Janelle say early taste testing didn’t yield amazing results because they were using a ‘cheap machine’.

“We probably should have taken some of our own advice because when we talk to people it’s about trying to buy the best machine that you can buy, to get the best results. We bought a very cheap capsule machine and we got very cheap results,” Ed explains.

“So, then we got a better capsule machine and then suddenly we’re like, ‘wow this actually tastes great’. We did a few trials, but we selected one blend that we thought was going to do a good job for us and it did.”

Blind taste testing by the team at Clontarf confirmed they were on a winner.

“It’s a robust flavour, very pleasant. We tried a lot of capsules on the market when we were doing our testing to see what we were up against and we were very happy with our results,” Ed says.

He says Neli Coffee team member Stephanie Graham helped co-ordinate the project.

Neli capsules home coffee market

What do customers think?

“We’ve had many return customers. They buy two boxes at a time. You’ve got to talk them into it the first time but then they come back a week later and say, ‘they were great’,” Janelle says.

“We’re targeting the ‘grey nomads’ because they need a lightweight option when they travel. They want to take the luxury with them of coffee, so we’re saying ‘take a capsule machine with you, look how big it is, lightweight and it’s getting great results’.

“A few have bought the machine before they’ve bought the caravan or while they’re waiting for their caravan to arrive,” she says.

Neli capsules home coffee market

Paying homage to Redcliffe

The first two batches of Neli Coffee capsules are called Jetty Blend, with artwork depicting the Redcliffe Jetty and a tribute to the iconic structure on the packaging.

“On our packaging, we wanted to embrace our location other than having Neli Coffee plastered all over it. We thought it was a good opportunity to do something that pinpoints exactly where we are and where this has come from,” Ed explains.

“We worked with the design company to get the Redcliffe Jetty on it and we think they’ve done a great job of it. We called it Jetty Blend because we thought that was pretty unique. We tried to keep soft, pastel colours – a beachy look.”

Ed and Janelle say they might adopt other local names for subsequent blends, in the same way they named menu items in their old café after Redcliffe peninsula landmarks.

Neli capsules home coffee market

Guilt-free coffee

The Jetty Blend is sold in ‘industrial compostable capsules’ and will break down in 90 days in landfill.

“Early in the new year, we’ll be going into a different capsule which will be home compostable. So, those can be placed straight into your compost bin at home,” Ed explains.

“You’re still enjoying a cup, but you’re not creating too much harm to the environment as a result. Obviously, our cardboard packaging is fully recyclable. It’s guilt-free coffee,” he says.

The second batch is available next week from Neli Coffee’s Clontarf café, but also online at the website and at a several Neli Coffee retailers.

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