A Cup of Chai With Sam, Founder of Gabriel Coffee

Let's start with a bit about yourself - who are you and what are you the maker of?
My name is Sam Gabrielian and I’m the founder of Gabriel Coffee. 
Tell us a bit about Gabriel Coffee, how did it all start?

I started Gabriel in 2006 in the pursuit of coffee perfection. Falling in love with coffee in 2001 when I bought my first cafe, I realised coffee wasn’t just a bitter hot beverage old people drank…it was so much more! This love for coffee led me on a journey of barista championships, judging and then roasting. I wanted to become the most consistent, quality driven roaster in OZ (and it’s still the mission today!) 

I wasn’t happy with the supply and the attention to detail my roasters at the time had on this products that i thought was liquid gold, so my OCD kicked in. 

I wanted to control every aspect from green bean to first sip. Where the coffee came from, the quality, the roasting consistency, the age when served, ALLLLL the barista variables… I wanted complete control! 

We hear you've recently done a brand re-launch. What was the driving factor of this? 
A combination of my ADHD and covid lock downs. I was bored working from home and decided we were ready for a freshen up, a more mature and current vibe. We had developed as a company and wanted to express our well seasoned appeal. I'm super happy with the new look and the way it's come together!
What's the new vibe for Gabriel Coffee?

Coffee wise and fashionably tasty

What does an average working day look like for you?
5.30 am pour over at home, 6am surf if (not too big), 8-4pm in the Roastery, doing all the fun things. Tasting and buying delicious coffee and making sure it’s always awesome is my job - how good's that ay?! 
What are Gabriel Coffee's greatest achievements and what are you most proud of?
Making awesome coffee always. Success is tasting coffee every week and knowing we’ve nailed it. That’s our only goal and achievement. There’s no KPI's here, only one common goal, great coffee (and having fun doing it!)
What's been the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge to date is the coffee price right now. Coffee prices are up between 60-110%, not something we can absorb. We had 2 options: 1. Buy awesome coffee and pass on some of the increases 2. Buy cheap coffee and keep the prices the same as 2010… In my opinion, there only one choice. I didn’t build this company based on numbers and I don’t plan to change that now. It’s coffee first. If those customers who don’t realise what is happening in the world and the supply chain issues still want a cheaper product.. Then we aren’t on the same page. We want to support ethical and sustainable farming and are happy to pay the prices that farmers deserve. I could go on for hours about this but I think you get the picture.
When you've got a bit of free time, what do you like to do?

Cook/drink wine, surf and wash cars (i love my old cars).

If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?
Brazil to buy coffee or Japan with my family for the design, food and natural beauty. 
Besides your re-brand, are you working towards anything exciting you can share with us?

We just got HACCP certification, long process but glad it’s done. Next on the agenda is the factory fit out…. stay tuned (it’s going to be epic!)