Food and Drink


The Goathouse Café Roastery

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The Goathouse Café Roastery sits unassumingly on Glen Huntley Road in Elsternwick. Red wrought-iron gates reveal an open space and casual atmosphere. While The Goathouse is the front of the business, the real bones of the operation sits down the back with Fayale Coffee.

Owner Clay Bush and business partner Julian Rowell opened The Goathouse three years ago. Before that they started Fayale, a coffee business which sources fresh beans from around the world and roasts them onsite.

“The name Fayale comes from the Ethiopian word for goat,” says Clay. “The story is that an Ethiopian goat-herder discovered the coffee when his goats ate the beans and began jumping around everywhere.”

Clay’s passion for the coffee is evident. Each new batch of beans is a fresh adventure when you are sourcing from around the globe. Clay explains the farmers in Ethiopia don’t have modern roasting machines and use much older methods of roasting the beans.

“That’s the romantic thing about the gamble: you’re putting all this faith into an old man sitting around a fire and roasting the beans over it for you to taste.”

The Goathouse uses different methods of brewing its coffee, including espresso, filter, plunger, pour-over, syphon and Bunn Trifecta. Custom blends are created for each client and kept on record to be tweaked or replicated for next time.

The preferred method of exploration today is cupping: a process for experiencing the tastes and aromas of different coffee. Samples of each bean are ground and placed into small cups where hot water is poured over and the aroma starts to develop.

Different techniques (including a lot of slurping and spitting) are undertaken to reveal flavour, acidity, body and mouth-feel. Each bean shows something different; the Indonesian bean has a musky earthiness to its taste while the Colombian reveals hints of chocolate. My favourite: the Sidamo Guji which tastes of summer blueberries.

The Goathouse runs coffee appreciation nights where cupping is done with a small group and the roasting process is explained. Each person also creates their own blend to take home. The next event will be held on October 3. For more information on the nights or Fayale Coffee check out or

3-6 Elsternwick Place, Elsternwick
9523 8299
7 days
6am to 6pm

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