Coffee and community: Meet the man behind Red Brick Espresso’s roasting revolution

Posted 30 Mar 2017

Story by CBR Canberra

In December 2011, Tim Manning and his team at Red Brick Espresso café set out to build a specialty coffee culture in Canberra, encouraging consumers to appreciate the quality and ethics of sourcing coffee.

Fast forward 5 years and Tim has created a café triple in size and an ecosystem committed to educating and exposing local brewsters to the production and the sourcing of coffee beans from around the world.

“We try to support that side of the business so there’s that knowledge base within Canberra. Before we started doing that there weren’t many roasters here, so to pioneer that approach to coffee was such an honour,” Tim said.

Red Brick espresso

Tim explains coffee is an incredibly complex commodity in terms of the hands it goes through and the expertise that goes in to sourcing it.

“When we set out roasting at Red Brick we hadn’t roasted coffee previously, I just knew it was something that I was massively interested in,” Tim said.

“Now we purchase our green coffee with several specialty coffee businesses in Melbourne and Sydney sourcing coffee directly from some of the most quality focused producer’s in Central and South America and Africa.”

Red Brick Espresso lives by their ‘community-minded philosophy’ in everything that they do.

Tim says they source much of their produce locally, focusing on quality, flavour and providing a community hub for the residents of Curtin and in the region.

“We source milk from a dairy out of Dubbo where it all comes from one set of cattle with very stringent quality controls, they can probably trace every bottle back to the cow that produced it, which is awesome,” Tim said.

And we waited for a farm near Young to rear enough free range pigs to provide us bacon, so we know our bacon comes from happy pigs that live a pretty good life!”

“One of our business partners has a bakery in Belconnen called Knead Patisserie and they’re all about producing genuine artisan bread through a totally a natural process” he said.

Red Brick Espresso plays an important role within the community, serving as a hub for all Canberrans.

“We provide a space for people to interact; we have neighbours catch up over a coffee on the weekends, kids playing with their friends after school, and the new parents coming up from the birthing facility down the road, all to chill out with a coffee on the café’s front lawn,” said Tim.

red brick espresso 1

Being a Canberran himself, Tim has watched the city’s café scene establish its own personality over the years thanks to the support of the growing communities.

“More and more people have chosen to stay here rather than moving interstate, which has helped Canberra develop its own name and style of doing things, it doesn’t replicate too much of what Sydney and Melbourne do.

We found our own spaces and turned them into places where people want to be,” he said.

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