Stathos began his affiliation with the coffee industry taking a job in the warehouse of Asco Coffee, while studying computer programming. When Melbourne company Mocopan purchased Asco Coffee in 1992, Stathos relocated to Melbourne to take the role of Operations Manager for Mocopan.
It was not a hard decision, as Stathos had developed a true passion for coffee by this stage.
“The wonderful aroma of coffee beans consumed me; it helped make my mind up that this was the industry that I had to work in, ” Mr Stathos said.
“I had really developed a true passion for coffee by this stage and wanted to continue learning more and more about coffee, every aspect from the harvesting of green beans through to the manufacturing and ultimately the training of customers on how to make the perfect coffee.”
“(The relocation) allowed me to gain more industry knowledge while moving further up in the company,” Mr Stathos explained.
In Melbourne Stathos assisted in the implementation of new Roasting Facility and the introduction of Quality Assurance Department for coffee sensory and testing. By 2002, his role had expanded even further, covering sourcing and purchasing of green beans for Cerebos in Australia and New Zealand, taking on the responsibility of acquiring 6 000 tonnes of beans per year.
What Stathos really enjoyed was the ability to have a say about the whole journey of the coffee bean, from start to finish.
“My role encompasses many different aspects which include sourcing the green beans for ongoing blend development, close interaction with the manufacturing team in achieving optimum freshness and packaging, daily cupping (tasting) of each batch produced, ensuring distribution to customers is not negatively impacting quality, and finally interacting with customers on technical aspects of coffee,” Mr Stathos said.
As for Stathos’s thoughts on the ideal coffee?
“It has an all round mouth feel and a fine balance between acidity, flavor, and bitterness. It must also have a rich aroma and a dense golden brown crema.”