LOCAL INVENTION: Luke Floyd, owner of Artisti Coffee Roasters, invented milk-dispensing system i-milk, which does away with plastic bottles.
LOCAL INVENTION: Luke Floyd, owner of Artisti Coffee Roasters, invented milk-dispensing system i-milk, which does away with plastic bottles. Ryan Webber

It's a grind of the right kind for coffee whiz

LIVING on the Coffs Coast, you've most likely had Artisti Coffee owner Luke Floyd's coffee.

But soon people across Australia could experience his latest coffee invention, aiming to reduce plastic use and waste.

Mr Floyd's latest device, i-milk, does away with the thousands of plastic milk bottles used in cafes and restaurants.

Instead it replaces them with a high-volume milk bladder that is refrigerated under the counter, ready to dispense milk whenever needed.

The "intelligent” system fills the barista's jug with the right amount of milk.

Since Mr Floyd introduced his latest invention to the market, it has been trialled by fast food giant McDonald's.

The country's biggest coffee chain, McCafe is considering ways to reduce its plastic consumption.

The simple-to-use i-milk also allows baristas to quickly clean milk jugs by turning them upside down on the unit, which then flushes the jug with water.

Mr Floyd started his coffee enterprise at a Sawtell cafe.

He later sold the cafe with the intention of slowing down, taking his small 10kg coffee drum roaster and opening a roaster at the back of Hurley Dr.

But there was little slowing down.

In that time he did a lot of testing with coffee blends, selling his beans at the Valla Beach Markets and Growers Markets.

Hitting the right notes with his coffee, Mr Floyd soon outgrew his roastery in the small Hurley Drive factory and he moved to the back of Palate and Ply Cafe on Vernon St.

But still Mr Floyd's enterprise continued to grow, which prompted him to retire his trusted small 10kg roaster and move into a large industrial shed at Toormina.

He has now purchased a state-of-the-art 30kg roaster to keep up with demand.

"It's like going from a Datsun 180B to a Ferrari,” Mr Floyd said.

He has produced award-winning coffee. Most recently, Artisti won silver and two bronze medals for roasts entered at the Royal Easter Show.

The local roaster has also won awards at one of the world's largest coffee roasting competitions, the Golden Bean Awards.

"The awards don't come easy. We spend so much time following each of our weekly roasts sampling, analysing roasting data, temperatures, humidity and more trying to perfect what we do,” Mr Floyd said.



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