Brewing coffee perfection, one bean at a time
Anyone in Sydney that knows coffee, knows Toby’s Estate. But it’s likely most loyal advocates of this esteemed brand don’t know the complete Toby’s story.
More than fifteen years ago, Toby Smith concluded he wasn’t cut out to be a lawyer. “I didn’t initially consider coffee to be what I was going to do for the rest of my life,” he says, “but I wanted to escape the path of becoming a lawyer, so this was sort of my exit plan. Then I fell in love with it.” So, with bags packed, he followed his heart and ventured to some of the world’s most remote regions to discover all there was to know about his first love - coffee.
While living within the community of coffee farmers in Brazil, Toby experienced firsthand how these families had dedicated their lives, and a lot of hard manual labour to growing exquisite beans. Inspired by his new purpose, and a deep respect for the coffee farmers who taught him so much, Toby returned home and got to work perfecting the art and science of roasting coffee from his mum’s garage in the back streets of Woolloomooloo.
The rest, as they say is history. Since 1998, Toby - with the help of his father and a small team of equally passionate coffee enthusiasts working by his side - has opened a number of signature Toby’s Estate cafés around Australia, established a presence in Singapore, New York and Manila, developed exclusive supply agreements with several hundred cafés nationally and was recently inducted into the Sydney Morning Herald Café Guide Hall of Fame for his contribution to the Sydney café culture.
Just as any passionate wine maker insists on controlling the quality of grapes used to make the end product that bears his name, so too Toby has made the leap to owning his own coffee plantation. Yes, there is now an actual Toby’s Estate - a plantation in Panama called Finca Santa Teresa. Overlooking pristine Panamanian rainforest at an altitude of 1,560m, the multi-award winning farm is focused on pioneering new sustainable growing and processing techniques, allowing the flavours within each bean to be nurtured from seed through to cup.
“We love to celebrate our farmer relations and all of the hard work and love they put into making their beans unique and of a high standard” said Toby. “I’ve always dreamt of having my own coffee plantation to grow and process the best beans.” The farm operates a best practice approach to all of its activities under the ‘S.E.E Philosophy’ of Sustainable, Ethical and Environmental. A school for the local children is located on the property and the team works with the community to assist with charity work and equipment.
The market-leading standards of sustainability and innovation at Barangaroo make it a natural fit for Toby’s Estate. The lobby café located within Tower Two International Towers, will be the brand’s very first ‘Espresso Bar’ concept. Step inside to discover baristas at the very top of their game creating masterfully-crafted brews and blends to fuel workers each day. Also on hand will be a range of sweet and savoury pastries, sandwiches, cakes, muffins, friands and soup, making it the perfect pit-stop when on the go, or a relaxed space for morning, lunch and afternoon meetings.
Toby’s Estate can now be enjoyed in the lobby of Tower Two International Towers Sydney