Coffee Chats: MILKLAB x Kuhl-Cher

In the latest MILKLAB coffee chat, we sat down with the Kuhl-Cher Coffee team to discuss new products, how to create a warm and welcoming environment, and more.
Coffee Chats: MILKLAB x Kuhl-Cher
November 18, 2023

MILKLAB Coffee Chats: Kuhl-Cher Coffee

Kuhl-Cher is a Brisbane-based specialty coffee brand spanning everything from premium wholesale to roastery, cafè, and equipment supply.

With Kuhl-Cher’s Royal Blend now available, specially roasted to pair with plant-based milks. MILKLAB caught up with the visionaries behind the brand to discuss culture, creating new products, and much more.

George Angeli, Kuhl-Cher Coffee’s owner, in a relaxed pose in his café in Brisbane, surrounded by coffee equipment and bags of coffee beans in the background.

Get to know George and the team

Kuhl-Cher Coffee is the brainchild of George Angeli, who was born in Cyprus, raised with a history of coffee and hospitality and later moved to Australia, where he founded Kuhl-Cher in 2016. In his local Brisbane, George is known for his winning smile, warmth and unwavering commitment to food, coffee and community.

George also helps to grow coffee culture internationally as part of his role for Coffee Culture, which sees him flying around the globe bringing Australian coffee to international markets. In Brisbane, Kuhl-Cher café and roastery mirrors George’s commitment to top-notch hospitality.

“Located at King Street, Bowen Hills, our flagship cafe offers a full-service menu prepared from scratch and an extraordinary coffee experience,” he explained.

George took us through some of the impressive state-of-the-art equipment used to power Kuhl-Cher, including a grind-by-weight Mahlkonig grinder, gorgeous La Marzocco espresso machine, a Perfect Moose foamer, and a rather schmick Übermilk texturing device.

A new Royal in the family

George and Roger, Kuhl-Cher’s Head Roaster were excited to take us through the ingredients and process behind Kuhl-Cher’s show-stopping Royal Blend, which they crafted specifically to harmonise with plant milk.

Royal stands out due to being 75% Yellow Bourbon, a Brazilian varietal known for its full yellow ripening.

“This exceptional blend combines the vibrancy of two Brazilian coffees to deliver indulgent notes of milk chocolate and caramel,” Roger explained.

“When creating a new blend, it’s important that it creates happiness; this is key,” he added. “I have personally been crafting coffee blends for 20 years.”

Roger explained the brief for Royal, which was to create a blend that was easy-drinking and would pair beautifully with plant milk.

“Each year, different crops and varietals shine. This year, Brazilian coffee beans kept shining through. The Yellow Bourbon has rich salted caramel flavours and is quite theatrical compared to typical red coffee beans,” he said.

More than milk, more than coffee

Our conversation naturally shifted to discussing what it’s like to be a MILKLAB partner.

“Our partnership with MILKLAB goes beyond the ordinary,” George said. “MILKLAB has facilitated social events, provided in-cafe training, and supported us with promotional materials and education.”

Roger emphasised the importance of consistency and quality for milk products. “We always feel satisfied, happy and content and that’s what we love about MILKLAB products. Oat and almond are the two biggest alternative milk options now. Oat has grown significantly over the last few years, overtaking soy and other nut milks,” he said.

George agreed, adding that “Almond and oat are the two that I started with, and those two for me became a key factor in how our coffee tasted.”

Discussing the shared values between Kuhl-Cher and MILKLAB, George said, “MILKLAB stands out through its unwavering commitment to people, teamwork, and education, all of which enhance our ability to deliver exceptional coffee experiences.”

A barista wearing a black MILKLAB print tee prepares a coffee on the machine at Kuhl-Cher Coffee, Brisbane.

Making the switch to a more delicious oat milk

Kuhl-Cher recently switched oat milks to MILKLAB Oat (woo!), so naturally we were curious as to what influenced such an important decision for a busy café owner.

“Our transition to MILKLAB Oat was motivated by its impressive qualities: a clean, straightforward ingredient list, balanced flavours, and a delightful mouthfeel. It plays perfectly with the salted caramel notes in our coffee, creating an unmatched coffee experience,” George explained.

The Royal Blend went through five rounds of revisions before it was signed off. The team’s vision was to create the ideal coffee blend for a beautiful oat latte, to better serve this growing market. “It’s no longer optional to have an exceptional-tasting oat latte; it’s a must-have now,” George said.

Roger and George from Kuhl-Cher Coffee smile as they sample freshly roasted beans from their roasting machine in Brisbane.

A world of experience in coffee

Kuhl-Cher’s team of roasting experts have been awarded over 25 Golden Bean medals and have played a pivotal role in shaping Queensland’s coffee landscape.

“Our team comprises seasoned industry professionals with over 60 years of collective experience,” George explained.

So, what’s the key to being a great barista? It’s not just about pouring the perfect coffee. “Our baristas share a passion for serving people and enhancing the coffee experience with flair and great customer service,” he said.

Every great team needs a mission, and for Kuhl-Cher, theirs is to deliver full-flavoured and enriching coffee experiences “that allow our customers to savour life's moments,” he said.

Sharing the knowledge

Kuhl-Cher offers a variety of industry guidance to its partners, which includes a comprehensive training program that “covers the fundamentals of coffee diagnosis, machinery operations, recipe development, milk training, and milk construction,” George explained.

Education is also offered around "roasting processes, coffee processing, and blend development,” he said.

Kuhl-Cher partners are invited to feel the rush (literally) of service in Kuhl-Cher’s bustling flagship cafe "where we serve up to 100 kilos of coffee a week. This immersive experience spans multiple days, ensuring a deep understanding of our craft,” he added.

Roger and George from Kuhl-Cher Coffee pose with their Royal Blend and sacks of fresh coffee beans.

Vibe check: Queensland’s coffee scene

We asked George for some insight into what makes the coffee culture in Queensland unique. He explained that coffee in Brisbane is “more than just a social ritual; it’s a daily necessity.”

Interestingly, Queenslanders may have different coffee tastes to those in other states. George added that many coffee-lovers in Brisbane prefer medium-roast coffee, a preference which “sets them apart from other cities where medium-dark or light roasts are more common,” he said.

Customers also expect the best, he said, regarding Brisbanites’ preference for “consistently high-quality specialty blends, delivered promptly.”

So what does the dream coffee taste like for those in the Sunshine State? George said a Queenslander’s perfect cup might feature “chocolate, depth, character and just a touch of sweetness.”

Before we go: what’s your favourite MILKLAB product?

Sometimes a small coffee just tastes that little bit sweeter, George said as he concluded, “Personally, I can't resist an oat piccolo made with our coffee. It's a match made in coffee heaven!”

MILKLAB featured colLABorator

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