The little stovetop espresso maker (or moka pot) is a classic of every Nonna everywhere. They’re the perfect tool for delivering a great, full-bodied, rich coffee at home without taking up the whole bench in the kitchen. To learn more about it, we paid a visit to Pete, our resident expert. He’s been using his little Bialetti for years and we hoped he’d share his morning ritual with us so we could pass some tips on.

The grind:
Grinding your coffee fresh as you use it is probably the most important step in any coffee brewing, stovetop included. It can’t be overstated and if you are looking to buy some equipment to make coffee at home, always start with the grinder. That said, Pete uses a lovely little Japanese Porlex hand mill. A few seconds of elbow grease and he’s got enough fresh, fluffy grinds to fill the small Bialetti pot we’ll be using. As for fineness, he recommends a few steps coarser than espresso, but a little trial and error will find you your sweet spot with your own gear.

Getting going:
Fill the base of the pot with hot water – less time on the stove stops the grinds from developing bitterness, but make sure not to fill past the valve! Now place the coffee basket in and fill with your fresh grinds. Fill it all the way to the top but don’t pack it down, you want the grinds to have some space. Screw the top on tight and pop it on the stove.

The pour:
Keep the lid open and watch, pretty soon a rich golden liquid will start to pour out of the centre and fill up the chamber. As soon as it starts to pale in colour switch off the heat. At this stage you can use a cold, damp cloth to wipe the base of the pot to instantly cool it, stopping the brewing process or as Pete says, just pour it straight into your cup. Either way, you’ll want to avoid the end of the process where it starts hissing steam out, this will only impart a harsh bitterness to the drink.

Once you’re all done, you simply need to take the pot apart and give it all a good rinse and let it dry. Don’t use detergents and if you’re brewing with a Bialetti like Pete, they’re aluminium so can really do with retaining some of the oils on the surface so as to not add a metallic taste to your coffee. He recommends using it daily in this case as the seasoning won’t get a stale taste to it. If the pot goes out of action for a while, you might want to re-season it a couple of times before bringing it back into the fold.

Honestly, they’re a pretty simple way of making a cracking coffee, as long as you follow some basic parameters. That’s probably why they’ve been around for so long.

Everyone’s got one somewhere in the house. Some people swear by them and others swear at them, but just like any other method a great brew can be created from this most humble of devices. All you have to do is follow some basic rules and the coffee will come to life.

As far as we are aware, there’s not a great deal of difference between plunger models available. Make sure the mesh filter is fine enough to hold the grinds down then simply choose one that suits the amount of coffee you usually make. Really, they’re a pretty straight forward affair. Much more important is the holy trinity of any great coffee brew – grind size, brew ratio and water temperature. Being able to control these three is your answer to a great coffee from any device.

Grind size:
We often get asked at the roastery “What coffee machine should I buy?” but the answer always starts with the grinder. Being able to grind fresh and with quality burrs makes the greatest difference to your coffee – above anything else. If you’re buying equipment, always buy the grinder first and get the best you can afford, then spend the rest on brewing gear. If that means a plunger then you will be still be comfortably equipped to make delicious coffee. We still see customers buying pre-ground coffee to put into home espresso machines costing thousands of dollars, unable to make a coffee taste “like in a cafe” – you know who you are. The coffee is stale and without the ability to adjust the grind size you’ll never get it just right.

That said, grinding for a plunger should be coarse like sand. Because you will be steeping it for a few minutes you don’t want it very fine or it will over extract and turn bitter. Grind what you need at the time as coffee oxidises very quickly once ground and can be stale within minutes. You can keep the rest of the beans in an airtight bag in the pantry, not the fridge. They’re very dry and any exposure to the moist air of a fridge will absorb not only water but the smell of anything else in there, like cheese or onions or fish.

Water temperature:
Boiling water is too hot for brewing coffee and will produce bitter flavours. We suggest letting the kettle rest for 3 minutes after boiling or pouring into another container first then the plunger, to bring the water down to an ideal 93 degrees or so.

When starting the pour too, its good to add a 100mL or so of the water to coffee first in the bottom of the plunger, give it a good stir, and wait for 20 seconds. This is called the “bloom” and allows the grinds to evenly take on water and swell up. Then add the rest of the water and you’re good to go. Let it steep for about 3 minutes before plunging.




Brew ratio:
This is the key to it all. Plunger coffee is not espresso and you shouldn’t treat it as such, less is more. Made with the correct ratio of coffee to water, you can make a beautiful cup of joe, full of nuance and aroma, but to do it you need to back off on the coffee. For most of our roasts, we recommend 18g of coarse ground coffee to 300mL of water (or a 1:17 ratio) to find the sweet point. Honestly, in the roastery we use scales each time and if you feel like nerding it out with us, we suggest you do it too. Its the only way to achieve consistency every time and if you don’t believe what a difference this makes, try an experiment: one coffee made with 18g to 300mL of water and another with 22g to 300mL. The flavour will not only intensify, but will feel heavy and muddy and all the fresh aroma and floral notes will fade away. If you don’t have digital scales at hand to measure the coffee, our guesstimate is about 3 level dessert spoons makes 18 grams.

That’s about it. Once you’ve plunged it, get it straight into the cup as further exposure to the grinds at the bottom only leads to over-extraction and bitter tannins. Note: If you enjoy it black, allow the drink to cool, as the fresh flavours will open up in the glass as the coffee gets colder. Good luck out there, and if you’ve anything to add feel free to leave a comment.


Hello Coffee has evolved a lot since its creation 5 odd years ago. What started as a hobby between 2 friends has developed into an entity that encompasses an entire community, offers a diverse palette of skills and makes a bunch of people happy.

Coffee is at the heart of what we create here, and what makes it special is its ability to make people connect. Every day people sit across from each other over coffee, and have always done so. As a roaster and a cafe we can facilitate that and make it a great experience, add a story, and give it further meaning. Making people happy is what we’re here to do and making awesome coffee definitely helps! At the roasting end we have Gareth and Reed. Together they manage the sourcing of crops, careful control of roasting profiles and creation of our blends. We think our coffee stands apart from others with our attention to detail, care and understanding of the customer’s needs.









And then there’s food. Because great coffee and great food go hand in hand. We’ve been lucky in coming together with a stalwart of the Apollo Bay food and produce scene, Holly. With a career’s worth of horticulture and cooking experience she has shaped a kitchen unique to the region. Partnering up with local primary producers, she delivers her vision of fresh, seasonal food, amazing homestyle baking and traditional preserves. We take pride in partnering with local businesses wherever possible. Our eggs come from Wongarra Farm, our fresh greens and vegetables are grown by the amazing Jodie at The Green Acre and our bread provided daily by Jane & Sally at the local bakery.



The local talent down here in the Otways spreads further than the kitchen, and because of our ever hard working curator Nattie, our partnerships with regional artists have shaped the visual outlook of the whole business. Our walls are a busy, active gallery space and the venue lays host to rotating exhibitions, live music and performance. Selected artists have also been able to personally design the packaging of our coffees and other products. We love the idea of sharing what our community can produce with the wider world and providing encouragement and opportunity for up-and-coming talent benefits us all.

We are stunned and amazed to announce that we recently won an award in the Melbourne International Coffee Festival! Our dedicated coffee roasters have been working hard to source, roast and blend the best coffee beans from around the world so maybe it shouldn’t have come as a total surprise, but it is a lovely one!

With nearly a thousand entries from countries like New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Greece, Canada, USA and UK it is a fabulous achievement for our team. The judges of the competition are “selected from across the coffee industry and are engaged based on their outstanding industry knowledge and expertise.” The judges gave the thumbs up to our new Daily Blend and awarded us a shiny Bronze medal. The judges also supply us with tasting notes which are very valuable as we hone our craft further.

It’s great to know that we are creating a quality product and do our amazing region proud.

For more information about the awards, see @melbcoffeeexpo  Melbourne International Coffee Expo or 



Hop into Hello Coffee this Easter. Are trading hours are as follows:

Easter Friday (7am to 3pm) & Easter Saturday (9am to 1pm. Kitchen closes at 12:30).

We are closed Easter Sunday.

Reopening on Easter Monday (7am to 3pm).

We hope you and your family have a fun and adventurous Easter!


Well, not gadgets as such but helpers. Perhaps you need a way to make great coffee while travelling or you need an alternate option to big expensive espresso machine. If so, we have a few great options for you. We like to tailor a solution to you, so if you are in Apollo Bay please drop in to the roastery & cafe or drop by one of the markets and we would be happy to have a chat to you.

Wacaco Minipresso

Wacaco Minipresso

The Wacaco Minpresso gets some great rave reviews and is a great portable espresso machine. It uses any coffee beans and grinds to your needs. You simply add the coffee, grind, add the water into the water tank and the inbuilt piston pumps to pressurise and extract perfect espresso – complete with crema.

The Aeropress is a one cup wonder which is super quick and easy to use. Add your ground coffee into the top, either use the paper filter or upgrade to the Able fine filter (metal), add hot water, give it a quick stir and then push down on the plunger straight into your cup. The air pressure is a perfect method to extract all the flavour with low acidity and no bitterness.

Aeropress and able filter

Aeropress and able fine filter

English Breakfast

English Breakfast

Tea & Scandal is the work of a few lovely local ladies who love a good cuppa tea. It’s also 100% percent organic, so you are really just getting the good stuff.

After years of careful research they have hand picked some beautiful blends of tea that are refreshing, heartwarming and plain old tasty. Their tea is created in small batches and smells absolutely divine.

Some of these blends are also suitable as an iced tea suitable for those warm summer nights. The creators of Tea & Scandal, Kirsten and Amy created their tea partnership to:

“embrace age old recipes, enhanced for modern tastes and devote our time to formulating unique recipes and infusing scents that capture our love of tea.”

Either enjoy a pot of this loveliness in house or feel free to pick a selection off our shelf to enjoy at home.

A selection of quality tea from Tea & Scandal available in-house or take home:

A selection of quality tea from Tea & Scandal available in house or take home

A selection of quality tea from Tea & Scandal available in house or take home. Above: Cheeky Chai

English breakfast – a quintessential ‘British cup of tea’, a classically strong and full bodied blend that goes well with milk & sugar.

Cheeki Chai – always a crowd pleaser, this little cheeky chai is the perfect spicy cup of goodness. With cloves, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, ginger, cardomom, star anise & darjeeling tea it really will spice up your life!

Earl Grey – aromatic bergamont adds a refined tart citrus taste to this dark full leaf tea.


Green tea meadow

Green Tea Meadow – a mild green tea with a lovely floral bouquet. Organic ingredients included in this blend are lemon balm, Chamomile flowers, rose petals, calendula petals, lavender, stevia leaf and sencha green tea.

Mint Delight – a strong green tea with a lovely mint punch. A blend of china green tea, peppermint & spearmint.


Alternatively for a little take home jOy you can enjoy these blends in handy take home resealable pouches:

Sleepy root – a pleasant peppermint taste, complimented by the sweet liquorice root & camomile flower.

Heavenly Hibiscus

Heavenly Hibiscus

Women’s issues – a bright & refreshing raspberry leaf blended with fragrant lavender, a spicy lemongrass & the zing of mint.

Heavenly Hibiscus – aromatic spices to warm the palate, deep & rich in colour with a light & tangy taste. This is warm & heavenly on a cold day or would make the perfect summer iced tea. A blend of rooibos, cinnamon chips, citrus peel, rose petals, cloves, allspice & hibiscus petals.


Or visit the Tea & Scandal website for more information

We love our luscious hot chocolates and spicy chai and ‘Grounded Pleasures‘ are our absolute go to!

There is a decadent hot chocolate and a dark chocolate variety available. Their chai is an authentic spice mix with a lovely earthy flavour – without all the sugar you find of the supermarket brands.

On the tables at Hello Coffee we proudly serve Panela Sugar – a high grown, delicious dried sugar cane juice that retains a molasses flavour, along with a handful of beneficial nutrients and minerals. It is a great way to sweeten your coffee, or for cooking and baking too.

The folks at Grounded Pleasures have kindly shared some Panela sugar recipes that look amazing. Be sure to bring a sample into Hello Coffee if you manage to whip up one of these wonderful creations – the Almond and Panela Sponge with Lemon Curd looks particularly scrumptious.

And just to make it just a little sweeter – it is fair trade, dairy free, gluten free and 100% natural.


Grounded Pleasures - Chai

Grounded Pleasures – Chai


Drinking Chocolate


Noir – Dark drinking chocolate

Try it out today – you won’t be disappointed!
For more information and hints on how to create the perfect hot chocolate please visit

As part of the first Apollo Bay Writer’s Festival we hosted the Kids Poetry Workshop. We had a great bunch of kids turn out to learn how to create poems and share poems that were truthful, heartfelt, ridiculous and hilarious!

After some great work they took a quick break to refill on hot chocolates, scones with jam and cream or the perennial fave yo-yo’s!

The kids then fine tuned their masterpieces. Some even decided to perform at the Slam Poetry night the next evening. Each presenter was rewarded with some hearty cheering from the appreciative audience. The whole festival was a great success and we are looking forward to the next Apollo Bay Writer’s Festival already!

Yo-yo's are a fave

Yo-yo’s are a fave

Hello Coffee - Kid's Poetry Workshop as part of the Apollo Bay Writer's Festival

Break time

Kids Poetry Workshop @ Hello Coffee as part of the Apollo Bay Writer's Festival

Words were a flowing thick and fast with this creative bunch of kids

Ki's Poetry workshop @ Hello Coffee as part of the Apolllo Bay Writer's Festival

The kids were keen to get get poetic 🙂

We also proudly feature artwork from the local community.  We hope to showcase local artists in a range of different styles and mediums. There are some great talents who live in and around Apollo Bay, from young artists to those who have been perfecting their skills over decades.

We would like to introduce our artists of the moment – Jimmy and Scott and Polly. Take a look around and if you wish to talk to the artists please ask us and we would be happy to arrange this.

Our friend Scott is a fantastic mentor who works with the Arts inc group and collaborates with kids aged 5 right up to the seniors to get get creative. This creative bunch have explored street art and take our shipping container from eyesore to artwork! We encourage them to try their hand whenever they please so this will be an evolving piece. Keep up the great work everyone!


The school kids attacked out shipping container with a armful of spray cans. Awesome!

The school kids attacked out shipping container with a armful of spray cans. Awesome!

Local art work

Our local artists on display