Born into a coffee roasting family, tea merchant and coffee roaster Bill Parianos started his NSW business Bill’s Beans five years ago and hasn’t looked back.

“My father originally had a business in Wollongong, which he started in 1978,” Parianos says. “I did a few other things along the way, had a financial career as well which was okay, but being the son of a true Greek I got lured back into small business and started my own roastery about five years ago.”

Starting off his business in Botany, New South Wales, Parianos and his wife moved to Orange four years ago where they have a retail shop-front in a converted butcher’s store, and a roastery, where the processing is done, out back.

In the next few months Bill’s Beans will move to an even bigger premises to accommodate the growing business.

“We’ve outgrown where we are currently and over the next few months we’re moving to a much bigger premises so we’re going to have a tasting lab, a new roasting facility, we’ve got two new roasters coming out from the US that we’ll install. We’re really going to re-define how we look at coffee, certainly in the central-west New South Wales,” Parianos says.

Parianos imports his own coffee, servicing around 50 customers in the local area and in Sydney. Taking in a selection of high quality green beans, the company specialises in state sourced coffees, which Parianos says gives the coffee a bit more depth as far as flavour profiles go.

“We really are roasting to quite an exclusive market rather than a generic market,” he says.

Green beans can be processed in many different ways, he goes on to say. “It’s all green when it arrives to us, the roasting process takes about 14 to 15 minutes, depending on what we’re roasting and the roast size, then there’s a settling process, cupping process where we taste and test everything we roast, and that will define our blend parameters.”

The company makes espresso blends, plunger blends and has a big online market for highly specialised estate coffees.

“That’s basically the processed part of it, then there’s the direct part where we’re in front of our customers in their cafes and espresso bars, advising and helping them build their businesses as well,” Parianos says. Selling beans to cafes accounts for about 80 per cent of the company’s sales, Parianos says. However online sales are also “massive”. “People come to Orange, find out about us, they like what we do and they want to take that experience back home. We’re amazed at the fact we get this continued repeat business from these customers; it’s really flattering to have that, it’s great”.

Roasting at 860 metres above sea level is one factor that gives Bill’s Beans a unique taste, Parianos says. “We’re roasting in an environment that has less air pressure and that changes how roasts develop,” he says.

“You sort of roast where you’re located, we notice coming from an environment at sea level to an environment which is cooler, dryer and with less air pressure that it changed our roast profiles. It was a bit of a re-education process but the results were absolutely outstanding.”

Growing up around coffee Parianos says he has always been fascinated by it. “In the last six years I’ve been really re-educated when it comes to coffee, the reason for that is the Internet. There’s so much information available, especially with coffee, there’s so much knowledge, so many forums, and you can learn so much.” With a Greek father and Scottish mother, Parianos caters for both tea and coffee drinkers as two separate markets.

“The way we look at it is tea drinkers are tea drinkers, they don’t drink coffee. We treat coffee drinkers and tea drinkers with equal importance,” Parianos says. All Bill’s Beans teas are blended in house. “Everything that goes out with our logo on it has been treated with our hands basically”.

Australia’s massive coffee culture in constantly evolving, Parianos says. “I don’t think the volume of the market is increasing, but what we find is awareness and how people perceive coffee is changing,” he says.

“People are really looking for quality and the people that don’t change or grow with that market will get left behind. We’re very aware of it, we make sure our customers are very aware of it and we’re always pushing the envelope. At the end of the day that’s what keeps us excited.”