Tim Adams: Pioneering specialty coffee with passion and purpose

When you sit down for a chat with Tim Adams from, get ready for some real talk, fresh perspectives, and a whole lot of inspiration. Tim has been in the coffee game for well over three decades, starting out as a barista and even snagging some awards along the way.

Product: Soft Plastic Recyclable Coffee Bag

When you sit down for a chat with Tim Adams from Tim Adams Specialty Coffee, get ready for some real talk, fresh perspectives, and a whole lot of inspiration. Tim has been in the coffee game for well over three decades, starting out as a barista and even snagging some awards along the way. Now, he’s built up a buzzing coffee business fueled by his love for the industry and a mission to make specialty coffee a must-have for everyone, anywhere.

He’s candid about how it all began. “I started out in the industry and got very interested in coffee very quickly,” Tim says. “I wanted to learn everything I could about it, and eventually, I dreamed of owning my own roastery.”

Tim’s vision was clear from the start: bring really good quality specialty coffee to the masses, educating them along the way and helping to grow its popularity. Starting out selling brews out of a van, it wasn’t long before he opened his first espresso bar back in 2013. One of the first of its kind, the bar was an instant hit and quickly caught the attention of the wider coffee industry. But Tim wasn’t stopping there. Next up? Launching a wholesale arm to supply cafes and smaller businesses with high quality specialty coffee. Then, in 2022 and 2023, he dropped two flagship stores in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, giving customers the full Tim Adams Specialty Coffee experience. In 2024, Tim’s plans include launching a brand new retail space in the Sunshine Coast. 

His passion for coffee origin shines through, too. Tim co-owns a farm in Honduras with a family, which is where they source production for special release lots. The rest is all ethically sourced from selected farms across Central America — a region that’s close to Tim’s heart — in areas across South America, Brazil, Columbia, and Peru. 

“At a farming level, we’re committed to working with ethical and conscious producers. It’s important to us that they’re operating responsibly — reusing all their general coffee waste for fertilisers, for irrigation and ensuring the soil is as nutrient-dense as possible.’

“Being close to the ground at origin level is key,” Tim explains. “It helps us support growers and it also keeps us as a business focused on the importance of quality while ensuring our team remain upskilled and can learn everything there is to know about coffee.”

Speaking of quality, it’s a clear non-negotiable for Tim. His focus is to source and serve up the best of the best, and that also includes being mindful of the environment and treating everyone in the supply chain right. As an example, recycle their leftover hessian sacks, grain-pro bags, and coffee chaff to local worm farms for composting. 

Tim says that it’s a big priority for the business to offer packaging that is better for the environment while also upholding the integrity of the coffee. 

“A number of years ago, we started working with EcoBarista — we moved our cups to compostable and our coffee bags to mixed plastic recyclable. We ran a testing phase for those bags and realised that for the shelf life of the coffee, it didn’t impact the integrity of the coffee and helped to maintain the quality of the flavour. And it was a better environmental choice than the foil-lined bags with the big plastic valves and seals, which we wanted to move away from.”

For roasters starting out, Tim’s advice is fairly simple — do your homework and invest in top quality coffee. 

“The biggest thing is research. Talk to as many people in the industry as you can, and ask lots of questions. Understand what your expenses will be and have a good idea of the commercial realities before you hit go. Then buy really good, high grade coffee and pay good money for it. The more money we can pay the farmer, the better it is for the industry overall.”

For Tim, it’s clear that it’s not just about making great coffee (although that’s important); it’s about fostering a community and ensuring that specialty coffee culture continues to grow and endure well beyond the here and now. Discover more about Tim Adams Specialty Coffee at www.timadams.net.au

 

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