Merlo Coffee

Fresh espresso

Merlo Coffee began more than 20 years ago with a simple philosophy – freshly roasted coffee served by people who are passionate about coffee.

Our philosophy has never changed. We take great care in sourcing the highest quality coffee beans from around the world. We roast daily so that our customers can enjoy their coffee at its best – fresh and full of flavour.

Our staff are friendly, knowledgeable and skillfully trained. So whether your Merlo comes to you as a morning takeaway or a delivery of beans to your cafe, everyone from our roasting, barista and service teams, are dedicated to providing the best coffee and service every time.

Simply – we want everyone to have a great Merlo experience!

Origins

Italian inspired Australian

Coffee is woven into the Merlo family history, originating in Luigi Merlo’s Trattoria in Tirano, Northern Italy. In 1950 Luigi set out from Tirano to make a new life for his family in Australia, starting in the cane fields of Mackay before moving to Brisbane in 1958.

It was in Brisbane that Luigi’s eldest son Gino continued the family tradition of hospitality, opening Cafe Milano in the Queen St Mall in 1960. The centrepiece of his cafe was a gleaming La San Marco espresso machine – the very first of its kind in Queensland.  With this machine that Gino introduced Queensland society to the European tradition of espresso as the perfect end to a meal.

Cafe Milano was a great success and enabled Gino to move on to creating another Queensland first – a silver service restaurant, also called Milanos, which would play host to such luminaries as Queen Elizabeth II and Pope John Paul II.

It was here that Gino taught his son – and our founder – Dean all he knew about the art of hospitality. Warm service, high standards and of course, how to craft the perfect espresso.

Bar merlo to torrefazione

Espresso bar to roasting house

The Merlo Coffee you know today began as a small CBD espresso bar in 1992.

Inspired by his travels throughout Europe and the US after university, Dean Merlo wanted to bring the true espresso bar experience home.

With his passion and the hospitality background he shared with his family, Dean wanted to give customers a unique experience in a vibrant espresso bar.

Struggling to source the best quality beans for his cafe, Dean opened the first Merlo Coffee Torrefazione (Italian roasting house) in 1996. Here he was able to create the quality coffee blends and roasting profiles that he was searching for.

From the Torrefazione, Merlo began selling freshly roasted coffee to other cafés and restaurants, as well as direct to the public to meet the growing desire for cafe quality coffee at home.

Sourcing, blending, roasting

Our coffee

The process of sourcing, roasting and blending coffee is an important journey, requiring painstaking attention. Beginning with sourcing the highest quality beans from around the world, care is taken in every step of the process.

Merlo Coffee has created seven unique blends with distinctive flavours and nine single origin beans to suit a broad range of tastes.

We also source limited edition offerings – special, small lot, high grade coffees including those we serve up through our Bean of the Month program.

As a member of the board of the Australian Coffee Traders Association and the Australian Speciality Coffee Association (AASCA), Merlo Coffee is dedicated to ensuring quality control in every aspect of our coffee production.

We also support the Rainforest Alliance sustainable coffee program, which ensures that the high quality beans you purchase are produced in harmony with wildlife to maintain healthy ecosystems.

Retail, wholesale and online

Here and now

Today, Merlo is proud to be one of Australia’s leading independently owned and operated coffee roasters.

In addition to supplying the public and our own Merlo stores with freshly roasted coffee every day, we also supply more than 1,500 cafes and restaurants throughout Australia. We work hard to ensure that every business serving Merlo receives the freshest coffee for their customers.

With 15 Merlo Coffee stores around Queensland serving fresh roasted coffee daily, we also made the move to Melbourne this year in the historic Queen Victoria Market.

Online ordering has made it possible for us to deliver our beans to every part of the country and around the world. Check out where our beans have travelled here.

 

Our Values

values-community

Social
awareness

Businesses can make a huge difference in our community and we like to lead by example.

Environmentally aware

Environmental awareness

The future of our industry depends of
supporting sustainable practises.

values-business2

Customer
focused

We love people almost as much as we love coffee and are dedicated to offering the best possible experience.

Work with us

Our greatest asset

Merlo People

Merlo Coffee is built on a culture of hard work, good fun and great customer service.

We are always looking for people with a passion for these principles to join our crew.

Professional training and development is available for all of our staff and we identify potential and strongly support ongoing education.

Many of our valued staff members have been with the company since it began. The greatest example of this is our CEO, James Wilkinson.

Starting in the packing department in 1999, James has moved from filling orders through our Wholesale and Retail operations, climbing all the way to the top.

If you think you’d make a good addition to the Merlo family, please get in touch.

Our People

MY COFFEE

mezzo mezzo
Dean Merlo
Founder

MY COFFEE

mezzo mezzo
James Wilkinson
CEO

MY COFFEE

latte
Simon Brooks
Operations Manager

MY COFFEE

long black with hot milk
Jennifer Brock
IT Manager

MY COFFEE

short macchiato
Justine Rizzi
Sales Manager

MY COFFEE

mezzo mezzo
Tony Cheers
Marketing Manager

MY COFFEE

mezzo mezzo
Jess Burke
Retail Operations Manager

MY COFFEE

mezzo mezzo
Frith La Vin Lloyd
Coffee Education Manager

MY COFFEE

long macchiato
Jon Dowling
Chief Financial Officer

MY COFFEE

mezzo mezzo
Blake Morvad
HR Manager

MY COFFEE

mezzo mezzo
Steve Olorenshaw
Head Roaster

MY COFFEE

long black
John Palmer
Roaster

MY COFFEE

short black
Jake Tumelty
Roaster

MY COFFEE

latte
Bronte Kerr
Wholesale Trainer

MY COFFEE

short macchiato
Justine Rizzi
Sales Manager

MY COFFEE

mezzo mezzo
Troy Ryan
Account Manager

MY COFFEE

mezzo mezzo
Reuben Aiono
Account Manager

MY COFFEE

mezzo mezzo
Glenn May
Account Manager

MY COFFEE

mezzo mezzo
Lilly McAlpin
Account Manager

MY COFFEE

double shot flat white
Lauren Jackson
Account Manager

MY COFFEE

latte
Troy Bereau
Account Manager

MY COFFEE

long black
Lauryn Cartwright
Customer Care

MY COFFEE

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Emma Duthie
Customer Care

MY COFFEE

latte
Dominque Caesar
Customer Care

MY COFFEE

latte
Barrie Gibbins
Business Development

Our latest news

Merlo in the community
Merlo news
Merlo goes blue for autism

The team at Merlo joined with families and students from the Autism Queensland Brighton School on their annual Brighton Blue Walk.

Merlo news
Melbourne, meet Merlo

Merlo Coffee has opened its first Torrefazione roasting house in Melbourne at the iconic Queen Victoria Market.

Merlo news
Celebrating 20 years of roasting

Merlo Coffee celebrated 20 years of roasting in the newly renovated Fortitude Valley Torrefazione next to the store’s original artisanal roaster.