It was founded in 2001 by coffee lover and Yallingup resident Alex Kok (who also goes by the sobriquet the Koffee Baron) who was pining for the great roasted coffee of his native Europe.
After exploring the world’s great coffee growing regions, Alex brought back samples to his Yallingup home, experimenting with different roasts. Thus was born the Yahava KoffeeWorks; Alex is no longer involved in the day to day running of the business, which is now franchised (Harriet and Don Stocker own the Margaret River establishment and there is a KoffeeWorks in Singapore and the Swan Valley).
From the outset, Yahava set out to be more than just a coffee “shop”; it is a veritable coffee “theme park” and tourist attraction in its own right, aiming to spread knowledge – and love – about one of the world’s most popular non-alcoholic drinks (according to 2014 statistics, Finland is the world’s biggest-per-capita coffee market, with an average of 1,252 cups drunk annually).
“We have built our Yahava KoffeeWorks to entice budding and seasoned coffee explorers to begin their own personal coffee adventure,” says David. “On our tasting benches you can explore different coffee and teas for free. We also explain in lay terms exactly what to look for in a coffee and identify what are your taste preferences.”
Yahava isn’t resting on its laurels either.
“To help with the explosion of orders we’ve had to build a specialist roastery in Vasse to supply a growing number of discerning cafes and restaurants throughout WA,” says David.
“And later this year we’ll be opening the long-awaited Brewing Academy in Margaret River Yahava KoffeeWorks. Here fans will be able to taste differently brewed coffees and learn more about brewing equipment and processes.”
A new generation, too, of coffee entrepreneurs are bringing their own creative twists to the Margaret River region coffee scene.
Isaac Kara started off working in specialty coffee in Perth before moving back south and setting up the Margaret River Roasting Company and his own café, Maker Espresso, in space at Merchant & Maker in Dunsborough.
“Coffee in the south west is really starting to evolve,” says the 29-year-old. “Customers are demanding quality beverages, which is putting pressure on café owners and baristas to refine their methods and rethink their current offerings. Cafes such as Maker Espresso, Albert and Nikola and Brewshack are demonstrating that the south west is capable of producing cups of coffee that would rival any of the big city coffee boutiques.”