Defining terroir of Australian Coffee to increase demand and investment


The Australian Coffee grower industry generates a unique product from a small footprint. Established as a commercial entity over the past 30 years it has successfully created a distinct niche, delivering high quality product to small domestic, tourist and specialist export markets. However, over 99% of the coffee consumed in Australia is roasted from imported beans, and major Australian cities now boast one of the most sophisticated coffee cultures worldwide. This presents significant market opportunities for Australian grown beans. Increasing the size of the industry depends on attracting new investors who are directly involved and also provided with relevant information to define the value of Australianorigin coffee as a globalniche product. To achieve this objective, we will use an innovative approach to defining organoleptic properties of cupping ‘terroir’ that harnesses advanced metabolomics and machinelearning and/or biomarker capabilities.


New and Emerging Industries

Research Organisation

Southern Cross University

Objective Summary

The Australian coffee growing industry is currently lacking robust platform and associated data to characterize and market the sensory components of their products, particularly in relation to terroir. This limits their ability to become competitive in the market and establish brand identity that goes beyond “Grown in Australia”. In order to address this limitation this project proposes to: 1. Apply a whole of industry approach including key players from the major citybased specialist coffee markets as partners directly involved in the sourcing and selection of beans for testing. 2. Harness recent advances in organoleptic analysis and machine learning and /or biomarker identification to develop an innovative platform for defining coffee ‘terroir’ to reflect and represent cuppers’ palate definitions, with a focus on describing the unique attributes of Australian subtropical singlecultivar coffee.

Project Code


Project Stage


Project Start Date

Friday, November 1, 2019

Project Completion Date

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Journal Articles From Project

Not Available

National Priority

Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries

National Priority

Adoption of R&D

National Priority

NEI - New and Emerging Industries - SM1