You’re staring out at the guests, three deep behind the bar — and they’re all ordering Espresso Martinis. You may like them, you may despise them, but there is no denying that the Espresso Martini is here to stay. And you want your guests to be happy, even when you’re making a hundred of them in a night. How do you do that? You need consistency, and that’s what they’ve sorted out at Little Drippa. Here, we talk to Dylan Alexander and Alexander Haeusler at Little Drippa to get the lowdown on what it’s like to start a small beverage business and how to get the perfect coffee cocktail.
Tell us a little bit about Little Drippa and the team.
Dylan Alexander: We’re a really small team at Little Drippa, and we prefer it that way. We all bring our own interests and abilities to the table, it’s a lot like being a bar team really, every personality adds something special to the business. We like to joke that we’re a Long Island Iced Tea; separately, we’re all strong personalities, but add us together with a common goal, somehow like magic, it just works.
Alexander Haeusler: We’re very proud of Little Drippa. With over six months shelf-life and a taste you need to try to believe, it’s satisfying to know that out there on a Friday night our product is making hundreds of bartender’s shifts easier and guests smile when they sip on their drink.
So, why cocktail coffee? How did you guys start out?
DA: I first started out as a barista and in cafes which is how I became passionate about the perfect roast coffee and started learning about mixing drinks. Alex here is an old mate and was loitering in events. We’d seen the growing demand of people asking for Espresso Martinis and saw a business opportunity.
AH: We started our first company together, The Tailored Beverage Company, our first product was Melbourne Martini, which was a significant achievement for us getting a world-first Espresso Martini in a jar product off the ground. We were working closely with Little Drippa at the time and eventually in mid-2017 we also took up the reins at Little Drippa. It’s allowed us to grow and focus on exporting our products to other countries like the USA and New Zealand while still being a small independent Melbourne based company.
Any advice for bartenders wanting to do their first beverage start up or brand?
DA: As Nike said: just do it! If you have a unique business idea and see the opportunity, don’t hesitate too long or you might miss your window.
What’s the biggest challenge the team have faced so far running your own small beverage company?
AH: Cash flow, getting the market to know us and to support a small player.
People rave about Melbourne’s coffee scene, what makes it so special?
DA: Melbourne is at the cutting edge of sourcing, roasting and brewing specialty coffee, with filter-style brews and single origin espresso on many cafe menus. Coffee is a lifestyle here. We regularly make the list of the world’s best coffee cities – but they’re just telling us something we already know.
What’s special about Little Drippa compared to other coffee products?
AH: Little Drippa is one of the only coffee products in the world with a shelf life of six months. Our cold drip is consistent and has a fantastic crema. By using cold drip instead of other coffee extraction methods, you get a smoother, more balanced profile that’s not bitter. Using cold drip also gives you more control on ice dilution in your cocktails versus using hot espresso.
And finally, what is the team’s favourite coffee cocktail other than an Espresso Martini?
DA: Recently we were introduced to coffee tonics, Gin, Little Drippa and Tonic to finish, drink of the summer we say!
For more information, contact your Think Spirits representative.
Little Drippa Cocktail Coffee: Boasting a six month shelf life, Little Drippa is the original cold extracted cocktail coffee, designed to fix the problems of pre extracted coffee for bartenders.