Darwin’s army of coffee lovers demanded their own unique brand - and Christos Panas delivered.
The entrepreneur became the city’s first commercial coffee roaster.
His company, DTown Coffee, sources beans from Casimiro Estate in Timor-Leste.
It’s a natural connection - Christos went to Darwin High School with Nelson Casimiro, whose family owns the estate.
Christos, who has 29 years’ experience as a barista and has a strong connection to the local hospitality scene, founded DTown Coffee Roasters in 2016.
He started roasting in a small shop in Rapid Creek but soon expanded to a commercial shed in Coconut Grove.
The company now supplies 500 to 700kgs of coffee a week to 13 clients in the Territory and Queensland.
“Business is going very well,” says Christos.
“I wanted to establish the first commercial local brand of coffee in Darwin."
“There was a need for a local high-quality brand that would rival what coffee enthusiasts can get interstate."
“I wanted to create a brand that Territorians could be proud of.”
DTown Coffee Roasters imports about 4 tonnes of organic green coffee beans per year - but could increase to 6 tonnes.
The coffee is shipped to Darwin via Singapore.
An increase in trade between Timor and Darwin could improve the frequency and cost of shipping.
Christos imports coffee from around the world through distributors - standard practice in the industry - but buys beans directly from Casimiro Estate.
The Territory and Timor-Leste governments signed the strategic partnership agreement earlier this year to strengthen economic ties.
Key areas identified under the plan of action include agribusiness and horticulture.
Christos is investigating the possibility of distributing long-life and alternative milks to Timor-Leste where they are difficult to access.
The Territory has not only a growing economic relationship with Timor-Leste but also strong social ties.
Several thousand Territorians, including many leading business owners, were born in Timor-Leste.
DTown Coffee Roasters
View the DTown Coffee Roasters video transcript.