AWARD-winning coffee roaster Nathan Byron from Nat's Coffee Wholesale at Alstonville regularly drinks up to 15 espressos a day. He likes to taste every batch of beans he roasts and admits to drinking up to 50 coffees on a busy day.

Having won a swag of awards at this year's Golden Bean Awards, that commitment to coffee has certainly paid off. His La Savoir variety won the prestigious Gold Award for filter coffee this year.

"This is a hard class to win as you can't make a mistake with the flavour," he said. "With espressos and cappuccino you can cover over a lot of mistakes with the milk.

"I used a lot of organic coffees in the show this year and they all won medals."

He also won two Bronzes and the Gold Medal for Australian Grown Milk Based for his La Savoir - Aussie. And finally his Nat's Coffee - Lennox Plantation won a bronze medal for espresso short black.

Mr Byron has been entering the Golden Bean competition for many years and won the overall Golden Bean Award in 2008. He currently has 28 contract farms in the region supplying him with the beans that go into making Nat's Coffee. His La Savoir is produced with imported beans

"Our local coffee beans are marvellous but we just need more of them," he said.

A Year 10 business studies competition provided the impetus for his career in coffee. He won the competition with his business plan for Nat's Coffee.

"At the time I looked into the business and thought it would be a cool business to be in," he said. "I got a bank loan and bought my first coffee roaster and the basic equipment to get up and running."

He stresses the importance of using freshly ground coffee.

"I advise everyone who drinks coffee to buy themselves a grinder - they will be amazed at the flavour of the coffee."

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