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Environmental Protection Authority Issues Notice Over Roasting Coffee Stench In Melbourne

Residents in Preston are waking up and smelling the coffee, but they’re not happy about it.

Some would love to have the scent of freshly roasted coffee waft over their home 24/7 from the local coffee roasters, after all, real estate agents famously brew coffee in a home they’re trying to sell because it just feels more homely and inviting. Especially in a suburb like Preston that is fast changing from its previously industrial ways into a yuppified hipster location.  

But it turns out that continual coffee roasting smell is not as nice as you think, and might, in smell terms, be closer to a stink. As Northern Metro Manager Jeremy Settle from The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) put it, it’s closer to burning toast.  

And it's caused the EPA to hand a remedial notice to the roasters. 

“When you’re dealing with this kind of volume and concentration of the odour it actually changes to a more acrid kind of burning toast, burning coffee, and it really lingers, and it’s been drifting into a number of residents’ homes” Mr Settle said. 

An EPA inspection was triggered of the Mocopan coffee roasting facility on Albert Street, Preston after a number of complaints regarding the odour were made to the EPA’s 24-hour pollution hotline.  

And it’s not the first time this has happened with Mocopan.  

In February 2021 a remedial notice was issued by the EPA requiring the company to improve its odour controls, which obviously Mocopan didn't do enough about. Smells fishy to me. 

“Businesses have a clear responsibility to do all they can to eliminate or minimise offensive odour and emissions, and if they don’t meet that responsibility, EPA will take regulatory action to bring their activities into compliance with the law,” Mr Settle said. 

And regulatory action they took! Mocopan must now: 

  • Conduct 13 field odour surveillance surveys over a 2-month period;
  • Provide a point of contact at Mocopan for the community to report offensive odours and visible emissions;
  • Take immediate action to reduce the effects of odour;
  • Provide monthly updates to the community on actions taken and a timeframe until the necessary odour controls take effect.

Which sounds pretty thorough to me. Or maybe, just maybe, this is all just a smear campaign created by big tea leaves to sell more teapots.  

(it's not)