Essential Coffee Supports the Vinnies CEO Sleepout

Essential Coffee supports St Vincents CEO Sleepout

Our CFO James McWilliam, and the Essential Coffee Group, are proud to be associated with this year’s Vinnies CEO Sleepout Fundraiser Event which was held in June 2017 to help raise funds for our homeless. Behind every dollar is the potential to not only provide crucial assistance to people experiencing homelessness but to make inroads to addressing the very causes of homelessness with the aim of breaking the cycle permanently for as many people as possible.

We would like to thank James and all those that supported him for assisting break the homeless cycle. From little things big things grow, and every dollar raised counts.

What makes our Essential Milk, essential…

Are you someone who would turn your nose up at coffee made with powdered milk? Don’t be shy… let’s talk about perception in a minute. Or are you a big fan? In this story we’ll give you some examples of the benefits, talk about what our Essential Milk is made up of, and talk with our Head Roaster, Phil, about taste.

Master Chef’s favourite saying “we eat with our eyes”, applies to coffee in that we also drink with our eyes. But our perception of a product is often influenced by the media, and we have been lead to believe that convenience coffee is of a lesser quality than barista coffee.

But when was the last time you tasted a coffee from a self-serve automatic coffee machine? Yes, years ago it may have been less than desirable, but thanks to technology and product development, I bet we can blow you away with the taste and quality of a coffee from our Espresso Essential hand made Italian automatic machines! Yes we also supply and promote our French hand made Reneka barista machines, which we love, but not every business has the space or staff, so thankfully we can offer options for businesses that want automatic fresh bean coffee.

So what is our Essential Milk made up of? This powdered milk contains 94% milk solids, the balance of the 6% is made of dextrose derived from corn and anti-caking agent. These ingredients are added to help the milk flow freely.

Did you know that our Essential Milk is 99% fat free? The majority of the sugar in the product is natural sugar found in real milk called Lactose, this sugar is also found in fresh liquid milk at similar levels. Typically fat free milk has a slightly higher amount of sugar to compensate for the fat taken out.

An alternative to our Essential Milk – is our Premium Milk – which contains a more balanced nutritional offer of both fats and sugar content. The sugar per 100ml is slightly lower at 4.9g per 100ml which is more representative of fresh milk. Premium Milk is also a great option as it tastes more like traditional milk and is less sweet.

Our Head Roaster, Phil, often runs cupping sessions for our staff and customers, so has a good understanding and knowledge of flavour profiles. When asked about what makes a good milk coffee, Phil comments “85% of Aussies order a white coffee such as flat white, cappuccino, latte etc, so milk plays a big role in how coffee tastes. Our coffee blends which are made for our automatic coffee machines are roasted to suite the flavour profile of our Essential Milk powder options for a silky smooth taste.”

Essential Brands Group’s sale means a caffeine hit with big plans for growth

On 01 July 2016, 15 years since Essential Brands Group was established, the original co-founders Mike and Gayle Koolen have hung up their barista aprons and are retiring. Now having placed over 16,000 coffee and slush systems into the marketplace via a network of direct territories and franchise operators, the group’s focus is to be the customers’ first choice in all things coffee, and then some. The headquarters on the Gold Coast houses the main coffee roasting facility, and with another in London.

While it is the end of an era with the Koolen’s moving on, it is also an exciting new beginning as the business has been acquired by their current CEO, Todd Hiscock, together with a number of executives and investors, to lead Essential Brands Group into the future as Australia’s No.1 coffee solutions business. Todd joined Essential Brands Group as CEO mid-2015 which has equipped him with an extensive knowledge of all aspects of the business and has been instrumental in driving the broader strategic goals. When Todd commenced with the business, it employed 20 staff which has increased to more than 50, and collectively the network now employs over 100 people across Australia, New Zealand and its International associates.

In addition to acquiring the Essential Brands Group, the team have also purchased the Victorian master franchise effective from 04 July 2016. Todd comments “The purchase is consistent with our strategy of growth via organic means and acquisition. We will continue to engage with key stakeholders, suppliers, our franchisees, and our expanding strong customer base. “Our priority has, and continues to be, on building customer focused solutions in the coffee and beverage market.”

With their well-known brands such as Espresso Essential, I Luv Coffee and I Luv Slush; Essential Brands Group will soon change its name to the ‘Essential Coffee Group’. “The name change makes sense given our coffee focus”, says Todd.

Having recently signed a further 2 year commitment as naming rights sponsor of the Gold Coast RLFC, I Luv Coffee Burleigh Bears, Todd says “We strongly believe in supporting community sports organisations and healthy lifestyles, as well as larger national charities as part of our corporate giving program.” In line with this, Todd recently took part in the Gold Coast’s CEO Sleepout helping raise funds for the plight of the homeless.

The Executive Directors and CEO come to the Group with a vast array of commercial know-how and we take the opportunity to formally introduce them to you:

Todd Hiscock, Chief Executive Officer, and Executive Director
Todd Hiscock was admitted as a Solicitor in 1994 and as a Certified Practicing Accountant a few years later. He started his professional services career in business services, taxation and then later turned to business restructuring and corporate finance with Big Four Professional Services Firms, KPMG and then Ernst & Young. He next moved to Global Fortune 500 company Telstra where he worked across many roles including Finance, Mergers and Acquisitions, Strategy, Business Development, Sales, Marketing, and Product. In 2012 he took his first CEO role, running a market leading Australian PayTV company. After successfully growing and then selling that business, he commenced his role as CEO of the Gold Coast based international coffee solutions business Essential Brands Group.

Mark White: Chief Operations Officer, and Executive Director
Mark brings to Essential Brands 27 years of experience in senior executive and management roles working for small to large sized companies in Corporate Finance & Advisory services, Wholesale & Distribution, Health, Security, ICT Services, Telecommunications and Financial Services. He has worked in Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Europe, USA, Canada, Asia and the Middle East.

Mark has worked in senior management, advisory and operational roles for Telstra, Hills Limited and KPMG. He was recently the Head of Corporate Development at Hills and a member of the senior leadership team that successfully transformed Hills from an Industrial Conglomerate to an Innovation & Technology company focused on managed solutions in security and health technologies. Prior to Hills, Mark was at Telstra for 12 years where his final role was Chief Operating Officer of Telstra’s Enterprise & Government business, a $4billion plus revenue business segment within Telstra with approximately $2.5billion in annual sales.

Mark’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Finance & Accounting at the University of New England and several post graduate diplomas and executive programs with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia (ICAA), the Securities Institute of Australia (now FINASIA), the Australian Graduate School of Management, the Macquarie Graduate School of Management and the Institute of Company Directors of Australia (AICD). Mark is a member of ICAA, AICD and is a fellow of FINASIA.

James Cook: Chief of Sales & Marketing, and Executive Director
After an Article Clerkship, James started his professional career in 1996 being admitted as a Solicitor to both the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia. Following employment with medium and large legal firms in Australia and New Zealand, James moved away from the law to focus on other challenges. James has qualifications in simple and complex Commonwealth procurement engaging with industry, on the purchase, acquisition and introduction into use of millions of dollars’ worth of materiel and equipment. He looks forward to applying these skills within a customer focused coffee solutions business.

Marketing has always been a focus. James completed the marketing components of the Masters of Business Administration (Executive MBA), Australian Graduate School of Management in 2003, Dale Beaumonts Business Blueprint Course 2013 – 2014 and received a Prince’s Trust / RMIT Certificate in Small Business Course Scholarship in August 2015. He is currently enrolled in the Ryan Lévesque’s ASK Method online master class. In a dynamic space James takes every opportunity to monitor on-line and social media trends to achieve sales.
James has been an executive of an outdoor sporting equipment importer and looks forward to working in the FMCG Products and coffee industry. He has launched many new brands into the Australian market, implemented strategic partnership marketing agreements, conducted social proof campaigns via magazine reviews of core products and executed the development of both wholesale and direct online sales.

James McWilliam: Chief of Finance & IT, and Executive Director
Having an entrepreneurial farming family and completed an advanced diploma in Agri Business Management from Marcus Oldham Farm Management College and managed a 10,000 acre property in Central Queensland, James’ career in Finance took him away from the land. James brings more than 20 years’ experience in financial services and business management to Essential Brands Group, holding a Commerce Degree with Accounting, Finance and Marketing majors from Bond University, and a Master of Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Management. He is also currently studying for his Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) qualification.

After managing a large property development project in South East Queensland, James moved to the UK in the late 1990s to take up a senior management position with the Global Equities and Derivatives Division of UBS Warburg Dillon Reed. During this time James gained invaluable experience in staff management and all aspects of global financial markets. Following his 3 year stint in London, James returned to Sydney where he spent 10 years as a senior financial adviser with Ord Minnett whilst studying for his MBA. Whilst at Ord Minnett, James was headhunted by the Private Wealth Division of Macquarie Bank in 2009.

Having completed his MBA and spent more than a decade analysing the profitability of businesses large and small from every conceivable industry in his capacity as a stockbroker, James decided to make the move from Macquarie Bank into Mergers and Acquisitions with Lincoln Crowne in Sydney, after which James felt it was the right time to own his own business. In 2012 he purchased a national manufacturing business headquartered on the mid-north coast of NSW. This business grew significantly under management.

For all media and public relations enquiries, please contact:
Michelle Adams
GM Sales & Marketing
M: 0438 980 267 | 1300 324 111

Accelerated depreciation means a win for you!

Accelerated depreciation - Coffee Machine

Take advantage of the ATO’s small business incentive providing an immediate deduction for assets you start to use (or have installed ready for use) costing less than $20,000.

This $20,000 limit applies to each individual item, including a brand new coffee machine! Increasing the depreciation threshold will mean improved cash flow for small businesses. It encourages SMEs to bring forward investment in the assets they need to grow their business and service customers. This threshold also means small businesses spend less time tracking assets across years for tax purposes, thus cutting red tape and allows business owners to focus on running and growing their business.

If you are thinking about investing in an automatic or barista coffee machine for your business, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the new threshold pre 30 June! For a quote please call us on 1300 324 111 or email We recommend you seek advice from your Accountant regarding what accelerated depreciation means for  your business.

Drinking coffee can have more benefits than you think

Do you ever find yourself feeling guilty while you savour that delicious flat white every morning? Well, fear not!

An article recently published by reported that drinking coffee reduces the risk of cirrhosis, a type of liver damage in which the organ can’t function properly due to permanent scarring.

The article states that the study from Britain’s Southampton University analysed data from more than 430,000 people, and found that those who drink one to two cups of coffee per day reduce their risk of cirrhosis by 22-43 per cent.

Drinking three or four cups can reduce the risk by 57-65 per cent. Researchers found the antioxidants in coffee help to repair damaged cells in the liver and reduce inflammation.

Two cups of coffee per day can also help reduce alcoholics reduce the risk of cirrhosis by 38 per cent, although it’s important to note that this doesn’t  justify excessive drinking, or the systematic damage  it can cause. The study’s lead researcher Oliver Kennedy told The Washington Post that cirrhosis is not a disease to be underestimated.

“Cirrhosis is potentially fatal, and there is no cure as such,” he said. “Therefore, it is significant that the risk  of developing cirrhosis may be reduced by consumption of coffee, a cheap, ubiquitous, and  well-tolerated beverage.”

The most common causes of the disease are chronic alcohol abuse, long-term hepatitis B and hepatitis C infection, and the build-up of excess fat in the liver. According to census data, cirrhosis was responsible  for 1,772 deaths in Australia in 2013. It kills more than  a million people worldwide every year. So hey, if coffee can assist in preventing that, go forth and treat yourself to that third cup.
Full article go to:

Quick n’ easy latte art tips to look like a pro!

Here at Essential Coffee Group we are all about the ‘Luv,’ and what says Luv more than heart latte art? In each edition of Essential News we will talk you through how to create latte art. We’ll start with a heart, as mastering the ‘heart’ will lay the foundation for other latte art techniques and it never fails to impress! When you first begin, it’s not easy by any means. It’ll take persistence, practise and patience – but have fun!

1.  Once you’ve made your espresso and steamed your milk, rest the spout of your jug against your cup and then rock the jug side-to-side at a constant pace until a circle or apple shape starts to form. Then, introduce the milk into the centre of the cup while holding it on a slight tilt.

2.  When your circle has formed, pull your jug directly up to create a thin steady stream of milk. This will create a suction that will arch the top of the circle in order to create the love heart curves.

3.  When the cup is almost full, keep the flow of milk steady and then follow-through the milk from one side of the cup to the other to create your coffee art heart. And you’re all done!

How’d you go? We’d love to see your creations!

Post them to our Facebook or Instagram page for us to share.  

Would you like to do more with coffee than drink it hot?

If you’re like us, coffee is your lifeblood and you can’t wait to wake up to your favourite coffee in the morning. However we don’t want to mistakenly assume that all you want to do with coffee is drink it! There is a lot more that can be done with coffee! We explore a few ways in which you can make the most of your grounds, from nutty, bittersweet glazes to delicious rubs, infused oils, and coffee scented bakes goods. Drool!

Infused Coffee Butter: We’ve all seen the recent trend of adding butter to your coffee. We’re not sure if we are keen on that idea, but coffee infused butter is definitely something we can get on board with! There is a few steps to it, but just imagine the taste of a perfect coffee, combined with hot toast. A match made in heaven!

Coffee Banana Smoothie: This delicious wake-me-up smoothie has also been referred to as a ‘Jumping Monkey.’ Combining nothing but good stuff, this smoothie provides a kick and a hit of potassium and offers something different to the avid smoothie fan. Trust us, you’ll love it!

Add coffee to Pancakes: Step up your weekend brunch game by adding room temperature espresso to your favourite pancake recipe. For those with a sweet tooth, serve with crispy bacon and maple syrup. Serve with your favourite coffee to compliment the flavours in the pancake. This is a sure  way to kick start your day!

We’d Luv to hear how you use coffee in any of your recipes. Share to our Facebook page!

Espresso Essential sign on as sponsor of Tweed Heads Seagulls RLFC

Espresso Essential sign on as sponsor of Tweed Heads Seagulls Rugby League Football Club

Espresso Essential is one of the flagship brands of the Essential Brands Group and has been supplying coffee and coffee machines since launching on the Gold Coast in 2001, where its International Headquarters are still located.

In future you will see the Espresso Essential logo featured on the sleeve of the Seagulls jersey, apparels, and sports grounds live on national television for the next three years.

Shaun McRae, CEO of Tweed Heads Seagulls RLFC, says “We are delighted to be forming a relationship with Espresso Essential.” He comments, “Our company’s values align perfectly, and having the support of a homegrown enterprise such as ourselves, is very exciting and we are looking forward to a successful season with the support of Espresso Essential.”

“I welcome Tweed Heads Seagulls RLFC to the Essential Brands Group family and look forward to a successful and enduring relationship,” commented Todd Hiscock, CEO of Essential Brands Group. “It is a natural fit with our ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ philosophy, supporting grass roots health and community sports organisations.”

Click here for a PDF version of the Media Release.

For more information:

Call 1300 324 111 or Email:


Beat the brain freeze!

You know that feeling. We’ve all been there! When you’re sucking away on your favourite slush flavour when suddenly a lightning bolt of severe pain shoots to the top of your head! Also known as ‘cranium cramp’, here are some theories for relief, so you can drink more.

Method 1
Some say one of the first things to try is the ‘thumb method’. As soon as you feel your brain freeze coming, put your thumb to the roof of your mouth and hold it there until your brain freeze goes away.

Method 2
Drink a warm substance (can we suggest a coffee?). The drink doesn’t have to be really hot, it just needs to be room temperature or above to restore your mouth’s normal temperature. Sip the drink slowly and swish it around your mouth a bit. This will warm up your palate.

Method 3
Make a mask with your hands to cover your mouth and nose. Breathe quickly into your cupped hands. The idea of this is to trap your warm breath and raise the temperature inside your mouth.

Method 4
Wait it out. The brain freeze will usually pass on its own within 30-60- seconds. Sometimes the shock of it can make it seem worse than it is, however if you expect it and know that it will pass it might not be so bad.

Method 5
Easy tiger! As tasty as I Luv Slush is, try to sip it slowly. Consuming icy cold slush really fast in a couple of slurps may be fun and super tasty, but it also makes you much more likely to get brain freeze. The theory here is that enjoying it this way slowly keeps the cold from overwhelming the blood vessels in your mouth with sudden temperature changes.

Now that you’ve beaten the brain freeze, there is nothing left to do than enjoy another cup of your favourite I Luv Slush!

Our global search for innovation

At Essential Brands Group (EBG) we are always looking to improve our product knowledge through research and development. We are continually on the look-out for new and exciting opportunities to expand on our already impressive suite of products, equipment and services, that you have come to know and Luv! We want to share with you some of our recent R&D journeys from our Team, including our CEO , as they search the globe and our great southern land, to continually bring you quality and innovative products.

A recent trip saw our CEO, Todd, head to the tropical haven of Hawaii to visit coffee plantations based on the North Shore of Oahu. When we asked Todd to comment on his visit, he shares “Even in the tropical Hawaiian climate, I was amazed to see the locals drink this wonderful elixir of life all year around, they are now even replacing pineapple plantations with coffee plantations to feed that ever growing demand for more great coffee all year round!”

Closer to home, a small contingent from our Head Office, including our Master Roaster ‘Lord Phil’, visited a coffee plantation located in Northern NSW in the name of research. The tour commenced with a cupping session run by our host in the tasting room with breathtaking views of the plantation.

Phil shares with us, “To walk amongst the coffee trees with basket in hand and pick the ripe cherries, taste the sweet mucilage which coats the coffee bean protected by the skin, was truly beneficial for me in understanding the life of the green bean.” With our team’s combined years of knowledge in coffee roasting and refining our knowledge of coffee making, the Plantation experience provided us with the understanding of the whole ‘bean to cup’ process.