McIver’s is a little shop in the Dairy Hall at the Queen Victoria Market. We have been there since 1951. The market is a constant source of joy to us. We have such wonderful customers from so many walks of life. We see toddlers become university students, mothers become grandmothers, travellers return, leave and return again. They educate and sustain us. And sometimes they can’t get to us. That is why we are online.
We often get asked if we roast our coffees. No, we don’t. We have two roasters. Many years ago we thought about roasting our own. Financially it seemed to make sense and we do love coffee. I was talking to one of my roasters and he talked about how his father could walk into a room full of coffee sacks and where most would just smell damp hessian his father would know from the smell of the bag what that coffee would taste like roasted. He was training to do that too. Our families have worked together since 1951. My other roaster is so passionate. The way he can describe what he tastes is so far beyond where most palates can go. It is almost an art form. These are the experts, the specialists, the scientists, the artists.
The tea is a different story. We taste, we blend, we import. We listen to the customers and source what they want. We work hard to source quality at a good price. Our house blends are all made with real spices and herbs - no flavouring – just great ingredients. Real food. If we can source an organically grown product we do.
So, what do we do? We are hunters and gatherers. We curate and we retail. We have taught ourselves the art of tasting from different perspectives. There is no correct taste, just the best representation of that taste. We have coffees that range from so strong your hair will stand on end to the soft and sweet. We have teas for the milk and 3 sugars customer, the herbal relaxer, or drinker of the fine jasmine pearls.
We opened a larger version of our market shop in West Brunswick in 2012. There you can get all of our teas in bulk and a cuppa.