Singapore’s budding specialty coffee scene showed up in force for their first officially-sanctioned Aeropress competition, hosted by Common Man Coffee on Friday night. The venue was packed with over 100 spectators as 12 competitors pulled out their best Aeropress recipes and went head to head, working through successive rounds and competing for some great prizes.
I love visiting Central America. Each country has a rich history of producing coffee – and one that is uniquely their own. This year I visited Costa Rica, Panama and Guatemala.
Last weekend saw a whole new swathe of champions crowned during the 2014 AASCA Victorian Coffee Championships. Kindly hosted in the upcoming Veneziano roasting warehouse in Richmond, the industrial vibe was juxtaposed by the glittering tableware and smell of freshly ground coffee being prepared by competitors. In one of the biggest events of its kind to date, the weekend hosted the state heats for the Barista, Latte Art, Brewers Cup and Cup Tasting Championships.
Yes, it’s finally here; the Baratza Forte has arrived in Australia. Suffice it to say, we are more than just a little bit excited about the arrival of the new Forte from Baratza. Awarded ‘Best New Product’ at the 2013 Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) awards, this long-anticipated grinder is quite honestly amazing with its ground breaking, in-built grind-by-weight feature.
With the Brazilian coffee season just starting and our fresh arrivals from Alice Estate and Santo Antonio just off the boat, I can’t think of a better time to write the last instalment in my series about this beautiful and versatile country. On my recent trip to Brazil, I really had time to reflect on how important it is for the farmers to ensure sustainability when producing specialty coffee.
At the ripe old age of two months, The North Fitzroy Social on St Georges Rd in Melbourne is fast becoming the hub of the local neighbourhood … just as owners, David and Dinh, intended.
For many years now Victoria Park and, in particular, Albany Highway, has been going through a cultural shift that was always inevitable. The area has too much going for it to remain the home of used car yards and bad take-away food. The road runs close to the city, has good population density and is located near cultural hubs like Curtin University. All this potential is why Calvin and Dee Dee decided to open their first café in the area, although it is more than a café for the owners — it is opening up a new life!
For the past three years we have been hosting the much acclaimed Q course at the Australian Barista Academy in Victoria. On May 5th 2014, the Q grader course returns once more to be hosted by Trish Rothgeb, the founder of Wrecking Ball Coffee (USA) and Director of Q and Education for the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI).
No photo could ever do justice to the stunning beauty of rural India. Here are the pictures Jen, Dean and I shared with Twitter during our travels. Having never fully appreciated Indian coffee before, this trip was certainly an eye opener!
The 2014 New Zealand Barista Championships kick off today but before the action begins, I thought I’d reflect briefly on a key activity that occurs prior to running a successful competition; calibration.
No photo could ever do justice to the estate of Veer Attikan. Set in a valley at high altitude, it is home to both a tiger reserve and a national park. Without a permit, you cannot drive through this land of lush, mystical wonder. Of course, the obligatory bumpy, windy drive starts the trip; if you want the best, that’s part of the parcel.
A trip out to Merthi Mountain starts with a four hour train ride, followed by a three hour drive up the windy roads to the top of the Baba Budangiri hills. Getting to the best coffees always means making our way to the top, but now that I have a travel buddy I’m reminded how tiring/interesting/exhilarating it is when you finally get the top and relax in the old colonial bungalows which were built in the late 1800’s.
This is the fifth year that Five Senses has been involved in the Langham Melbourne Masterclass event under the umbrella of the 2014 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (MFAW). Once again, it was an incredible opportunity for inspiration in all directions. As the signature event in MFAW’s Gastronomy programme, the Masterclass brings together passionate eaters, industry pros and international perspective in a dramatic engagement in the elegant surrounds of the Langham Melbourne hotel in Southbank. Surrounded by chandeliers, ornate carpets and immaculate service, the roughly 600 attendees at the event are invited to take a seat at presentations from some of the most progressive and leading chefs from around the world.
Driving the winding road through the low lying Robusta plantations and then up to higher altitudes through green hills and forests, we arrived at our destination of Merthi Mountain in the Chikmagalur region of India.
It’s that time of year again! We are back in India for our fourth season in a row, and this time I’ve brought a travel buddy, none other than the lovely Kaya from our Australian Barista Academy in Perth. It’s her first real ‘origin trip’ and I am stoked to be able to share my love of India and the secrets of its elusive coffees with her.
Kaya’s latte art is a thing of beauty. Showcasing her skills on video was well overdue and seemed fitting to be in slow-mo and to the beautiful sounds of Perth band Apricot Rail. Enjoy!
Some days you want a superfood salad and a green smoothie. Other days, it’s a burger and beer. Barry on High Street in Northcote is the ultimate people pleaser. Whether you’re on a health kick, in need of some comfort food or simply looking for a caffeine-induced pick-me-up, Barry has you covered.
Samudra is a Sanskrit term meaning ‘ocean’. In yoga, we often bind a pose or create a symbolic seal of our intent to move inward. The word for this seal is ‘Mudra’. (Taken from Samudra’s website.)
Whether this statement resonates with your inner yogi or you have no idea what a yogi is or why Sanskrit is a significant language, do yourself a favour and put Samudra on your list of places to visit next time you are passing through the Great Australian Southwest.
The hot air balloons floating above the skyline of Melbourne this morning immediately indicated that the day was going to be a winner – those guys only go up if the conditions are perfect! Today’s event, run by the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival (MFAW), was a wonderful example of achievement in both quality AND quantity. As the longest, Longest Lunch ever, with 535 meters of table catering to 1504 people, it truly was an epic event.
Here are a few of the many pics that I took in Ethiopia. It was a hugely rewarding trip. I furthered my understanding of the Ethiopian coffee regions, began to understand the complex cultural makeup of the country and the coffee landscape, and wrapped my head around the systematic setup of the ECX. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the vast country of Ethiopia.
Currently, I find myself in Ethiopia for the first time trying to wrap my head around the coffee sector and how speciality coffee intertwines in the largely traded commodity. In short, it is unlike anything I have seen at other origins. It is complex, a bit confusing, and far reaching. Honestly, it would be easy for me to be critical. In fact, most of the speciality coffee scene holds that stance, but I cannot help but think that there has to be something good in it. Perhaps then, if even for a moment, it is necessary to step outside my speciality coffee perspective and try to determine if this is a positive step for the economy of Ethiopia at large.
In my first article, I focused on the history of Brazilian coffee and looked at how coffee was introduced to Northern Brazil from French Guiana in 1727. Over the ensuing years, coffee plantations spread throughout the north and northeast of the country, later reaching the central Southern regions as well. Today, however, coffee is produced in 14 different regions of Brazil across seven estates, meaning that there are approximately 2.7 million hectares of coffee-producing land stretched across this country. This regional diversity is one of the main factors which ensure that Brazil has a variety of cupping profiles on offer.
I’ve just come back from Sumatra. I went to witness the first batch of parchment coffee being bought and processed into export-ready green at our new mill – the Tiga Raja mill.
A vast array of details can affect coffee quality, all of which can be controlled with the right amount of care and quality equipment. While some of these measures require fundamental investment in the appropriate equipment, there are always simple factors which can not only boost overall quality, but ensure that the only thing standing in the way of quality is the coffee you use, the equipment you’ve got and your own ability.
Cute, thoughtful and easy on the eye… This may sound like a check list for my perfect women, but it is not. It does, however, sum up the concept store that is The Tenth State. Due to council zoning, they are technically a retail store which is allowed to dedicate a very small portion of their floor space (about 10m2) to serving food and beverages. This limitation certainly doesn’t limit them because TTS have cool and quality all bundled up.