One of the most satisfying things about sourcing coffee is looking for opportunities to work directly with farmers. Coffees are often sourced with little connection to the hands which have turned the soil and put real sweat and blood into their work. For some time now, we have been considering a small natural project out of Indonesia and the Tiga Raja mill.

Seasonal Coffee and Five Senses

By Jacob Ibarra on Tuesday, 07 October 2014 at 3:26 pm | Coffee 101 | Origin Trips

The modern grocery store has more or less conditioned us to believe that everything is available at all times of the year. However, the idea of seasonality has recently had a renaissance during the most recent ‘food’ movements. This is due in large part to the re-birth of the idea of purchasing that which is local and in season. When we think of eating what is available locally, it becomes incredibly apparent that consumption will be based on a seasonal schedule.

Ten years ago, filter coffee in Australia was terrible. Defined by poor quality, stale coffee, it was prepared with little understanding of what was necessary to achieve great tasting results. Over the last decade however we’ve seen this all change.

While there are several great producing countries in Central America, Panama arguably sits at the top of the list. Producers are skilled and the farms are organised. Combine that with all the coffee varieties available and the numerous processing and drying techniques and you cannot help but make the comparison to being a kid in a candy shop.

Whiskey Business at Whipper Snapper

By Kaya McCarthy on Friday, 03 October 2014 at 11:09 am | Cafe Reviews

Whipper Snapper Distillery in East Perth combines two of my great loves — quality coffee and quality alcohol. The Distillery came about as the result of a long term passion for both Alasdair Malloch and Jimmy McKeown and has been five years in the planning. It has always been about the product and they firmly believe that if you love your job, you will never work another day in your life!

A Corner of Sydney Rebirthed: Excelsior Jones

By Ben Bicknell on Wednesday, 01 October 2014 at 1:39 pm | Cafe Reviews

The tale of mad skillz being sharpened in the cut and thrust of the forge that is the inner city, only to be relocated to the relative peace of the burbs is not a new one. Take these hard won skills and plant them in a sunny corner of Sydney’s inner west and they support the flourishing of an efficient, yet relaxed café experience. Welcome to Excelsior Jones.

The Hidden Cost of Micro Lots

By Jacob Ibarra on Tuesday, 30 September 2014 at 10:34 am | Origin Trips

The world has never been so connected. Once you get past time zones, communicating across continents and oceans isn’t even a hassle. I am a perfect example of this, as I am a transplant from the States and regularly text and chat with my family back in Texas. However, to think we have the full picture of everything merely because we are now so interconnected would be a grave mistake. In fact, on my coffee travels I often think, “If only we knew.”

My recent Central America trip was massive! I reunited with our Primaveral producing group in Colombia, attended a Latin America coffee conference in Mexico and participated in Cenfrocafe’s inaugural cupping competition in Peru.

Café Bü — Riding High

By James Hennebry on Wednesday, 10 September 2014 at 9:17 am | Cafe Reviews

Situated as it is amidst Carlton North’s chimney-lined rooftops, overlooking one of the City’s busiest bike paths, it’s not hard to appreciate why Café Bü has become such an instant hit with locals and passing cyclists alike.

Dialling in the E Grinder

By Andrew Easthope on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 at 2:53 pm | Coffee 101

Using an E-grinder in a café or at home is a smart idea; paired with a good set of scales, your espresso setup can transform your coffee brewing experience and push you further towards creating consistently excellent results. Here’s a quick how to guide on how to set up an E grinder using a new coffee, maintaining good results and ultimately keeping your grinder in top notch shape for a long time.

Opening The Cutlery Drawer

By Juliana Nobre on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 at 2:01 pm | Cafe Reviews

‘Welcoming and friendly’ was the vision young couple, Matt and Nicole, had when they decided to renovate their restaurant/café and turn it into The Cutlery Drawer! Now that the drawer is open and the secret is out, I would like to invite you to enjoy one of Manning’s new additions; TCD offers great coffee and amazing brunch.

At first glance, the conference had that typical ‘conference’ feel. Giant building, concrete floors, coffee machines, roasted coffee, packing devices, pourover stands … but that did not last long. As we all piled into the auditorium-like space, I noticed that there were a number of official looking people on the stage. Then a militia band stomped in.

In my last blog, I wrote about the weather-related difficulties which are facing our Primaveral association in Colombia. I also expressed my delight that our friends at Fairfield Trading on the ground were able to round up beautiful coffee despite the weather. However, uncovering the true situation on the ground regarding the upcoming harvest was only one half of my objective for Colombia.

A Solid Foundation — Travelling in Colombia

By Jacob Ibarra on Tuesday, 26 August 2014 at 12:17 pm | Origin Trips

I won’t lie – buying coffee can be fairly complicated. Sometimes I am simply astounded that the whole supply chain works and that we receive the level of quality we enjoy in Australia. Last November, I left Colombia ecstatic about the potential of our new relationship with the Primaveral Association. Up until recently everything had gone peachy. We received two shipments of the Acevedo group’s coffee and the feedback was extremely positive.

Come and get a glimpse of the Micro-Mill Revolution with an outstanding line up of coffees from Costa Rica. WA – Wednesday 20 August and Vic – Friday 22 August.

Veer Attikan — the Backstory

By Jennifer Murray on Wednesday, 13 August 2014 at 3:21 pm | Origin Trips

Time flies! I can’t believe we are now into another season of new crop Attikan. My original reason for visiting India four years ago happened after a chance encounter with Sunalini in Rwanda. We naturally got chatting about her specific area of expertise, Indian coffee. Like many of us in the specialty industry, I was apprehensive about what India had to offer – and with good reason.

You often hear that water is the most important ingredient in coffee because it makes up 98% of your drink; but it’s much more than that. Water isn’t just an ‘ingredient’ that you add to roasted coffee seeds – water is the solvent which extracts the flavour compounds from the seed. It has a very active role. To dissolve flavour compounds in water, the water has to form chemical bonds with solids in the seed and carry them away.

Who is Tommy Sugo?

By Charles Stewart on Wednesday, 06 August 2014 at 6:35 pm | Cafe Reviews

Universities are not usually inundated with quality coffee options. Often they’re bound by cost cutting catering deals that tend to produce a caffeinated beverage that tastes like tar and is impossible to hold without thermal gloves. This tends to drive students off campus for a quality caffeine hit. Lucky for some WA uni students a new guy has moved in just around the corner.

Recently our Western Australian site in Northbridge received a well-deserved makeover – and we’re very happy with the way it’s looking and functioning. Seeing the crisp, new space prompted me to reflect on the last two years of designing and delivering training for Five Senses. Things have changed considerably in that time.

At times, promoting a coffee in our hyped up, over-energised, pre-release state may appear (I would guess) to teeter on being a blatantly self-indulgent exercise. This conundrum is what I, and we at Five Senses, feel consistently as the release of this year’s Community Coffees from Costa Rica draws near. We are ecstatic about how they have landed, and the basis of the project has produced such great social yields that we cannot help but gladly — and perhaps in a slightly over-the-top fashion — announce their entry into our line-up.

Café Amalia — Reinventing the Classics

By Brydon Price on Friday, 01 August 2014 at 9:33 am | Cafe Reviews

Café Amalia in Melbourne’s eastern suburb of Armadale has become almost exactly what the owners Christian and Angela imagined when they started on the journey to opening their doors. Completely gutting and renovating a site in the Toorak Station precinct, they saw the potential this space had to become an integral part of the neighbourhood.

Finding an Oasis at The Other Office

By Jeremy Hulsdunk on Thursday, 03 July 2014 at 12:38 pm | Cafe Reviews

The name Nico Brutti holds a certain significance in my life. I started working for Five Senses Coffee back in 2009 and Nico was getting his first (of many) Synesso’s installed. I had seen coffee machines installed before and had helped out on a few as well, but this installation was unique in my life as I had never installed a machine from the famous Seattle manufacturer.

Coffee gets Lucky in the Fashion Zone

By Ben Bicknell on Thursday, 03 July 2014 at 10:51 am | Cafe Reviews

On any given day along the bustling Chapel Street shopping strip, you’ll see an array of beautiful, stylish folk, ducking in and out of stores sporting the latest fashion and accessories. There’s an elegant energy to the precinct and recently there’s been a re-invigoration of the surrounding backstreets with contemporary bars and restaurants popping up with some tasty offerings in the evening.

Those of you who follow the specialty coffee scene online may have read some of the buzz surrounding the Acaia coffee scale recently. If not, you’re about to! The Acaia Pearl scales are an exciting new product that has the potential to significantly impact the quality and consistency of coffee programs both for café professionals and home coffee passionate.

Life Lessons from a Bali Harvest Trip

By Guest Writer on Wednesday, 02 July 2014 at 11:42 am | Origin Trips

‘Life is a journey, not a destination’. We hear this saying quite often, and it resonates with me; however my recent trip to Bali was both a journey and a destination. I’d never had any reason to visit Bali before, until the possibility of participating in one of Five Senses’ Harvest Trips arose. Being a keen traveller and lover of life who doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty, I jumped at the opportunity.