We all love a good tax break and with a few weeks left in the 2014/2015 financial year we thought we’d highlight the government announcement a few weeks back that states small businesses can claim immediate tax deductions for as many sub-$20,000 purchases as they make between now and 30 June 2017.

Coffee blends have an interesting place in today’s specialty landscape. Although it is a craft as old as coffee production itself, the notion of what constitutes a ‘good’ blend has never been more scrutinised. With the landscape constantly shifting and roasting companies taking various different approaches, we thought it was a good time to re-illustrate the intent behind our Five Senses blends. Consequently, we are excited to announce the release of our new blend cards.

The Roast Development Spectrum

By Hannah Jackson on Monday, 15 June 2015 at 1:45 pm | Industry News and Events

When you drop the seeds of the coffee fruit into a rotation drum and apply heat, a lot of stuff starts happening. Over the years, we’ve explored many of these dark recesses and in this months Curated Cupping, we’d like to open the door on the Roast Development Spectrum.

Clever Coffee Dripper Brew Guide

By David Christie on Thursday, 11 June 2015 at 9:00 am | Coffee 101

Enter the Clever Coffee Dripper (CCD). In terms of the brew style, it is what’s known as a “steep-and-release” brewer. Although it looks like a pourover, the valve in the bottom means the coffee can be constantly immersed in all of the brew water, before a short drawdown phase, giving it more in common with immersion style brewers such as the humble plunger. Because of this, the brewer is very easy to use and also very repeatable.

Keeping it real in Canberra at Fox and Bow

By Ben Bicknell on Tuesday, 09 June 2015 at 12:30 am | Cafe Reviews

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, there’s something about being surrounded by mediocrity and drudgery day in, day out that can act as a catalyst for a special few to burst out of the grey and create something really awesome. Such is the story of Alex Piris…

New Norcia Bakeries continue their recipe for success

By Chris Jackson on Wednesday, 03 June 2015 at 5:00 pm | Cafe Reviews

Let me preface this by making one thing extremely clear: I LOVE BREAD. I’ve been a patron of the humble corner store bakery for a long time. Growing up in South Australia, I’d quite often do laps of the local footy oval at the tender age of seven, collecting cans and bottles to exchange for real money…

Coffee is a truly amazing beverage. Not only does it offer a broad spectrum of flavours, textures and tantalising aromas to savor, it’s also an incredible connector of humanity. Whether it’s a sleepy morning cup shared with a loved one at home, intense conversations at a café with a bestie or the collective slurp, spit and sigh of a great cupping, there’s many places where coffee is the glue of the social environment.

'We want Change' for Nanhi Kali

By Hannah Jackson on Tuesday, 12 May 2015 at 10:01 am | Company News | Industry News and Events

Being born a girl in rural India is the start of an uphill battle. Faced with a lifetime of discrimination and a lack of opportunities it would be easy to fall into a state of despair. But these girls are bravely optimistic… they just need some assistance to level the playing field a little. The people at Nanhi Kali foundation are doing just that, but they need our help.

United States of Joe

By Ashley Brian on Friday, 08 May 2015 at 2:30 pm | Industry News and Events

As the largest consumer of coffee worldwide, the USA has had, and continues to have, a huge influence on the direction and evolution of specialty coffee. The coffee spectrum across the United States is truly a vast landscape. While the humble, first wave, ‘Cup of Joe’ is still present in diners across the country there’s some really exciting, quality focused incarnations happening in many cities. In this month’s Curated Cupping, we bring to the table a range of coffees from different US roasters …

A visit to the London Coffee Festival provides an insight into a blossoming industry with plenty of room to stretch it’s feet. Coffee houses popping up across the city of London is by no means a new thing, they first appeared in the English capital in the mid 1600s, caffeinating those creative minds forging ‘The Age of Enlightenment’. In more recent times however there has been somewhat of enlightenment in terms of the city’s coffee quality with a Third Wave of coffee roasting giving birth to a specialty scene every bit as innovative and energetic as anywhere on the planet.

Creating your own coffee kit to go

By Dean Gallagher on Tuesday, 05 May 2015 at 3:00 pm | Coffee 101

So there I was, sitting slumped and semi-comatose on the awkwardly shaped bench lounge thing in the airport. I’d just done the 14 hour overnighter and now needed to wait out the next four hours before the flight to my final destination. It didn’t matter how many times I adjusted my position, leaned forward or sideways, or held my face in my hands, pressed my fingers onto my closed eyes and massaged my eyeballs though their thin lids — nothing moved me closer to being more awake.

The Scarborough Beach Bar is a perfect example of what was required to attract people back to the most beautiful stretch of beachfront in WA. The Beach Bar is a café/bar situated upstairs at the Manning street end of the café precinct (just around the corner from the Snake Pit!) It opened at the start of summer last year and easily has the best view of any venue in the beachfront area. Sitting on the balcony, you can see straight over the surf break from Hillarys to Freo — a dream come true for a barista who can stand behind the machine and watch the sun set over the water every day.

Re-imagining Nicaraguan coffee

By Jacob Ibarra on Thursday, 23 April 2015 at 9:55 am | Origin Trips

Every year, visits to Central America form a major part of my travel. In today’s specialty world, Central America’s coffees seem to be a staple in everyone’s line-up. Their ability to master processing and thus provide consistency year after year has created not only a dependency, but a general love for their coffee. Prior to leaving, I cupped samples furiously to help guide my itinerary. With many things already shifting with regards to supply, I knew it was more than likely that we would be starting a new relationship this year.

A Killer Combination; Hawk and Hunter

By Adrian Dart on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 at 1:20 pm | Cafe Reviews

There is something instantly reassuring and comforting about entering the door at Hawk & Hunter. Is it the buzz of happy conversation or the Best Interior Design Award subtlety propped on the shelf — or is it the front of house team swiftly working the floor in snappy cargo aprons or the nod of the barista working over a custom eggshell blue 3 group Synesso Hydra? Actually, it’s probably all these things and more.

Recharged in the Emerald City

By Ben Bicknell on Monday, 20 April 2015 at 10:58 am | Industry News and Events

When you talk coffee, there’s not many other cities that spring to mind more strongly than Seattle. Even before birthing the first Starbucks store, Seattle had a vibrant coffee culture, nourished by a cool climate and perpetual drizzle of rain. Given this history, it was super exciting to see the premier global competition of the World Barista Championship join forces with the largest specialty coffee trade show, the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Expo, over this last weekend in the emerald city.

The World Barista Competition in Seattle had a significant highlight this year with Australian competitor Sasa Sestic winning the title of 2015 World Barista Champion.

Feeling the Love at Myrtle Ivy

By Megan Williams on Wednesday, 08 April 2015 at 3:15 pm | Cafe Reviews

On an inconspicuous street in West Leederville which is mostly occupied by early-rising wholesale florists sits a cosy little coffee shop called Myrtle Ivy. Myrtle Ivy is not only a cheerful hole-in-the-wall where passers-by can lean in and grab a superb coffee and a delectable treat, it is also the name of a loving and generous grandmother from Wickipen, a small farming town in Western Australia.

Brew Temperature and its Effects on Espresso

By Andrew Easthope on Wednesday, 08 April 2015 at 10:09 am | Technical | Coffee 101

One of the topics we explore in depth in our Advanced Barista Skills class at the Australian Barista Academy is brew water temperature and its effect on espresso taste and extraction.

I suspect most of you will have your own go-to list of favourite cafes around town. Those spots which you can rely on time after time to tick all the boxes. The service, the setting, the food and, of course, the coffee! Let me introduce you to one of mine… Lemon, Middle and Orange.

Our monthly Curated Cupping Series is our opportunity to share our most unique micro-lot coffees to the Australian specialty coffee community. The April Curated Cupping event is one of our most anticipated public cuppings to date as we showcase the first natural processed coffee through our Tiga Raja mill in Simalungun, Sumatra.

Brews, Bats and Brats

By Ben Bicknell on Monday, 30 March 2015 at 3:00 pm | Industry News and Events

The coffee extravaganza of MICE 2015 is over and done, and as life returns to normal, we just want to say thanks to all those who came and celebrated with us at our annual Brews ‘n’ Bats party. As the sun set on the first day of the MICE trade show, the brats hit the coals and competitors limbered up for ping pong glory and extraction craziness. For the third year running, we pushed the desks back, pulled up the roller doors and wheeled out the BBQs to welcome our friends and peers into our Barista Academy site in West Melbourne.

Every year our trip to Central America is big, and this year was no different. New relationships were explored in Guatemala, I touched based with our favourite coop and producer in Costa Rica and I investigated the coffee landscape of Nicaragua for the first time. I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the trip.

For those who may have missed the action over the weekend, here are a few shots from the various coffee competitions which were held at this year’s Melbourne International Coffee Expo. Friday through Sunday, we found new champions across the Latte Art, Coffee in Good Spirits, Brewers Cup, Cup Tasters and Barista competitions for 2015.

Aeropress Brew Guide

By David Christie on Tuesday, 17 March 2015 at 2:46 pm | Coffee 101

Are you familiar with the Aeropress? It’s one of the most distinctive brewers on the market, looking like a giant coffee syringe. But that’s not all! It’s also the only device to have an international competition, the World Aeropress Championship, dedicated to it.

Asado in Spanish means barbecue, so you can imagine that visiting a small bar named after Argentina’s most beloved dish you’ll fine fresh, clean and bold South American flavours!