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.
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 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.
Each year, as most of Australia starts the slow decline into winter, a couple of the Five Senses team pack their bags and head north: not to the sunny shores of QLD but rather to the US of A to attend the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) annual trade expo. The show, which moves around the country each year, hosts the largest dedicated specialty coffee trade show in the world and has become a broader hub for the gathering of like minded folk, the sharing of ideas and the launch of the latest and greatest coffee gadgetry.
This is a practical approach to finding your preferred flavour profile using the individually adjustable pump pressures on a Synesso Hydra. I’ve written this article with the intention of giving baristas a guide to experimenting and finding their own results using the world of pressure profiling. I have added some basic outlines about how these different pressures function and included some suggestions about how to adjust them to achieve the results you are looking for.
With the World Barista Champs for 2014 recently done and dusted, I thought it was time to reflect on the highlights. Many of the World Coffee events including the Brewers Cup, Roasting Comp, Ibrik Champs and, of course, the Barista Championship Finals were hosted in the Italian city of Rimini this year.
“Yabba Dabba — it’s all about the food and conversation”, says Dan Murphy, one of two owners of the new café and kitchen in Dalkeith, Western Australia. Whether you’re on your way home from the beach or have just finished up at the office, Yabba Dabba is the place to stop, relax and connect with friends and family.
Joseph Stein’s novel-turned-musical, The Bakers Wife, is set in a provincial township which is in a high state of anticipation. The villagers have not had a baker in town for quite some time and their usually upbeat mood is slowly falling, like the autumn leaves around them. When the new baker finally arrives in town, the villagers rejoice and sing, “Fresh, warm bread, with a bit of butter, spread!” Perhaps the novelist had the little ‘township’ of Camberwell in mind when he was writing, because since The Bakers Wife eatery arrived on Bourke Road a few months ago, the locals have been humming the happiest of tunes.
The wait is over, after many months of planning and hard work on the ground, our new Sumatran from our Tiga Raja mill partnership in Silimakuta, Simalungun is ready for release. Being able to receive any coffee from this year’s harvest has been nothing short of a miracle. Lisa and Leo have slaved away, working at establishing the new mill and buying the best quality parchment from our partnering supply network. They have tied themselves to the Sumatran production cycle at the mill to achieve what we think is something very special. As I look back on the journey this far, it’s pretty hard to imagine things turning out any better than where we are at right now — both in terms of the quality we have received and the unlimited opportunities we have going forward to further empower this growing region and the farmers within it.
“I’ll have a decaf, no foam, skinny, tall soy latte.” It’s a modern American cinematic cliché, a caricature of the fashion conscious, urban coffee consumer with the conspicuously complicated demands! However, for the barista on the cutting edge of the specialty coffee industry, this order might present more challenges than just remembering the details. The trouble is that soy has a frustrating tendency to turn into tofu right before your eyes — and it’s not a good look.
The dust has settled and the 2014 Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) is officially over. The Five Senses twitter feed is a great place for us to get small snippets of info out there while we’re on the fly. For those that don’t use twitter, here’s a summary of the MICE tweets. Enjoy!
It’s time for bumping out our stand and our not inconsiderable inventory of equipment. The tech guys are in bright and early to get things underway. The barista posse stumble in at 10, a little weary from the after party shenanigans. Cups of Ethiopian Ardi from the airpot are embraced like long lost friends as tales are swapped of dance floor highlights and the night is pieced back together. It’s definitely a case of many hands make light work as the team start to wear a path out to the truck. A little hung over, a little tired but still managing to crack a joke or two. Personal hygiene is not at an all-time high. Note to self; bring some mints to bump out next year!!
The end of a big event is a bit like the last day of school camp just slightly more hungover. For the interstate crew the dirty washing is starting to pile up, the masses of coffee is only just breaking even with the mounting sleep deficit and the thought of being back in the home bed is starting to look very attractive.
Day three is officially underway and we have crested the hump in fine style! The team are still brimming with enthusiasm (and more than a little caffeine) as we prepare for a big weekend. Its semi-final day for the barista championships and we are all looking forward to seeing Charles (the Handsome Barista) performing. Charles is a bit like everyone’s favourite (and slightly naughty) little brother and we are all super excited to see him up on the big stage.
Hey there coffee people! Day 2 of the multi-faceted extravaganza that is MICE 2014 is underway!! At this early juncture the team are still looking bright eyed and bushy tailed, the amazing coffee on tap more than compensating for the slight (but growing) sleep deficit.
I was hoping to start this article off with a bang and drop one of those clever puns that real journalists seem so fond of. Unfortunately the creative juices weren’t exactly flowing and the best I could come up with was ‘Twice as Mice’, so with apologies ‘Twice as Mice’ it is!!
So you want to pourover? Well, we like you. There are plenty of options out there for you to brew with, but don’t let the paradox of choice leave you in a spinning mess of indecision wondering which device to choose, which coffee to brew and, more importantly, how to brew. Here at Five Senses Coffee we like to ease the modern dilemmas of Western society, and will simply tell you what we think you should do, and how you should do it.
Last night I had some relatives over for dinner. They are visiting from Melbourne and have recently retired, but they spent the last part of their professional lives working in Singapore and Hong Kong. We got chatting, as you do, about life, work and family — and inevitably the conversation turned into an analysis of the coffee situation in Asia and, more specifically, Singapore. As it does, obviously.
Imagine if once a month a massive box of goodies arrived on your doorstep crafted by some of the most passionate artisanal producers in the country. Think fresh roasted and impeccably sourced coffee by Five Senses, craft beer full of hoppy goodness from Little Creatures, elegant cool climate wine by Innocent Bystander and decadent drinking chocolate from our friends at Bahen & Co Chocolate.
Nestled above the malls in the heart of the Perth CBD, you will find a hidden gem which exudes tranquility and history. If you blink, you will miss it; but trust me — you won’t want to.
If you’re thinking of heading to the Melbourne International Coffee Exhibition between 15-18th of May 2014, make sure you come and visit the Five Senses booth for a free education session. For the second year running, we will be hosting a series of intensive workshops which will draw upon the expertise of coffee industry experts from both our staff and our coffee partners. The schedule covers a broad range of interesting topics.
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.
The Sumatran harvest season is in full swing and our first ever shipment of Mill owned and sourced coffee from our new Tiga Raja Mill is about to make its way down the mountain to port. Here’s a selection of tweets from my most recent trip to give you a glimpse into our new mill, the workers and the coffee processing within.
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.