Komang, a local Balinese barista, has taken out the 2013 annual Five Senses latte art competition which we hold in Bali during our annual harvest trip.
During our stay here we have been treated to some outstanding food, and the times when we’ve been invited into people’s homes, sat on their floor and shared a meal with their entire family are the special memories which we will treasure.
It’s been a fair number of years since we started bringing staff and customers to Bali. With every harvest trip, we have engaged in some sort of project with the goal of improving both the coffee quality and the village co-op, in the long term.
‘Brews ‘n’ Bats’ was developed by Five Senses and the Australian Barista Championships with the aim of combining the World Aeropress Championships with Five Senses’ first ever Ping Pong tournament. One of the most anticipated parties of the week, this momentous event took place during the Melbourne International Coffee Expo and World Barista Championships.
For me, the standout point with the Abid Clever Coffee Dripper is that it allows the user to really play around with and tweak their brew creating entirely different cups of coffee from the one piece of equipment. Once you find a ‘recipe’ that brews to your liking it’s remarkably easy to replicate time and time again, even at five in the morning. They’re cheap, easy to use, even easier to clean, made from Japanese surgical plastic (so except with the most extreme abuse these little guys will last), and best of all, make an outstanding cup of brewed coffee that will do your most premium coffee proud.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Sadly, it is fast becoming the most boring. Here to put a stop to that – and to supply what will undoubtedly be the start of many an extraordinary day – is Miss Kitty’s Saloon. This new addition to the Inglewood end of Beaufort Street is the illegitimate brainchild of Iain Lawless and Liam Atkinson and pays homage to North American/Canadian comfort food.
Most people move away for a tree change, but Tom and Pip Hay have got the best of both worlds and can pretty much walk between them. Fresh from his marketing degree nine years ago, Tom Hay aligned himself with a place he was truly passionate about, the Collingwood Children’s Farm. At the time, only a handful of people in Melbourne knew about this magical place and, after discussing strategy and implementing some marketing projects, Tom and Pip suggested running a cafe on the Farm.
So alongside this huge trade show here in Flemington, it appears that a little coffee-making competition has been taking place too — the World Barista Championship 2013! I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in judging the top selection of the world barista community again this year and, as promised, we’ve seen an amazing array of coffees and some innovative performances too.
Tomorrow, the Victorian arm of the Australian Barista Academy is proud to present a one day intensive brewing class, hosted by Paul Stack (Marco Beverage Systems).
The USA has pulled off the big three this weekend at MICE by winning the World Barista Championship, the World Brewers Cup and the Ping Pong Doubles at ‘Brews ‘n’ Bats’ which was held at the Five Senses’ training academy.
We were a little apprehensive about Day Three of MICE. After two exceptionally busy industry-only days, we were preparing for an onslaught of people as the exhibition opened to the public, taking ‘busy’ to a whole new level.
Day two of MICE 2013 ended with the ultimate throwdown party which included the World Aeropress Championship and the Five Senses’ Ping Pong tournament which was held at the Five Senses training facility in West Melbourne, the Australian Barista Academy.
Day One of our free coffee educational sessions in our 6×4 metre perspex lab at MICE got off to a flying start with four packed-out workshops, each with a completely separate and interesting focus. Attendees left the workshops with some great food for thought and a pleasant, coffee-like taste in their mouth.
Some months ago we sat down for a brainstorming session to work out a game-plan for our stand at the upcoming Melbourne International Coffee Expo (which includes the World Barista Champs). Things very quickly went from ambitious to flat out outrageous!!!
If you haven’t heard, MICE is here and it’s going to be huge! No, I’m not talking about a growing infestation of varmints in the Melbourne CBD (hipsters are a natural pest deterrent anyway), but the Melbourne International Coffee Expo and World Barista Championships, to be held May 23rd – 26th at the Melbourne Showgrounds.
As Five Senses is hosting the World Aeropress Championship finals this month (check out the Facebook page for more info), Aeropress fever has infected the office. We all love a good Aeropress and, in a similar spirit to our attitude to other brewing devices, all of us have slightly different recipes and approaches for achieving deliciousness.
The Office on Harrogate could be the best thing to hit West Leederville in decades. It’s urban, yet rustic; recycled, yet modern; funky, yet comfortable. How is it possible to incorporate so many great qualities into one place? With eclectic backgrounds ranging from building, music and of course, hospitality, the masterminds behind The Office wanted to create a space centred around one common theme – being hospitable and providing guests with a quality experience. Like a fine-tuned orchestra, each piece offers something different and the end result is greater than the sum of its parts. That’s the kind of experience one can expect at The Office.
At the moment, Melbourne can make a strong argument for having the best cafe culture in the world. It is heavily populated with cafes – and cafes which are industry leaders too. However, as is true of all trends, things can begin to feel a bit too similar to each other. Fit-outs have many of the same design features, coffee offerings are not all that varied, poached eggs and smashed avocados are on every menu board … and the list goes on. So what would it take to create something just a little bit different?
With excitement building about the upcoming World Barista Championships in Melbourne, I thought it an auspicious time to reflect on why this has become such an important event in the international specialty coffee industry.
Five Senses reaches far and wide to source great coffee beans and one of the biggest rewards for us is to be part of local farming communities, to learn about their values and meet inspiring people. In recent years, the coffee industry has shown it can focus on improving the living conditions for coffee farmers, and consumers have shown that they support this issue. But what about the communities in our own backyard?
I had been in Central America for a few days when I visited Coopetarrazu. Their warehouse and office building was easily the biggest building in the small city of San Marcos de Tarrazu. It felt more like a community centre than a headquarters due to its 1980’s feel and the impressive number of people who seemed to be wandering around the building. However we were quickly greeted by Carlos Rivera, the co-op manager, and what ensued was more than reassuring – it was surprising.
This weekend marked my first time at an SCAA expo and it certainly didn’t disappoint. The expo was held in the Boston convention centre over three full days and included the US Barista Champs (won by Pete Licata), the US Brewers Cup (won by Erin McCarthy) and the US Cup Tasters (won by Erin Wang).
Now in its fifth year, the SCAA Symposium is an intensive seminar series aimed at giving leaders in the specialty coffee industry the opportunity for discussions around some of the most influential and critical issues affecting our industry. The talks are held just prior to the Expo and trade show (which is being hosted in Boston this year) and the Symposium has a pretty broad range of attendees. This year the Symposium was hosted in the weighty halls of the Harvard Club. So, surrounded by ornate wood detailing, elegant chandeliers and oil paintings of past members, we gathered to listen, become inspired and realize how much we don’t know about genetics!
The urban barista is so many things at once — a host, a culinary artist, a performer on an exotic glittering stage, a counselor, listener, friend, and purveyor of caffeine. People come in dim and dappled, and they need their coffee. We do our magic, and they happy-up, ready to face the day. This is the first reality of the barista: seeing and greeting people who may not be ready to face the world.
As the dust settles and the red steps of Queensbridge Square reappear again, let’s take a look back at a ground breaking endeavour undertaken by Melbourne Food & Wine, Bank of Melbourne, Hassel, Schiavello, Atlantic and other participants whose efforts transformed the very landscape of Southbank.