Industry profiles Industry profiles
Cow number 125 is always first to Stanvale Farm’s milk station each morning. Number 6389 is always one of the last.
“Cows are more intelligent than people give them credit for,” says Dairy Farmer Gordon Lockett. “They’re creatures of habit. They’re instinctive animals that understand routine and like consistency.” Read more
Prior to 2015, Colombia produced coffees for quantity, not quality. All of the country’s coffees were washed processed due to a restriction imposed by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) to promote only cultivars that focused on volume. The aim was “balanced, elegant, and clean” coffee, not exotic.
“The Federation checks every lot that leaves Colombia. If the coffees were found to be anything other than washed processed, it would be rejected,” coffee importing business Cofinet Co-founder and Director Carlos Arcila says. Read more
The end of July saw two returning champions crowned at great competitions held in Auckland.
L’affare Melrose hosted a record number of 34 coffee cuppers for the New Zealand Cup Tasters Championship. With standing room only, the talented cuppers eventually whittled down to the final round.
Impressively, this was the first time that all four finalists scored eight out of eight cups correctly in the open round. This included Takahito Koyanagi of Toasted Espresso in Auckland, 2016 NZ Cup Tasters Champion; Woo Hyung Lee of Camper Coffee who entered at the last minute; May Chan of Story Coffee in Auckland; and Stu Hargie, representing Jacobs Douwe Egberts and 2011 NZ Cup Taster Champion. Read more
There are two traditional types of barista in Vietnam according to Han Tran: those that work in street vendors selling roadside coffee that’s “dark, dense, and bitter Robusta” or in male-dominated cafés that are attracted more to the female baristas than the overpriced beverage in front of them.
When Han told her parents she wanted to pursue a career in coffee, naturally, she says, you can imagine their disapproving reaction.
“They were against it,” she says. “Barista work had a bad reputation because of the stereotypes. A barista was not considered a profession in Vietnam. It was not respected. My parents were worried for my safety and that I would not earn a secure income.” Read more
“You grow coffee in Australia?” I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve been asked this question.
For the record, yes, we do. The first coffee seed arrived with the First Fleet around 1788, but it did not survive in the harsh climate of Port Jackson in Sydney Harbour. However, there were many efforts to establish coffee in the warmer climates of the northern rivers of New South Wales and Queensland.
Back in 1889, almost 130 years ago, the North Coast of NSW actually exported 83,066 pounds or 37.71 tonnes of raw and prepared coffee, all picked by hand. Read more
In my early days as a barista, supply chain blame always came to the fore whenever there was a complaint from a customer about the coffee. An unskilled barista would blame the roaster, the roaster would blame the green beans.
Having trust in the production chain, however, is crucial. The end flavour of a coffee relies on the strong journey of skill and transparency throughout the chain. Each link has to trust every link before them. Trust that the green beans were bought with good faith on quality, trust that the roaster has the right profiles to get the best out of the coffee, and trust that the barista has the skills and equipment to extract the most flavour. Read more
Victor Vu has a talent for latte art. He’s used to thrilling large audiences with his original designs and creative abstract patterns.
He proved his skill when he won the MilkLab Barista Battle Series final at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo in March. He crafted three designs using MilkLab’s range of alternative milks: soy milk, macadamia milk, and lactose-free milk. Read more
A surgeon is known for their steady hands, attention to detail, and extreme precision. In the operating room that is East Coast Espresso in Brunswick, Victoria, Technical Director Jordan Elkurdi shares similar traits. His utensils are evenly aligned, his materials are cut to perfection, and he works methodically to build his newest creation, Mercury Nero Steam Hub.
The dedicated manual milk-texturing machine has been Jordan’s core focus for the past two years. Besides operating East Coast Espresso, a coffee machine and grinder service company with his brother-in-law Sam Sadik in Victoria, Jordan’s mind constantly ticks over with new ideas and ways to bring them to life. Read more
If we time travel to the year 2020, what would the modern age café look like? Would there be robotic baristas, self-serving espresso machines, and Willy Wonka inspired installations? Many would argue this outlook is already underway. But what about an eco-friendly café?
According to Brendan Condon, Director of Cirrus Coffee and Australian Ecosystem, it’s likely that cafés will be operating with 100 per cent renewable energy generated at source or purchased over the grid. Chefs would be cooking on induction cooktops rather than gas, and coffee grounds and food waste will be cycled into cafés’ own pop-up farms. Single-use coffee cups will also be eliminated or at the very least, made of only 100 per cent compostable and sustainable materials. Read more
Spending the morning with Salvatore Malatesta looks like a scene out of The West Wing. Inside the engine room, meetings are held back to back and some intertwine with each other, from a menu consultation to a discussion on solar energy. Salvatore brings out hard-hitting questions, evidence of his law background and efficiency to just “get to the point”. Occasionally, he pauses to reply to a text message or buzz his PA for a contact. No two days are the same for the owner of one of the county’s most iconic coffee roasters. Salvatore’s role is not about bean selection or the inner workings of roast profiles. His job is to take his business from a roasting brand to a creative agency. Read more