Anna Polyviou: the princess of pastry

Anna Polyviou is a chef with artistic flair, edgy look, and carefree attitude. With her trademark pink mohawk hair and zest for life, it’s little wonder that the ‘Punk Princess of Pastry’ captivates audiences on TV screens and on paper. 

Anna’s the first to admit she likes pushing the limits, both in her food creations and daily routine. Recently, she decided to go on a month-long national tour to launch her new Sweet Street cook book, travelling from Perth to Melbourne, Sydney to Canberra, and Darwin to Brisbane, cooking with young kids and signing books for anyone who asked. 

“I can’t wait for people to go buy the book from the shops but I also wanted to take the opportunity to personalise the experience for my supporters,” Anna says. “I wanted the chance to meet people, talk about the book, why it’s designed, and what it involves, because it’s not just an average book. It’s been four to five years in the making.” Read more

Probat built to last

When business partners Theodor von Gimborn, Alex van Gülpen and Johann Heinrich Lensing started out in 1868, they envisioned making commercial coffee roasters that would stand the test of time, consistently turning out high-quality coffee for customers of all sizes. Today, longevity and quality are characteristic not only of Probat machines, but also of the company’s relationships – both within the family business and its employee network, and externally among its partners and customers.

During the past 150 years, the company based in Emmerich, Germany, has built an expansive product portfolio with 115 patents and loyal customer and employee bases spanning the globe.

“We’ve been making coffee roasters ever since and continue to provide the coffee industry with enduring solutions that are in step with the times, but that also continue to function beyond that time,” Probat CEO Wim Abbing says. “Our machines are built to last, but they are built first and foremost to produce perfect coffee.” Read more

ASCA’s schedule of events for community growth and education

Just like that, we’re over halfway through 2018.

It’s incredible to think that shortly, ASCA regional championships will be starting again. We know many of you are looking forward to competing, and vying for the ASCA top 12 national rankings in the Australian Barista, Brewers, Cup Tasting, Latte Art, and Roasting Championships. The announcement of this year’s top 12 built anticipation and healthy rivalry ahead of the nationals, and we’re keen to see who will shake things up again. Read more

NZSCA’s new executive team

What a month of nail-biting performances and results at the World Barista Championship (WBC) in Amsterdam in June. 

John Gordon represented New Zealand on the world stage after stepping up three times as the United Kingdom national competitor. After the preliminary round on day one, John was placed first. He marched into the finals to finish a credible sixth in the world. The last time NZ was in the finals was 2013, which was also the last time that John had competed at the WBC.

For his routine, John pared back the technicalities to emphasise the importance of what’s in the cup. His performance opened with a description of his coffee career from barista to roaster to technician, which has always been underpinned by his obsession with technology. Read more

Made to be Monin

Olivier Monin was born with a family name that is synonymous with gourmet flavourings, yet he has no recollection of the man who started the family business, his grandfather Georges Monin. 

Georges died during World War II, 15 years before Olivier was born in France.

Georges, a 19-year-old entrepreneur, started selling branded wines and spirits with a horse and cart and the slogan “A passion for quality”. He founded the company in 1912 in Bourges, central France, and by 1930 Monin was exporting private label spirit products to Europe and the Caribbean. In 1945, Paul Monin took the reins of the company and steered the product development towards syrups – a relatively untouched market in France – when it became clear the spirits industry was saturated with competition.  Read more

World Barista Champion Agnieszka Rojewska makes history

When sports champions win a title, they usually pop a giant champagne bottle, enjoy a fancy meal, or hit the after party to bask in their winning glory. For this year’s World Barista Champion Agnieszka Rojewska, the celebrations were a little more subdued. 

“I ate Ben & Jerry’s icecream – we don’t have many flavours in Poland – and went to sleep. I was super tired,” she says. 

It had been a huge week of competition for 55 national barista champions from across the globe. Each put their heart and soul into their routine, which represented far more than the 15-minute performance at Rai Centre at World of Coffee in Amsterdam in June.  Read more

Zest Specialty Coffee says don’t fear the unknown

Recently, Zest Director Rod Greenfield showed a non-coffee industry business colleague through our roastery. He was mesmerised by the rumbling of the roaster, the toasty aromas in the air, and watched wide-eyed as a batch of browned beans tumbled from the roaster into the whirring cooling tray. 

They stepped into the production lab where he noticed a line-up of about 15 cupping bowls from a recent production cupping. Rod offered the guest a spoon to taste the coffees on the bench, and he backed away. “No,” he said. “I just drink cappuccinos. All coffee tastes pretty much the same to me. I wouldn’t be able to tell any difference.” 

Rod persisted and handed him the spoon, demonstrating the basic scoop and slurp motions. He pointed to the Ethiopian coffee and asked him to taste it. Then he pointed to the Brazilian coffee and asked him to taste that too. “Tell me if you taste any difference at all,” Rod said.   Read more

The affect of roasting and grinding on cell structure

My favourite part of doing a roasting course was watching green coffee beans turn into a caramel, chocolate-brown colour through a little viewing window while their powerful aroma filled the room. 

Over a couple of short minutes, thousands of chemical reactions take place together with irreversible physical changes that allow us to extract the aroma and flavour locked inside beans.

Let’s look deeper inside a bean to see exactly how this transformation happens on a microscopic level. Read more

MICE2019 a ticket to the world

The Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) is like the Australian Open of tournaments – it’s the first major event to kick-off the year, one of the most revered expos on the circuit, and arguably a crowd favourite by exhibitor and attendee standards.

Event organisers are encouraging guests to plan their year wisely, starting with the Asia Pacific’s greatest coffee dedicated event, MICE 2019, from 7 to 9 February, before continuing onto the Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston, United States from 11 to 14 April for the World Barista Championship (WBC), and World of Coffee in Berlin, Germany from 8 to 10 June.

“Next year is going to be huge,” says MICE Show Director Simon Coburn. “MICE hosts what is already considered a world-class expo, but next year we want to be acknowledged as the first must-attend event on the global coffee calendar.”  Read more

Australian Barista Champion Craig Simon’s long way to the top

Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi once said that champions are made from something they have deep inside of them  – a desire, a dream, a vision.  

One person who knows this well is three-time Australian Barista Champion Craig Simon who returned from the 2018 World Barista Championship (WBC) in June ranked seventh in the world. 

Naturally, Craig says there’s disappointment in his result given his countless hours of preparation and financial investment, but the result is yet another learning curve and another experience to add to his competition career, spanning more than a decade. Read more