A typical specialty coffee shop experience involves receiving an espresso or filter coffee with an information card. Its purpose is to spark a customer’s curiosity and gain further appreciation for the coffee they’re drinking.
The card or subsequent bag of roasted coffee often contains details such as the farm and producer’s name, the names of their children, how many people they employ, the harvest schedule, farm altitude, farm size, and volume of bags per harvest. But nowhere does it say the name of the person who roasted the coffee, their hobbies, and the names of their children.
Jenny Willits is comfortable working on big marketing campaigns for iconic brands with huge budgets. She recalls working on an award-winning TV commercial for Lion Nathan’s Boag’s Draught, “From the Pure Water of Tasmania”, at Publicis Mojo. She’s worked on a global print campaign for Ericsson telecommunications with a budget in excess of £1 million ($1.7 million) and a two-week shoot in South Africa, and the list of high-end brands rolls on: Nescafé, Kahlúa, Ballantine’s whisky, Kellogg’s, and Foxtel.
Coffee Quality Institute’s Technical Director Mario Fernández is determined to bring coffee processing into the forefront of flavour control, but warns it comes with full responsibility.
Mario Fernández has a growing list of more than 50 problems, but his determination is not one. Rather, his spreadsheet of issues consist of common coffee processing myths he says are simply rumours that have circulated like a bad case of Chinese whispers.
For the past few years, that’s included the poor quality and mistrust of natural processed coffees, false claims about yeast fermentation and honey-processing methods, and one of Mario’s particular favourites – people preferring solar drying over mechanical drying just because it’s “more environmentally friendly”. Read more
Enrique López could be considered the Heston Blumenthal of the coffee producing world. Much like the cooking sensation’s love of molecular gastronomy, Enrique is an advocate for processing innovation and experimenting with concepts and theories not yet tried before.
“I love to be innovative. For more than 12 years I have enjoyed discovering different flavour notes and sensory attributes in the same coffee, which is only achieved by trying different methods of washed, honey and natural processing, as well as experimenting with variations of these same processes,” Enrique says.Read more
The human genome is made of more than six billion genetic letters that comprise our own unique DNA order. Understanding the human genome has aided scientists with the knowledge and tools to develop treatments, cures and preventatives of diseases over the years. But what if the same was done to coffee to help generate disease-resistant varieties adaptable to climate change? Read more
BioPak Managing Director Gary Smith is passionate about getting the right message across to the industry: that BioPak’s cups are both compostable and recycled through many council paper waste collections. Read more
Charlotte Malaval isn’t ashamed to admit that four years ago her knowledge of coffee was non-existent. “I’m from France, so naturally I grew up drinking bad, bitter, dark-roasted coffee,” Charlotte says. “I didn’t know what specialty coffee was or what origin is.” Read more
At this point in our series, we’d like to introduce a framework we think is very useful when it comes to brewing and tasting coffee. You might have heard the term “signal-to-noise ratio” (often abbreviated to SNR). With a SNR framework, the world can be thought of as containing stimuli we are interested in (signals) mixed with stimuli we are not interested in (noise). SNR is the ratio of signal power to noise power. Read more
There’s one quote from American astrophysicist Carl Sagan we at Socratic Coffee really appreciate: “What counts is not what sounds plausible, not what we would like to believe, not what one or two witnesses claim, but only what is supported by hard evidence rigorously and skeptically examined.” Read more