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

Bombora Coffee + Water Supplies looks at the latest filters

Filter brewing in its simplest form is coffee extracted with hot water. There’s always many brewing variables that can impact flavour, such as the freshness of the coffee, the recipe used and technique, whether it be via AeroPress, V60 Pour Over, or Clever Coffee Dripper, for instance. But at the end of the day, the outcome should be an uncomplicated and tasty extraction. Despite the constant improvement of technology embedded into high-tech espresso machines, sometimes it’s nice to acknowledge the beauty in simplistic brewing methods. The functionality of such devices has not changed much over the years, but new tools have made their way on the market to enhance the filter brewing process, and the team at Bombora is excited to welcome them to the market. Let’s take a look at our newest additions that are perfect for the home user, barista, and volume-driven café looking for an upgrade.   Read more

A model Costa Rican farm

October is Eduardo Gurdian’s favourite month of the year. It’s the start of crop season, when weather conditions are optimal for cherry picking, when staff receive a steady income, and the month he expects his first child to be born.

“October will be a good challenge for production volume and sleepless nights,” Eduardo says.

Eduardo is a sixth generation coffee professional. It’s too early to predict if his unborn son will join the family dynasty one day, but Eduardo is working hard to ensure he creates a sustainable legacy for the next generation of Costa Rican producers.  Read more

Why café hot spots are driving property prices up

When real estate agents make their opening address on why a property is deserving of your hard earned dollars, they don’t just address the king-size kitchen, Olympic length pool and movie theatre, they mention the nearby coffee shops. 

According to Hockingstuart agent Daniel Atsis, café hot spots are driving property prices up and real estate agents aren’t afraid to use it as an attractive selling tool. 

“Buyers are looking for established suburbs that sell ‘lifestyle’ with all the trimmings, and sellers are using those lifestyle attractions such as cafés to add value to their properties,” Daniel says.  Read more

CQI’s Mario Fernández on myth busting

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

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