Bodum on the importance of design and colour

Bodum has carved a reputation as being one of the industry’s greatest design influences. It discusses why product success is not just about style, but using sustainable products with strong functionality.

For the past 74 years, Bodum has developed a product range that is committed to craftsmanship and German architect Bauhaus’ famous ideology of “form followed by function”. Read more

Almond Breeze launches Baristas for baristas

Almond Breeze is committed to growing Australia’s highly-regarded barista profession with a new brand and invitation to support baristas at every stage of their career.

When Almond Breeze discovered that the barista profession is the 10th fastest growing profession in Australia, according to data from the 2016 Census, it knew it had to develop a platform to support and nurture the approximately 3100 baristas that join the hospitality ranks in Australia each year.  Read more

Dove Chen soars to great heights

With discipline and determination, Dove Chen made his dream a reality. He explains why competition is a learning curve and superstars exist in all facets of the industry.

Dove Chen was born to be a coffee lover despite growing up in a Chinese culture that praised tea over caffeinated beans. 

When Dove was just seven years old, he would steal his parent’s canned coffee when they weren’t home, and save all his pocket money to buy his own supply after school. Read more

Dressed to impress: making café design memorable

Australia is known for its coffee quality, but our café design is equally idolised around the world. We explore what it takes to be memorable, and whether money really talks.

Some of Australia’s most impressive café experiences are not because they serve the latest Cup of Excellence-winning coffee, or Instagram-worthy smashed avos and smoothie bowls, but because of their impressive design.

In Melbourne, there’s Brother Baba Budan with its iconic chairs stuck to the ceiling, Au79 with no expense spared on the gold trimmings, St Ali with its casual industrial look, Higher Ground’s massive hotel-like attraction in an ex-power station, and in Sydney the Grounds of Alexandria revolutionised what a café space could be, complete with flower market, roastery, and wedding reception.

Jacqui Senior, Senior Associate and Hospitality Sector Leader at Woods Bagot in Sydney, knows what it takes to stand out from the crowd. She was involved in Campos Coffee’s award-winning Barangaroo site in Sydney and says in this instance, it was the location that inspired the café’s now-iconic jewelry box shape. Read more

Can coffee really give you cancer?

On 7 May 2018, a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge ruled that cups of coffee sold in California will have to carry a label warning customers about the potential cancer-causing effects of their favourite morning beverage. 

The basis of the decision was that coffee companies such as Starbucks, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Kraft Foods Global, and JM Smucker failed to show sufficient evidence that there was no significant cancer risk posed by just one particular chemical in roasted coffee – acrylamide. Read more

The big freeze: why there’s no longer a barrier to coffee freshness

Imagine going into a café in five years time and asking the barista for a look at the vintage menu of coffees on offer: a 2013 Panama Geisha, Sasa Sestic’s 2015 World Barista Championship (WBC) winning carbonic maceration-processed coffee, or perhaps the number one Brazil Cup of Excellence coffee from 2018 is more to your liking. 

By traditional standards, consuming such coffee years later would prove stale and lifeless in the cup, but what if they were frozen? It’s a concept Ona Coffee is exploring in order to preserve and extended coffee’s shelf life, and by all accounts, it’s got potential. 

George Howell saw that early on. He started freezing green coffee in 2001 to help preserve freshness and flavour, and at Re;Co 2017 he presented a series of vintage harvests from 2012 and 2013 to demonstrate how freezing coffee could preserve its integrity, telling the audience “by all standards, these coffees should have been dead and buried”. But they weren’t. They were very much alive. Read more

A Brazilian commitment

On the day I spoke to Jose Francisco on 8 May, Monte Alegre Coffee was a hive of activity on the first day of harvest. Despite the early mark, conditions were “perfect” – a dry 26°C during the day, 14°C at night, and low 45 per cent moisture. 

The cherries were ripe and mature, ready for round one of picking. It’s a process that will go until the end of August. 

About 35 per cent is mechanically harvested, and 65 per cent done by hand, a balance of technology and craft to ensure the best cherries are picked. 

Brazil’s special climatic conditions are one of the reasons the country has a reputation as one of the biggest coffee producers in the world, and an emerging specialty coffee scene.  Read more

Califia Farm’s plant power

In 1980, Greg Steltenpohl bought a box of oranges and borrowed a couple of hundreds bucks to buy a hand squeezing machine so he could sell fresh orange juice out of a van around San Francisco.

“That was my first taste of business entrepreneurialism in the beverage industry,” Greg describes. 

The small start-up would one day form the basis of Odwalla, a multimillion-dollar US supplier of fresh juice and nourishing healthy beverages, which Greg founded. The brand, later purchased by Coca-Cola, remains one of the fastest growing beverage ranges in the company’s suite of products.

“Odwalla was a huge education in the business world of beverages,” Greg says. “I built it from scratch into a medium-size business. We were a publicly-owned company for a while and it became one of the first natural food companies that broke out into American mainstream culture. I’m extremely proud of that.” Read more

Seven Miles Coffee Roasters digs deep

For the past 50 years, Seven Miles’ Coffee has shared its roasting expertise with hundreds of Australian cafés and thousands of coffee consumers. Within that time, the popular roaster has undergone a name change (formerly Belaroma Coffee), rebranding, a refurbishment of its Manly Vale headquarters in New South Wales, and become a Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) certified barista training campus. But with an increasing thirst for knowledge, Seven Miles Coffee Roasters decided to launch a science and education centre to push the boundaries of coffee experimentation.

Leading its Coffee Science and Education Centre (CSEC) is Dr Adam Carr, a chemical engineer who has forged a research career over the past eight years, working at Cornell University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Aerodyne Research. Read more

Chef Tobie Puttock’s true colours

After 25 years working in Italian kitchens, Tobie Puttock has consumed more espresso shots than many would dare attempt in a lifetime. 

At just 18 years of age, Tobie would watch as waiters brought a tray of 12 espressos to the kitchen for the staff of four on the hour, and they’d drink every one. 

“It was espresso all the way because that’s what the other chefs had and I wanted to fit in, to the point I’d drink so much I’d be a shaking nervous wreck,” Tobie says. “We were doing six double shifts a week on a seven-month contract, and everyone just lived off caffeine.”

Growing up, Tobie’s parents weren’t big on coffee. His first taste of Nescafe was thanks to his “bogan best mate” at 17, but it is the aroma of coffee he recalls most, brewing in his godmother’s restaurant. It’s still the thing he enjoys waking up to each day. 

“The first thing I do in the morning is put a pod through my Nespresso machine, which is like getting a big warm hug to start the day,” he says. Read more