Dubbed the Academy Awards of coffee, the Cup of Excellence celebrates the world’s best coffees. Campos Coffee Founder Will Young explains why the competition is key to the longevity of specialty coffee.
Getting your hands on a Cup of Excellence (COE)-winning coffee takes patience and commitment. The real fun for Australian buyers starts in the early hours of the morning when international online auctions commence, but the game’s not over until a final bid is made, the countdown clock expires, and the hammer falls.
“The longest auction I’ve ever experienced was early 14 hours for a COE coffee,” says Will Young, Campos Coffee Founder and Chairman of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE), the association that runs the COE competitions and auctions.Read more
Toby’s Estate General Manager Jody Leslie on her career in food service, diving head-first into specialty coffee, and preparing for long-term growth.
In her short time as General Manager of Toby’s Estate Coffee Roasters, Jody Leslie has already seen how the Australian coffee scene differs to the rest of the world.
“Compared to the United States for instance, Australia has a larger focus on specialty coffee,” Jody tells BeanScene. “If I had a theory as to why, it would be around the age of our coffee industry. It matured around the same time as the rise of specialty coffee [globally]. Read more
MICE2019 Product Innovation Award winner Energy Bar allows cafés and mobile sites to operate demanding equipment without access to a large power supply.
The World Surf League tours Australia every year, bringing the world’s best surfers to the country for a chance to brave the waves and claim a championship title. Under-the-counter espresso machine manufacturer BrewBar saw an opportunity to showcase its units at surf events, but hit a roadblock when the league moved to follow the waves.Read more
Australian Subtropical Coffee Association’s Rebecca Zentveld on how to keep Australia’s coffee growing industry pest and disease free.
Thanks to Australia’s geographical isolation, it is the only coffee-producing nation in the world that is free of coffee leaf rust and the coffee berry borer pest.
It’s also thanks to Australia’s rust-resistant cultivars that Australian coffee growers enjoy the unique position of being able to grow naturally spray-free coffee in a cooler, subtropical climate.
However, with such isolation comes a degree of vulnerability, and we are always at risk of introduced pests and diseases.
If coffee pests such as the berry borer or leaf rust were to arrive on our plantations, the Australian coffee growing industry could be wiped out.
Farmers can only do so much to ensure that Australia’s coffee crops remain free of pests and disease. We also rely on the people visiting and working with international origins to be on the lookout, such as baristas and roasters, the ones who could accidentally introduce these pests to the country.
To avoid introducing pests and diseases to Australia, be aware of the following risks and rules.
When returning from visiting origin plantations, you could inadvertently bring back coffee leaf rust spores on your clothes and shoes. Spores aren’t visible, but cling easily to clothing and textured material. The berry borer beetle can easily get caught up in folded clothing, or in a backpack or camera bag. Shake your clothes out thoroughly for any little critters.
Never bring home hessian or jute coffee bags from origin. Also avoid bringing back small samples of green bean. If you do bring back small samples, treat them like the biosecurity hazard that they are and keep them isolated. Leave hessian bags at your roastery, and above all else, do not place anywhere near a coffee tree — even if in a garden or a pot. Leaf rust spores can last for weeks on hessian bags, and become active under the right conditions.
Only use green beans for roasting. Do not germinate green beans yourself, or contract a local nursery to do so. This is illegal because the biosecurity risk is immense. The biosecurity protocols for importing coffee for roasting do not cover the purposes of growing coffee, which is far more stringent. Australia’s legitimate, law abiding coffee importing companies know and strictly communicate that any green bean they sell is for the purposes of roasting, not growing.
Back on home soil, there are, however, a few simple steps you can take to ensure Australia’s coffee production remains fruitful.
At the roaster: Keep hessian bags separate from everything else and dispose of hessian bags responsibly. Thoughtfully repurposing for art or craft work is ideal.
When returning from origin: At international arrivals, do the right thing and declare your coffee farm visit to the quarantine officers and get your shoes sprayed by the biosecurity officer. It only takes a few minutes. Also, wash all clothes, boots, jackets, and bags soon after returning home.
When visiting an Australian coffee plantation: Either soon after returning from origin or after being in your roastery, tell the plantation staff where you have been and be sure not to have the same bags, boots or clothes.
If we all take biosecurity seriously, we can help prevent any breakout or transference of the dreaded coffee pests and diseases, and Australia’s coffee growing industry can bloom without fearing the future.
With Australia’s coffee credentials established on the global stage, ASCA is committed to growing the community’s knowledge behind the scenes.
Australia has a great reputation on the world stage when it comes to coffee excellence.
Our National Champions frequent the top 10 in the world, our entrepreneurs are introducing Australian coffee to international markets (think Bluestone Lane), and Melbourne is often hailed as one of the ‘coffee capitals’ of the globe. Read more
One big weekend in May saw the NZSCA crown new Cup Tasters and Latte Art Champions in maxed-out competitions.
It felt like only five minutes ago the New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association hosted the Meadow Fresh NZ Barista Championship, and it was already time to start the next leg of the competition season.
First up was the NZ Cup Tasters Championship on 3 May. Ozone Coffee Roasters in Auckland hosted a full field of 32 coffee cuppers, all aiming to accurately and quickly slurp their way through the tasty coffee.Read more
Following a successful launch in 2018, Alternative Dairy Co has received the backing of a Melbourne coffee institution and a former Australian Latte Art Champion.
St Ali is a prominent name in the Australian coffee community.
Inside the roaster’s South Melbourne store, every detail is considered: the music, lighting, flower arrangements, even the staff attire with baristas sporting ‘feels good’ branded socks. Image is everything to St Ali, but so is taste and quality, including with its alternative milks. Read more
Jade Jennings of Veneziano Coffee Roasters reflects on her experiences with coffee and competitions, and how it’s prepared her to train the next generation of champions.
When Jade Jennings travelled to Rwanda in 2016, the Veneziano Coffee Roasters National Training and Development Manager experienced what she calls her fondest memory working in the coffee industry. Read more
The Detpak RecycleMe System provides recyclable cups alongside collection and guaranteed recycling logistics.
Since the ABC TV series War on Waste drew attention to the more than one billion coffee cups sent to landfill every year, consumers, cafés, and companies have taken large strides to reduce single-use cup waste.
One such company is Australian owned packaging manufacturer Detpak, which initiated a rollout of its RecycleMe System with customers in November 2018, providing a solution for takeaway cups.Read more