MICE

Say “I do” to MICE2019

Weddings are a big occasion in anyone’s life. Tradition stipulates that a bride must wear something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. 

The 2019 Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) might not be a wedding per se, but it’s definitely a celebration that will unite the coffee industry and see family members travel from far and wide to attend.  Read more

Ashley Palmer-Watts

Ashley Palmer-Watts’s ambition

There are some magical coffee moments you never forget. For Dinner By Heston Blumenthal’s Chef Director Ashley Palmer-Watts, that moment was five years ago when he, two chefs, and a maître d’ climbed Africa’s highest mountain peak, Mount Kilimanjaro. Read more

Cofi-Com

Cofi-Com on Kenyan coffee and quality over quantity

Every Tuesday, Dirk Sickmueller, General Manager of premier export company Taylor Winch (Coffee) in Nairobi, goes to auction. Rather than a vision of excited bankers yelling out figures and gesticulating wildly like a scene from The Wolf of Wall Street, green bean buyers and local roasters bunker down in a theatre-style auction hall. 

The scene appears more subdued thanks to the digital platform the Nairobi Coffee Exchange implemented 20 years back, which only a few months ago had an upgrade to include a web camera and TV screens so that farmers in certain coffee growing regions can watch the bidding action unfold. Prices are displayed on a large digital screen. The numbers fly back and forth, with the final print, or best bid, confirmed or noted to a particular buyer. Read more

Parmalat

How Parmalat Professional gets milk from cow to cup

Cow number 125 is always first to Stanvale Farm’s milk station each morning. Number 6389 is always one of the last. 

“Cows are more intelligent than people give them credit for,” says Dairy Farmer Gordon Lockett. “They’re creatures of habit. They’re instinctive animals that understand routine and like consistency.”  Read more

Cofinet introduces honey and natural processing to Colombia

Prior to 2015, Colombia produced coffees for quantity, not quality. All of the country’s coffees were washed processed due to a restriction imposed by the Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) to promote only cultivars that focused on volume. The aim was “balanced, elegant, and clean” coffee, not exotic. 

“The Federation checks every lot that leaves Colombia. If the coffees were found to be anything other than washed processed, it would be rejected,” coffee importing business Cofinet Co-founder and Director Carlos Arcila says.  Read more

New Zealand coffee

NZSCA’s returning champions

The end of July saw two returning champions crowned at great competitions held in Auckland. 

L’affare Melrose hosted a record number of 34 coffee cuppers for the New Zealand Cup Tasters Championship. With standing room only, the talented cuppers eventually whittled down to the final round.

Impressively, this was the first time that all four finalists scored eight out of eight cups correctly in the open round. This included Takahito Koyanagi of Toasted Espresso in Auckland, 2016 NZ Cup Tasters Champion; Woo Hyung Lee of Camper Coffee who entered at the last minute; May Chan of Story Coffee in Auckland; and Stu Hargie, representing Jacobs Douwe Egberts and 2011 NZ Cup Taster Champion. Read more

Han Tran

2016 Vietnam Barista Champion Han Tran makes tracks

There are two traditional types of barista in Vietnam according to Han Tran: those that work in street vendors selling roadside coffee that’s “dark, dense, and bitter Robusta” or in male-dominated cafés that are attracted more to the female baristas than the overpriced beverage in front of them. 

When Han told her parents she wanted to pursue a career in coffee, naturally, she says, you can imagine their disapproving reaction. 

“They were against it,” she says. “Barista work had a bad reputation because of the stereotypes. A barista was not considered a profession in Vietnam. It was not respected. My parents were worried for my safety and that I would not earn a secure income.” Read more

Australian Subtropical Coffee Association

Australian Subtropical Coffee Association on Australia’s home-grown history

“You grow coffee in Australia?” I’ve lost count the number of times I’ve been asked this question. 

For the record, yes, we do. The first coffee seed arrived with the First Fleet around 1788, but it did not survive in the harsh climate of Port Jackson in Sydney Harbour. However, there were many efforts to establish coffee in the warmer climates of the northern rivers of New South Wales and Queensland.

Back in 1889, almost 130 years ago, the North Coast of NSW actually exported 83,066 pounds or 37.71 tonnes of raw and prepared coffee, all picked by hand. Read more

Zest Specialty Coffee

Zest Specialty Coffee on how each step in the chain contributes to flavour

In my early days as a barista, supply chain blame always came to the fore whenever there was a complaint from a customer about the coffee. An unskilled barista would blame the roaster, the roaster would blame the green beans.

Having trust in the production chain, however, is crucial. The end flavour of a coffee relies on the strong journey of skill and transparency throughout the chain. Each link has to trust every link before them. Trust that the green beans were bought with good faith on quality, trust that the roaster has the right profiles to get the best out of the coffee, and trust that the barista has the skills and equipment to extract the most flavour. Read more

Milklab Barista Battle Series

MilkLab Barista Battle Series winner Victor Vu visits origin

Victor Vu has a talent for latte art. He’s used to thrilling large audiences with his original designs and creative abstract patterns. 

He proved his skill when he won the MilkLab Barista Battle Series final at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo in March. He crafted three designs using MilkLab’s range of alternative milks: soy milk, macadamia milk, and lactose-free milk.   Read more

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