Spending the morning with Salvatore Malatesta looks like a scene out of The West Wing. Inside the engine room, meetings are held back to back and some intertwine with each other, from a menu consultation to a discussion on solar energy. Salvatore brings out hard-hitting questions, evidence of his law background and efficiency to just “get to the point”. Occasionally, he pauses to reply to a text message or buzz his PA for a contact. No two days are the same for the owner of one of the county’s most iconic coffee roasters. Salvatore’s role is not about bean selection or the inner workings of roast profiles. His job is to take his business from a roasting brand to a creative agency. Read more
Stepping out onto Sydney’s freshly manicured Allianz Stadium dressed in the Sydney Roosters’ iconic red, white and blue jersey is a memory few are lucky to share, but one Steve Wrightson recalls well.
“It’s electric. I just loved playing the game of rugby league,” Steve says. “I played half a dozen games as a professional rugby league player until injury forced me to retire early.”
Steve was a proud Roosters player, but his heart always stayed with his childhood team, the South Sydney Rabbitohs. Read more
It’s competition season once again.For the Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) Board, this is one of our favourite times of the year. We love feeling the excitement of our members and experiencing the passion of the competitors.
The 2019 ASCA regional championships kicked off on 15 September with the Northern Region, followed by the Southern Region from 13 to 14 October, Central Region from 27 to 28 October, and Western Region from 3 to 4 November.
If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to head to your nearest championship to see what our incredible barista community is capable of. It’s impressive to see a new generation of talent coming through the ranks, and repeat offenders who believe that persistence pays off, and indeed it does. Read more
Anna Polyviou is a chef with artistic flair, edgy look, and carefree attitude. With her trademark pink mohawk hair and zest for life, it’s little wonder that the ‘Punk Princess of Pastry’ captivates audiences on TV screens and on paper.
Anna’s the first to admit she likes pushing the limits, both in her food creations and daily routine. Recently, she decided to go on a month-long national tour to launch her new Sweet Street cook book, travelling from Perth to Melbourne, Sydney to Canberra, and Darwin to Brisbane, cooking with young kids and signing books for anyone who asked.
“I can’t wait for people to go buy the book from the shops but I also wanted to take the opportunity to personalise the experience for my supporters,” Anna says. “I wanted the chance to meet people, talk about the book, why it’s designed, and what it involves, because it’s not just an average book. It’s been four to five years in the making.” Read more
When business partners Theodor von Gimborn, Alex van Gülpen and Johann Heinrich Lensing started out in 1868, they envisioned making commercial coffee roasters that would stand the test of time, consistently turning out high-quality coffee for customers of all sizes. Today, longevity and quality are characteristic not only of Probat machines, but also of the company’s relationships – both within the family business and its employee network, and externally among its partners and customers.
During the past 150 years, the company based in Emmerich, Germany, has built an expansive product portfolio with 115 patents and loyal customer and employee bases spanning the globe.
“We’ve been making coffee roasters ever since and continue to provide the coffee industry with enduring solutions that are in step with the times, but that also continue to function beyond that time,” Probat CEO Wim Abbing says. “Our machines are built to last, but they are built first and foremost to produce perfect coffee.” Read more
Just like that, we’re over halfway through 2018.
It’s incredible to think that shortly, ASCA regional championships will be starting again. We know many of you are looking forward to competing, and vying for the ASCA top 12 national rankings in the Australian Barista, Brewers, Cup Tasting, Latte Art, and Roasting Championships. The announcement of this year’s top 12 built anticipation and healthy rivalry ahead of the nationals, and we’re keen to see who will shake things up again. Read more
What a month of nail-biting performances and results at the World Barista Championship (WBC) in Amsterdam in June.
John Gordon represented New Zealand on the world stage after stepping up three times as the United Kingdom national competitor. After the preliminary round on day one, John was placed first. He marched into the finals to finish a credible sixth in the world. The last time NZ was in the finals was 2013, which was also the last time that John had competed at the WBC.
For his routine, John pared back the technicalities to emphasise the importance of what’s in the cup. His performance opened with a description of his coffee career from barista to roaster to technician, which has always been underpinned by his obsession with technology. Read more
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
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
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