New South Wales roaster and distiller Mr Black has teamed up with Melbourne coffee pioneers St Ali Coffee Roasters to release a special edition Single Origin Coffee Liqueur.
Mr Black says the collaboration takes the appreciation of coffee and booze to the next level for those who embrace coffee culture, from their morning grind to the ultimate fix at night.
On a pilgrimage to Peru, St Ali handpicked the El Diamante coffee used in the Single Origin Coffee Liqueur. Sourcing the beans from a single farm in the Cajamarca region, it required a taxi up the mountains, perilous cable cars, and an hour’s hike up steep terrain from Apolinar Arevalo’s house to his actual farm 2000 metres above sea level.
Mr Black worked with the brains trust from St Ali on roasting and then blending the clean combination of Peruvian Cold Brew Coffee with Australian wheat vodka and a little sugar.
Mr Black Global Coffee Ambassador Martin Hudak describes the aroma as “honeydew melon and red currant fruit on the nose which opens up to the comforting smell of nonna’s kitchen.”
“You can taste biscotti on the palette with a clean finish of honeycomb and milk chocolate,” he says. Hudak suggests the liqueur is best enjoyed on the rocks to fully appreciate the complex flavour profile.
Collaborating on the Single Origin Coffee Liqueur made perfect sense to Mr Black Founder, Tom Baker.
“I first visited St Ali in South Melbourne some ten years ago. To a young guy starting out in the industry they were legends in my eyes – absolutely at the top of their game. The fact we’re working alongside them a decade later is pretty special,” Tom says.
“The goal of this collab was to make something fun and bloody tasty to take the edge off 2020 and give some support to our mates in the coffee industry who are having a hard time of it now.”
Similarly, St Ali owner Salvatore Malatesta has been an admirer of Mr Black from afar.
“When they launched a few years ago, I remember trying Mr Black and thinking – this is pretty bloody good,” Salvatore says.
“Times are tough at the moment for independent crafters and creators, especially in Melbourne where St Ali operates a number of cafés. With people spending most of their hours at home right now, the timing seemed right to partner up and release this indulgent distraction to the world.”