Tamper Tantrum

New Zealand throws a Tamper Tantrum

Movers and shakers offer insights into the state of the New Zealand coffee industry with international flavour.

It’s been a while since the last Tamper Tantrum, so Ozone Coffee Roasters thought ‘why not kick one off again?’, this time in New Zealand. The main instigators, Natalie Clausen and Steph Noble from Ozone Coffee Roasters, hatched a plan to make a work trip for their Director of Coffee, Stephen Leighton, into an event for the wider coffee community.

Steph says they were really keen to facilitate an event that involved more than just their own team talking with Stephen. Thus, Tamper Tantrum New Zealand came to be at Ozone’s Grey Lynn eatery and roastery.

From there, the speaker list grew to include World Barista Champion 2017 and Hasbean Coffee Genral Manager Dale Harris, Director of Raw Material Richard Corney, Mojo New Stores and International Development Project Manager Kim Boyd, and NZSCA Events Director Emma Markland Webster.

With an electric group of speakers, the overarching message was that, as an industry, we need to look after producers, take lessons from the farm, build durable systems, and be pleasant to people.

Richard concentrated on the fact that Timor Leste is the nation most reliant on income from oil, with 85 to 90 per cent of all export income derived from the fossil fuil. With the country’s main oil reserve running dry, coffee has made up 85 per cent of export income since 2002.

He said the importance of coffee as a cash crop for people in the rural regions and its place as an alternative export income earner cannot be understated.

Richard implored that “the industry needs long-term support by roasters, importers and private sector investment to ensure coffee can be a sustainable and profitable cash crop for Timor Leste”.

Dale built on this concept by stating that “there are two challenges facing coffee, and neither of them are about insufficient extraction”. As an industry, we need to concentrate on “the economic sustainability of coffee production and specialty coffee environmental viability of coffee farming and our way of life”.

“We need to remember that specialty coffee is not just about flavour or quality. To ensure longevity for our industry, we all must take responsibility in making sure our supply chain is sustainable for people and the planet,” Dale said.

Stephen then looked at biodynamic philosophy at farm level and how we can implement its teachings throughout our businesses. Always one to inspire thoughts and action, Stephen stated “biodynamics is a load of rubbish and that is why we should use it in our business”. Ideally, his vision is to create a harmonious ecosystem within our cafés.

Kim spoke about the dreamy part of coffee: opening a café. “In reality, we all know it takes a lot of hard work,” she advised. “[It] starts before the doors open. The [more] time you take doing your research and development pre-opening, including the boring stuff, the higher chance of success you will have.

“The best advice for if you don’t know how to do something [is] learn it before you take the huge leap to doing it yourself. Work for someone else and learn from others’ experience.”

Emma loves a good rant. “Although we all love coffee, don’t let your purist tendencies get in the way of offering great hospitality. Without our customers, we have nothing. Don’t alienate them by withholding the things they need to make their coffee experience amazing. If that means having a sugar in their coffee, so be it.”

Following the event, Steph reports that “at least five people [named above] threw tantrums, but no one got hurt”.

On future plans, she says, “we would love to host another and our doors are always open. We love any excuse to hang out and hear from our coffee peers and to share a beer or a whiskey sour”.

The next Tamper Tantrum may even be held at Ozone in London.

This article appears in the April 2020 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.