Toby’s Estate announces Mario Fernández as August Knowledge Talks speaker 

Mario Fernández, Technical Director at the Coffee Quality Institute

Toby’s Estate has announced that Mario Fernández, Technical Director at the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI), will be the next Knowledge Talks speaker to tour Australia in August.

Mario will present on processing methods, the role of microbial fermentation in the flavour creation of coffees, and will also delve into innovations around the development of cup characteristics through post-harvest processing.

Through his role at CQI, Mario will also talk about how he constructs and supervises projects at origin and the challenges he experiences when creating new certification and education programs.

Mario’s family has been growing coffee since 1830. He’s seen close to eight generations of family members take on the farming processing, roasting, and exporting roles, from his great grandfather to grandmother. But like one of the coffee industry’s largest generational problems, Mario is more interested in helping educate the world of correct processing methods than doing the physical labour himself.

Mario lived in New Zealand for three years where he obtained his PhD in food science at University of Otago. He now lives in Portland, Oregon and says if Australian café culture is anything like the few Australian-operated shops he’s experienced in the US, then he’s excited for what’s to come.

“As well as understanding the Australian coffee community better, I really want to share that correct knowledge on processing methods can help sell your coffee and improve your quality coffee message to the consumer. Often in some countries, baristas can pass on information that’s not factually correct and that confusion is not good for anybody: the industry, barista, or consumer,” he says.

“As an industry, we are very proud of how we roast and brew our coffee, but it’s not the only way to express your style. Yes, it has such a big impact on coffee flavour, but so does processing. It’s an art, the same way roasting and brewing is.”

This new series of Knowledge Talks will be held in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne at the following dates and locations:

Sydney: 23 August from 6pm to 8.30pm at Toby’s Estate, 4/29-33 Bourke Road, Alexandria

Brisbane: 27 August from 6pm to 8.30pm at Lightspace, 2 Scanlan Street, Fortitude Valley

Melbourne: 28th August from 6pm to 8.30pm, La Marzocco, 104 Nicholson St, Abbotsford

All proceeds from the ticket sales will be donated to the Las Nubes Daycare and Afterschool-Learning Centre.

The centre supports the education of over 40 children aged between three and 12 in the coffee community of Acatenango.

On a daily basis the centre provides much needed education, nutritional meals and a safe and nurturing environment while allowing the parents to continue working or to complete their education.

To book tickets to this event, visit

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