Saturday, 26 April 2008

Epic, so jealous!!

Tiger Tiger pic2

Tiger Tiger pic1

The scene in Perth

Sorry bout the lateness in writing this, just been so cought up training, working and getting things set for the australian barista comp.
First off, it's amazing to see so many cafe's doing things right. And by that, i don't mean perfect, but i do mean that it's really not that hard to find a cafe serving a decent cup, made by a decent barista, on decent machinery. Compared to Adelaide's swill (with a couple of exceptions) it's absolutely amazing.
The quality coffee scene over here is really being driven by two quality roasters, Five Senses (standout store, Epic Espresso in west perth) and Fiori Coffee (Tiger Tiger). It's really quite common to see Synesso's, LMZ fb80's and lineas. While generally i didn't find the customer service to be friendly at all, it was usually attentive, speedy and delivering a good quality product.
Some really creative uses of space have been created here and i found that on the whole,the average cup (a flatwhite, latte cap or whatever ordered from random cafe's) was quite pallatable. Some real standouts though were definately Epic, Velvet Espresso, and Liar Liar. Also had a fantastic coffee from cimbalino in cottesloe and ristretto back in the city. For me, if i had to pick, i'd say i enjoyed my espresso from velvet the most.
Epic and Velvet both have the feel of a very polished, bustling corportate coffee haunt. Tiger Tiger on the other hand is very 'melbourne esque' with a huge charming gritty character.
A few things worth staying well clear of are the coffee chain "domo" (think, gloria jeans) and pretty well anyone using brasiliano coffee (note: i obviousely didn't go to every cafe using coffee from this roaster, but there's only so much punnishment a fella can take).
All in all, it's pretty easy to got excited about coffee over here, and going out on a limb can easily grant you huge, coffee-related rewards. Perth has it's own unique coffee culture over here, and i dare not compare it to melbourne, but is definately very developed (by australian standards of specialty coffee) and well worth a visit.

Sorry this post doesn't have any pics, i'll post some as individual posts soon after.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Brewing on the fly

I had to brew some coffee to make up some more of one of the components of my sig drink. The problem, it's 10.30pm, i've sent all my coffee stuff back to adelaide with my wife and this kitchen is almost bare. So i managed to rig this up from a glass and some viva towel. Using pre-ground coffee(ground for drip) and spring water boiled in a pot on a stove, this little pour-over actually delivered a decent, well balanced cup. Next time maybe i'll do a comparison with toilet paper.

Wa barista academy

What a setup!! That's a gb5 in the background, a syncra in the middle and a linea in the front pic. Roburs, kony's, k10's, it's all here- they're so spoilt in wa. The only i haven't seen much of here in perth is a solid e61 heat exchange.
Trainings been full on, though i wish i had more time here to polish up. A great pool of judgess have made themselves available over the weekend, which is fantastic. There's so much stuff the SA judges have been telling me that I have to 'unlearn'.  Having a few problem's with my sig drink though, so there's still more trial and error in that field than i'd like to have at this point. I'll keep you all informed of any new revelations.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Boozy Little creatures!!

This little gem is worth making the trip to wa on it's own. While not coffee related in the slightest, this place is worth a visit to anyone with any culinary interest at all. The beer is brewed to the left of the photo, then transported via a couple of pipes into three massive keg's for the freshest tasting beer ever!!! In the back is a huge kitchen and wood oven that do everything from fantastic pizza's to steaks and tapas and what not. Eating the skins on fries, sitting back with a house pale, overlooking the marina is an absolute must!! And this from a non-beer drinker.

Cupping at the factory

The fivesenses factory here is a giant. So many fun and exciting toys to play with. Not least of which is their new renegade roaster, which allows you to toy with an incredible array of roasting variables, from simple time and temp right through to the exact drum rotation speed you're after. They are currently attempting to collect their own data on how each of these variables effect the flavour in the cup and so, cup twice daily to measure the results.
As the majority of their coffee is for espresso, the method used is dropping two ounces of espresso into a controlled amount of temp regulated water. And this is repeated three times for every coffee being cupped. There's always a monsooned malabar and kenya aa to compare the body and acid to, and two or three other coffees that they're actually testing. And with a sabre/swift combo pulling shots is as regulated as it gets.
Today i sat in on a balinese coffee that was being cupped against an organic el salvador which the perth champ is representing with at the nationals. Both there coffees are very exciting and well worth trying if you get the chance. We also cupped a two month old brazil that was as you would expect. With old soggy leather coming to mind frequently ;-)

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Arrival in perth

I write this as i'm about to depart back home for adelaide, but things have been just too busy to take up moment out to write. Straight from set down it was off to velvet for a taste at wa's offerings. I'll post a little later about the coffee, as then it was off to the wa barista academy to meet the perth champ and pull a few shots. After that, just a bit of a lazy day with the family at the zoo and back to the wonderful 3bedroom townhouse fivesenses hooked us up with for our stay. Tomorrow it's down to the factory for some more fun!

Friday, 4 April 2008

Getting prep'd

Getting prep'd for the upcoming national basista comp! Off to perth next week for some training with the boys at fivesenses. Can't wait!