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  • Newsletter
    companies and Aust Post were direct employees especially in the parcel delivery areas These days most of the people driving the vans are self employed contractors They can and do move easily from company to company buy sell and trade rounds and hire their own employees to drive for them Their independence from the companies they represent only shows up when there s a problem It appears to me that Australia Post and the major courier companies now have the motto All Care but No Responsibility when a delivery problem pops up This was made clear when a pathetic heap of debris which had been an Express Post satchel containing 4 x 500g of Costa Rica Tarrazu Miel was returned to us as Undeliverable I wouldn t want to work near any machine that could accidently do this to a satchel and its contents The excuse given was that the satchel and its contents had somehow been mangled by a sorting machine There was no compensation offered so we ve submitted a claim Just as well our customer never had to see the destruction and only suffered a slightly late delivery as we shipped a replacement as soon as we found out Which brings me to the point of this newsletter if your coffee doesn t arrive within 7 days of ordering then you need to get in touch with us What happens then is that I register a complaint with Australia Post and immediately organise a free replacement order for you About 1 in every 300 parcels vanishes without a trace Fortunately Express Post and courier deliveries are much more reliable although still not perfect and are also trackable The January special coffee will continue to be Costa Rica Tarrazu Miel 45 00 kg We have less than 20kg

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/january2010.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Newsletter
    a standing order with green coffee suppliers more or less on the basis you get it I ll buy it and worry about the price later The reason I was willing to make such an open ended commitment was the stunning quality of original shipment It was a rich sweet full bodied low acid coffee in many ways similar to the Cuba but sweeter You can imagine my surprise when my green supplier told me that some Haiti coffee had arrived with my new pallet of Cuba Fortunately the quality appears to have held up in the intervening years So this month s special coffee will be Haiti Grand Cru de Beaumont 45 00 kg It starts off with the sweetest aroma I have ever found reminiscent of treacle or golden syrup The front palate taste is lively and complex blending into a full smooth body then finishing with an intense chocolate aftertaste and that s just in the syphon It s a killer single origin espresso Quantity limit will initially be 1 00kg per order as I doubt we will see any more for many years to come Another old favourite of more recent vintage has also joined our

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/february2010.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Coffeegeek there were no community Web sites dedicated to coffee and espresso nor any coffee related forums This is somewhat untrue as there were quite a few websites and forums just none created by a professional web developer like Mark It does illustrate a trend I ve noticed in many of the online forums I read where fact and fiction are becoming somewhat intermingled The ratio of fiction Noise to fact Signal is becoming quite high If a particular Expert states that machine A is better than machine B then what is basically an opinion tends to get passed on as fact as it gets taken up and repeated from site to site and post to post The same thing happens in reverse where a self proclaimed expert will dismiss a machine or technique based on a single bad experience Just as bad are the ignorant amateurs giving advice based on thought experiments and analogies When there were only a couple of hundred web savvy coffee people in the world good advice tended to predominate These days with tens of thousands of people involved some of the advice scares me Knowledgeable amateurs however have probably been responsible for most of the advances in roasting and brewing in the last 10 years or so PID brewing and roasting temperature control computerised roasting profiles variable pressure espresso brewing high end specialty coffee home roasting and roasters to match designer tampers all spring directly from the amateur coffee forums Most of these people are still posting at Home Barista com where the S N ratio is quite good I suppose the point I m trying to make is that if you re looking for online reviews or advice it s always wise to try to track down the original source This was made

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/march2010.html (2015-11-27)
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  • prices won t be affected 5 There will be no monthly special for this month or for May for obvious reasons I will try and hack out a May Newsletter during the long flights probably a recap of the SCAA conference and my visit to Lelit but no guarantees Now that s out of the way on to the most requested topic Espresso Tamping Customers are always asking about tamper sizes tamp pressures tamper shapes etc and tamping technique seems to be important in the World Barista Championships Funnily enough in Italy the most experienced baristas barely bother simply using the plastic protrusion on the front of the grinder Watching them might lead you to believe that tamping isn t all that important and you d be right Most of the original emphasis on tamping comes from David Schomer of Espresso Vivace in Seattle USA who wrote a couple of books on espresso in the late 1990 s These books are the origin of the much quoted 30lb tamp pressure Then in 2006 another American Michael Teahan of Espresso Part Source gave a presentation at SCAA Charlotte one of the reasons I attend these things Among other gems he demonstrated that varying tamp pressure from zero to 300lbs made absolutely no difference to the quality of the shot The really important factors are coffee dose distribution and levelling And getting a level tamp at any pressure is harder than you d think So these days when people complain they are getting poor shots and blaming their tamp I tell them Grind finer dose accurately tamp lightly and evenly which seems to work in most cases The next most requested topic is changing the group gasket on the Salda Quaha Imat Nemox Lelit machines It s important to start with the

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/april2010.html (2015-11-27)
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  • allowed us to escape to Europe via Chicago and Madrid to ultimately end up in Venice just a 90 minute train ride away from the Lelit factory in Brescia This newsletter has been assembled on the long plane ride home so it might be just a bit rough around the edges but below is a photo essay on the 2010 Anaheim SCAA conference Alan Where to begin To start with it s difficult to appreciate the sheer size of the show just from photos but it s BIG Just the space set aside for the US Barista Championship is huge and there s a free espresso bar out of shot Here a couple of weary Guatemalans in National dress take a short break from their booth A quick snap of the Bodum stand They seem to have moved away from the electronic brewers There were the usual clutch of commercial roasters on display this one from Portugal and looking a lot like a Probat I m not real certian that these Taiwanese guys with a Locomotive Roaster were serious though Commercial Superautos this one from WMF were prominent Most of the Rancilio display was the Egro Superauto machines This flash

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/may2010.html (2015-11-27)
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    you would find multi group espresso machines almost everywhere you could stop for a coffee manned by skilled baristas Train and bus stations highway service centres tourist drop off points airports etc Most hotels would also have a lobby bar with an espresso machine and accompanying barista on call A lot of these espresso stations have been replaced with superautomatic or pod machines accompanied by automatic milk frothing equipment and run by what I would describe as unskilled personnel This trend has occurred in parallel with a surprising lack of innovation from the traditional espresso machine manufacturers at least so far as conventional espresso machines are concerned Most of the new research and development effort seems to be concentrated on superautomatics and pod machines True innovation seems to be coming mostly from the USA I m quite sure I don t have a clue about all the market forces driving these developments but I can think of a couple right away The first is the difficulty in finding young people willing to make a career of being a barista Young Italians are as integrated into the global economy as anyone else and aren t inclined to spend several years training with a senior barista in the nuances of espresso to end up in a relatively low status job The second reason is pure economics The price of a stand up espresso at a bar or café in Italy appears to have been fixed at less than 1 Euro for at least the last 8 years or longer During this time all of the costs of making an espresso have risen considerably Italy is a mature espresso market with little chance of major sales growth and the combination of fixed selling price fixed sales volume and increasing costs leads inevitably to

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/june2010.html (2015-11-27)
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  • Newsletter
    cup In fact after our first year of operation we had the widest range of single origin coffees available in Australia Then as now there was only a single criterion for adding a coffee to the range it had to pass my personal taste test When we opened I had already been cupping coffees for a year graduating from wine tasting and in the intervening years I ve tasted thousands of coffees However in all those years I ve only offered less than 50 of the coffees including our regular range to customers which should tell you something about how much really first class coffee there is available As far as the first class coffees go we were first with a lot of those as well If you think about some of the really spectacular beans we ve offered over the years such as Haiti Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Dominican Republic Brazil COE Yemen Mokha Ismaili Monsooned Malabar Café de Cuba Kenya EAFCA Rwanda Cyangugu Costa Rica Tarrazu Costa Rica Tarrazu Miel New Guinea Siherini AX Sulawesi Toraja well we were the first to offer them in Australia and in a couple of cases the first in the world These days there s a lot more competition not so much to sell spectacular coffees as to get hold of them in the first place The internet has made the world a much smaller place in terms of communication but unfortunately it hasn t done anything for shipping distances It s still easier for roasters in Europe and the USA to get hold of the premier coffees and now they know both that they exist and that there is a market for them Thanks to the rise of the online coffee forums that market has grown in both size and sophistication And that

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/july2010.html (2015-11-27)
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  • part that is now called Yemen This is where the name Arabica comes from and the varietal s is now called Typica Typica cultivation spread to India then Java until eventually a single plant was shipped to the island in the Indian Ocean now called Reunion where it flourished and mutated Back then the island was called the Ile Bourbon after the Bourbon royalty of France This single plant and its millions of mutant offspring became the Bourbon cultivar When it was transplanted to Brazil and then to most other Latin American countries it also became the world s most prolific Arabica varietal in terms of the tonnage produced from it In very very general taste terms Typicas tend more towards fruit and chocolate flavours and flowery aromas while Bourbons emphasize sweetness and clean acidity with pure Coffee aroma Of course there are a zillion combinations and mutations of these characteristics as well as deliberate crosses created by farmers and geneticists Maragogype for instance is a spontaneous Typica mutation The rich blackcurrant flavour of good Kenyan coffee is due to a variant of the original Bourbon strain From the point of view of 99 of the world s coffee farmers they don t care how it tastes All they want is a varietal with the maximum yield and resistance to disease and insects This is one reason that various hybrids that all taste more or less the same have taken over most Central American coffee farms They produce pleasant if unexciting coffees suitable for mass market tastes Catui Central America and Ruiri East Africa are a couple of hybrids that come to mind One of my main beefs with the Fair Trade system is that it subsidizes exactly this sort of thing emphasising quantity with no regard for quality My

    Original URL path: http://www.coffeeco.com.au/newsletter/august2010.html (2015-11-27)
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