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April 2011 Newsletter

This month's newsletter is a collection of odds and sods with no
overall theme. First, travel. We will be away from the 6th of
April to the 22nd of April, but since the 22nd is Good Friday we
will in fact be closed over Easter until the 27th of April. 
During my absence the Equipment Order Page will show all items
"Out Of Stock", in fact we have stock of everything but I won't
be around to test and ship it.

Coffee orders will continue to be processed as normal, except
that the delay between ordering and shipping may slip by one
working day, depending on the volume of orders. I've arranged the
roasting and my packing guy will continue to do his current
excellent job, but there's only one of him! I do expect him to be
a bit busier than normal, though, because this month's special
coffee is

Yemen Mokha Ismaili  $60.00/kg

As I said in December, this is not a coffee for the casual
drinker. It has a penetrating, cocoa-like aroma and complex
earthy flavour with distinctive unsweetened cocoa/coffee tastes.
There is little in the way of sweetness or acidity but swirling
it in the mouth brings a continuous perception of differing
flavours. It probably makes one of the best, most complex single
origin espressos on earth.

Note that while it is not certified organic, it is organically
grown and processed, and always has been. It will never be a
"Fair Trade" coffee because it always sells at a huge premium to
the base Fairtrade price.

Given the current political turmoil in Yemen it may be a long
time before we see any more of this. I'm supposed to be getting
some later this year (it's about a 6 month lead time, so prior to
the current troubles) but I'm not by any means sure of it.

Last month I had a few interesting problems from customers. A
couple of them related to wearing out rubbery bits on espresso
machines, and I had to say, "Sorry, but this is inevitable." No
matter how resistant the rubber used in o-rings and gaskets is,
the heat and moisture involved in the process eventually wears
them down.

Water starts leaking around the portafilter during brewing, steam
wands start to drip, internal pipes leak at the joints. All this
is quite familiar to commercial machine technicians, as fixing it
represents at least half of their income. On the domestic side I
keep referring people to my article so they can save
money and DIY.

Several other problems related to delivery times in far-flung
parts of Australia. I didn't know it at the time, but rail
freight to W.A. was completely cut off for a couple of weeks due
to flooding, as were road shipments to the Kimberleys and far
north Queensland. Both couriers and Australia Post consider
weather related delays as "Force Majeure" incidents, which
translated means "Not our fault" and "No, we don't have to advise

Finally, some server updating at my website host has meant that
I've had to rebuild my email mailing list from backups. For those
of you receiving the newsletter by email, if you are once again
on the list after requesting to be removed, just scroll to the
bottom of the page and click on the link.

This should automatically remove your email address from the
list. Note that email addresses and old newsletters are the only
data kept on this server.

Drive carefully and keep safe over Easter,