beans equipment order espresso links email newsletter articles about

December 2008 Newsletter

There was no November newsletter because ALL the news during
October and November was bad.  Every supplier I have (including
Australia Post and my Couriers) raised their prices.
Green coffee, roasting costs, coffee bags, transport, spare
parts, the lot. All caught up in the financial crisis and the
huge fall in the Aussie dollar.

The news only got worse from there, with several equipment and
spares orders due to arrive before December being delayed.
Apparently the sea freight industry between Italy and Australia
has major problems, including finance, insurance cover and Somali

Espresso machine prices have been hit even harder. For the last 4
or 5 years I've been buying machines from Italy in Euros, with
ten Aussie dollars buying about 6 Euros. Right now 10 Aussie
dollars will only buy 5 Euros, which means that all Italian
products have just gone up 161/2 %! The only good news I can
offer is that we will hold prices for the rest of this year,
short as that is.

Now for the important stuff:
Our last shipping day will be


We will ship any orders placed before 8.00 a.m. that day. As
usual, we will be running roasted coffee stocks down to zero, so
many coffees may be unavailable by then.

We will resume shipping on


Every now and then I try to get a spectacular coffee in ahead of
Thompson Owen, of Sweetmaria's in California. Sometimes I
succeed, and sometimes (as with this month) it's a dead heat. You
can see Tom's take on this coffee at
My own assessment is:


Sulawesi Toraja Sapan-Minanga

A rich, full bodied, mouth-filling coffee with spicy overtones
and a dark, smooth molasses sweet finish.

In the last couple of months we have seen a lot of evidence that
our customers really rely on the fast turn around times we
normally achieve with coffee orders. So much so that we got a
swag of complaints about delayed or missing deliveries in the
first week of November, mostly from NSW customers.
All of who had forgotten about the Race That Stops a Nation on
the first Tuesday in November. Cup Day is a public holiday in

Oh well, it was fun explaining why we didn't pack and ship any
coffee on the Tuesday.
What isn't as much fun are the many delays that will confront us
between now and Christmas. Both our orders and the delivery
services are running at two to three times normal volume, which
means it may take us an extra day to pack your order ... and
another extra day to deliver it. All we can do is ask you for
your patience, and your understanding that we will ship and
deliver your order as soon as possible.

Finally, I would like to express our sincere thanks for your
support over the last year, and for our longest-suffering
customers, your support over the last 22 years. (I was going to
say "oldest" customers, but these days very few are older than

A Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year to you all, and
may 2009 bring you only happiness and prosperity.