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February 2015 Newsletter

Theft is such an ugly word, but unfortunately it seems like the only
explanation for the disappearance of a number orders shipped via
Australia Post in January. Even uglier is that it is still
happening. In spite of phone calls and emails to what is laughably
called "Customer Service", we have still yet to receive an answer
for any of the missing parcels, and none of them have turned up.

What we have done, and continue to do, is ship replacement orders to
those customers affected while we wait for some resolution from
Australia Post. This hasn't always helped; at least one of the
recent replacement orders has vanished as well!

You would think that the scanning and tracking facilities would make
this sort of thing impossible, but the parcels are not being scanned
into the system at all. This makes it highly probable that the
thefts are actually occurring just around the corner from us, at the
Port Melbourne Mail Centre. We ship several tubs of parcels to the
Centre every day, so extracting the odd parcel before it is scanned
into the system appears to be the easiest way to do it.

My message to our customers is to email me immediately if you think
your order is late and we'll follow it up within an hour or so. So
far every parcel that shows up on tracking has (eventually) been

Theft in a corporate sense also raised its head in the week after my
January newsletter was published. The people and company behind the
ZPM Nocturne espresso machine Kickstarter went bust. All the people
who had pledged money to the Kickstarter campaign did their dough
cold. Nothing exceptional about that, crowdfunding is a form of
speculation anyway.

Where the theft comes from is that the ZPM company was actually
accepting payment-in-advance orders for the machines and other
goods, separate from the Kickstarter. They failed both to ship any
orders and to supply refunds, so they effectively pinched several
hundred thousand U.S. dollars. The most annoying thing to me is that
most of the money was wasted trying to "reinvent the wheel."

They tried to build their own thermoblock from the ground up,
ignoring the fact that several very competent manufacturers are
already in business, with decades of experience to draw on. Without
boasting I can say that I could build the machine they were aiming
at in less than a year. I know the right suppliers and engineers to
get the job done. So do dozens of other people in the business. What
I couldn't do, and what was probably impossible in the first place,
would be to build it at the price point ZPM specified.

The same could be said for the Arist Superauto machine, the
technology exists to do it but not at the size, shape and price
claimed. If anything is ever shipped (doubtful, but you never know)
it will probably end up looking a lot like the innards of one of the
Kogan super cheap Chinese jobs in a differently shaped body.

Now, on to a much more pleasant topic. Some coffees, including our
usual monthly specials, have complex flavour profiles that provide
an intricate dance of fruit, acidity and body. Not this month's,
which is

Organic FTO Peru Amazonas

The overwhelming characteristic of this coffee is chocolate, smooth,
creamy, almost milk chocolate. Even the aroma reminds me of cocoa.
It's a "box ticker" as well, certified organic and Fair Trade, so
there's something for everyone.

Until next month


Coffee for Connoisseurs is a division of Frew International  Ltd.

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Contact Details:
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email: alanfrew@coffeeco.com.au

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