January-February 2020 Newsletter
Good news for all those people who've been wondering where their
next (coffee) fix is coming from. While I will still be retiring as
of 30th June, Coffee for Connoisseurs will continue on for the
foreseeable future, under new ownership. There will be more about
this in the next newsletter, by which time we hope to have all the
annoying accountant and lawyer details settled.
There will of course be changes to follow, among them a site
redesign and a reworking of the order pages to bring them up to date
for both security and functionality. One change which is already in
effect is an alteration to our postage rates, and (for Melbourne
customers) the removal of the local courier option.
These changes are not caused by the new ownership, but by external
forces. Our local courier company has been taken over by a worldwide
firm, and the prepaid satchel service we've used for the last 20
years has been discontinued.
On the upside, Australia Post has changed the weight limits on their
parcel post and express post satchels to 5kg, regardless of the
satchel size. Our limits are set by how much coffee we can actually
fit inside a satchel. For the "small" satchels, this is 1000g. The
larger satchels can fit 2500g. The appropriate changes have been
made to the order pages, and those customers who regularly order in
500g or 1kg amounts will see their postage costs reduced. For
customers used to the courier service, we'll be using up our stock
of prepaid satchels but they'll probably be gone by the end of the
Another forced change is our Certified Organic bean offering.
Organic coffees are as ephemeral as some of our microlot special
coffees. As growing conditions, weather, pest and disease problems
vary from year to year, so do the available organic beans. Coffee
farming is such a chancy endeavour that most farmers will choose
having a harvestable crop over maintaining organic certification, so
an organic coffee available this year may very well be gone next
The special for this month replaces the Organic Honduras Recinos,
Organic Ethiopian Sidamo
Soft peach and apple acidity in the front palate with an intense
pure coffee taste throughout and a bittersweet finish.
Finally, there's been a fair bit of publicity about a group of
Australian scientists and baristas who claim to have worked out the
recipe for the "perfect" espresso. And, at the same time, the lowest
cost (for the brewer) espresso, in terms of time and raw materials.
Having read the study I have some serious doubts about its
applicability to real life, but that's probably just me.
I am always wary of any claims of perfection when they relate to the
way things taste, because I'm well aware of the way people's tastes
differ. I've cupped thousands of coffees over the last 30-plus years
and found probably 15 or so that rated a "Wow! Perfect!" and every
single one of them tasted different.
At the same time at least one of my fellow cuppers completely
disagreed with my assessment at the time, which just goes to show
that taste is a very individual thing. I'll be discussing a lot more
about the espresso study, the parameters involved and the history of
espresso in the April/May newsletter.
Until next time