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July 2005 Newsletter

The idea behind the SCAA sponsored "Cup of Excellence" programme   and the subsequent auctions has been slowly spreading throughout the specialty coffee world.

In March 2005 the East African Fine Coffees Association had its first "Taste of Harvest"
competition. While the coffees were judged by country (a
necessity given the different varietals and harvesting methods)
the three top scoring coffees in the competition were from, in
order, Ethiopia, Ethiopia and Kenya. The winning Kenyan coffee is
from the Githiru Cooperative in central Kenya.

The winner!

The Happy Growers

This particular coffee is what I would call an "Exemplar" coffee;
it embodies all the flavour nuances that define its origin. The
aroma is sweet, not so much blackcurrant as black cherry. In the
cup the coffee has significant body, with deep toned spicy
flavours and a clean, acid finish. The simplest description I
could think of would be "winey" ...merlot, to be more precise.

Kenya Githiru Co-op

Note that I would NOT recommend this coffee as a single origin
straight espresso, as the acidity would be overpowering. It is
much more suited to brewing by plunger, filter or vac pot. This
is probably just as well, as I only have a single 60kg bag to

I didn't get around to doing a mid month special offer newsletter
last month, so I still have a couple of machine bargains to sell.
First, there is the Anthracite laScala Butterfly used in my photo
essay at
. It
has a couple of minor scratches on the outer case, and is for
sale at $1700.00 inc. GST, so you can save almost $300.00 off the
full price.

The other bargain is an Imat Mokita Combi with again a few minor
scratches, $650.00 inc. GST. Both machines come with a full 12
months warranty.

The new shipments from Rancilio and laScala have arrived, so I'm
back up to full stocks, including the Stainless steel Butterflys.
laScala seems to have a program of continuous improvement with
these machines, and the latest ones come with swivelling steam
and hot water arms and different knobs. The portafilters have
also been changed to the "ergonomic" angled handle style.

The improved laScala Butterfly

Several customers have let me know that there have been Rancilio
Silvias and Imat Mokita Combis for sale on Ebay Australia. I have
no problem with this, other than that the person involved is
pinching copyright graphics from my website (and may be about to
find out the hard way that the courts are getting quite tough on
this sort of thing.)

What I have run into is a "commercial dilemma", in that people
who have purchased on Ebay are then getting in touch with me for
advice on how to get the best out of their machines. Of course,
this does mean that they may become coffee customers at some
future time, but so far, none have.I don't make that much money
per machine, and I like to think
that I earn what I do make by testing each machine prior to shipment,
and by the quality of the backup service. Extending
that service to people who haven't paid for it may be a nice
gesture, but it doesn't pay any bills. I'd be interested in my
customers' opinions on the subject.

Finally, the improvements to the secure order system should be
ready by the end of August this year. This doesn't mean that you
won't be able to place orders by phone or email, but orders not
placed via the website may suffer delays in billing, since I'll
be batching them up and doing them by hand as time permits.