beans equipment order espresso links email newsletter articles about

July 2010 Newsletter

Coffee For Connoisseurs Silver Anniversary

Twenty-five years in business is a significant milestone, and
this month that's what we've accomplished.  We opened our first
store in Bay St. Brighton in July 1985 and we have been in
continuously in business ever since.

On the first day we opened we offered something which was unique
in Melbourne at the time, a selection of single origin coffees
available by the cup, syphon brewed in front of the customer.

We also offered those same coffees as whole beans or ground,
which is of course the business we're actually in today. We
didn't realise it at the time, but we really were opening
Australia's first Syphon Bar, as well as the first place you
could try a selection of single origin coffees by the cup. In
fact, after our first year of operation, we had the widest range
of single origin coffees available in Australia.

Then, as now, there was only a single criterion for adding a
coffee to the range; it had to pass my personal taste test. When
we opened I had already been cupping coffees for a year
(graduating from wine tasting) and in the intervening years I've
tasted thousands of coffees. However, in all those years I've
only offered less than 50 of the coffees (including our regular
range) to customers, which should tell you something about how
much really first class coffee there is available.

As far as the first class coffees go, we were first with a lot of
those as well. If you think about some of the really spectacular
beans we've offered over the years, such as:

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
Dominican Republic
Brazil COE
Yemen Mokha Ismaili
Monsooned Malabar
Café de Cuba
Rwanda Cyangugu
Costa Rica Tarrazu
Costa Rica Tarrazu Miel
New Guinea Siherini AX
Sulawesi Toraja,

well, we were the first to offer them in Australia, and in a
couple of cases the first in the world.

These days there's a lot more competition, not so much to sell
spectacular coffees as to get hold of them in the first place!
The internet has made the world a much smaller place in terms of
communication, but unfortunately it hasn't done anything for
shipping distances. It's still easier for roasters in Europe and
the USA to get hold of the premier coffees, and now they know
both that they exist and that there is a market for them.

Thanks to the rise of the online coffee forums that market has
grown in both size and sophistication. And that's another first,
too ... I was the first Australian member of and
Coffeegeek back when the internet was a novelty rather than a
human right.

Fortunately our Silver Anniversary special has only had to travel
a couple of thousand kilometres away from where it was grown.

Australian Basalt Blue

Unlike most local coffees it has more flavour than the bag it's
packed in. Virtually zero acidity but a full creamy body and an
intense malty taste. Single malt scotch lovers will recognise
"Old Bushmills" in the sweetness and malt aftertaste. It's a
great straight espresso but loses a lot of character with too
much milk.

Finally our profound thanks to our customers, some of whom have
been with us since we opened. Without your continuing support we
wouldn't be here.