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June 2009 Newsletter

Stocktake Sales seem to be all the rage right now so it looks
like a good time for me to hold one too. I've just received a new
shipment of the Lelit Combi machines and still have half-a-dozen
of the previous shipment in stock. Clearing them out before I
have to count them seems like a good idea, so:

WHILE STOCKS LAST!
LELIT COMBI
STOCKTAKE SALE
$748.00 inc GST
SAVE 10%!

Note that there are no differences between the new and old
shipments, except in how much they cost me.

During the month I received an invitation to a book launch, "The
Home Coffee Machine Review" by Sean Edwards. A week or so later I
received a copy of the book itself in the mail. Since this is the
sort of thing that is right up my alley, I thought I'd have a
good look at the book and then rock up to the launch to discuss
domestic machine foibles.

First to the author. Sean Edwards is the managing director of
Kiss Marketing, the editor of Café-Biz magazine, promoter of a
number of coffee events and barista schools. See

http://www.cafebiz.net/

Then the book.
 "The HOME coffee machine review (The complete guide to perfect
home espresso)", RRP A$24.00 is presented in a magazine style
format with a glossy laminated cover. The first two-thirds of
this book is full of interesting coffee information, starting out
with superb photos of coffee growing and processing operations.

The book then goes on through coffee growing areas, cupping
(complete with a double page spread of the SCAA Flavour Wheels),
roasting, storage, grinding etc., then on to espresso brewing.
This is followed by pages on steaming, milk texturing and an
extensive latte art section. Then comes a short section on
espresso machine internals, all great stuff, then the reviews.

Which, for me, is where the whole thing falls apart. There simply
aren't any "home espresso machine reviews", at least not in the
sense of what I understand a review to be. What there is, is a
catalogue of 18 machine data sheets, with for instance 5 E-61
group machines "reviewed" with nary a comparison among 'em. Mixed
in with superautos, Sunbeams, Brevilles, Nespressos, and Silvia.

All Features and no Faults, which I suppose is to be expected
from a marketing guru but is profoundly disappointing in terms of
what could have been accomplished. And if anyone thinks I'm being
too critical, I'd love to do "REAL" reviews, but machine
suppliers are definitely not falling over themselves to send me
machines for testing. As it was, I decided not to go to the book
launch, in case I got too forceful in expressing my views. Two
thirds of the book is fantastic, but a "Home Coffee Machine
Review" it is NOT.

This month's special is an Island coffee, with the typical island
coffee attributes expected from Cuban, Kona and Jamaican coffee.
Mild, sweet, buttery body and muted acidity with a distinctive
nutty overtone, in this case pecan. Very, very similar to the
better grade Hawaiian Kona coffees.

Dominican Barahona
$44.00/kg

It also ticks all the feelgood boxes, fair trade, organic, etc. I
have some more really "Special" specials in the works for the
next couple of months as well, shipping permitting, to warm
customer's hearts during the colder weather.

Until next month

Alan