News

19 January, 2014

As any foodie who has dined at a good restaurant in Paris, visited one of the many sidewalk cafés or taken their morning caffeine in a small picturesque village knows, coffee in France is lagging behind that in most other European countries.  But I am pleased to report that this is now changing – in Paris, at least.

One has to wonder why the coffee is so bad when the food is always so good. I haven’t unearthed any plausible reasons why the French have continued to accept such nasty tasting coffee for so long, but a little research reveals a few interesting things.

Firstly, Napoleon Bonaparte, who ruled France for a while in the early 19th century, banned all imports in an historic event known as the Napoleonic Blockade. So with no coffee allowed in, the French resorted to chicory instead. Chicory is far more bitter than coffee and bears little resemblance to it taste wise. Regardless, it seems that the taste for chicory took on and in some areas of northern France it is still added

19 January, 2014

How fortunate we were that this year, World of Coffee was in Nice in the south of France. What a wonderful event it was – from the coffee folk we met to the food we ate.

Our stand attracted the usual stream of international visitors with Training Packs selling now in South America, confirming our decision to do a Spanish translation some time in the future.  We met Marta, a lively girl from Guatemala, who invited us to her coffee tasting and to visit her mother’s coffee plantation. We tasted her coffees (which were exceptional) and promised to visit her mother. The time was short, but we cemented one of those friendships you know you will have forever, despite the distance.  You will find her by Googling ‘Coffee Bird from Guatemala’. She has collected some fine coffees from all over Guatemala and I recommend you try them yourself.

Four championship events took place in association with the trade show, with dozens of countries putting forward their national champions to compete

01 April, 2013

The second edition BARISTA BIBLE has arrived!

This exciting second edition of the globally recognised Barista Bible is the culmination of research that began four years ago – as soon as the first edition appeared on the market. We do understand that things change very quickly in the coffee world!

Having worked alongside some of the best baristas and coffee experts, attended numerous trade shows and events, read an enormous number of trade publications, listened to lots of lectures and tuned into countless forums, we have gathered a wealth of new information.

The process of refining and revamping the old Barista Bible was quite different from writing it the first time around.  It was a most rewarding process to discard the old and outdated and replace it with new. We were amazed at the support of so many generous coffee people from around the world who showed us around and shared their ideas, giving the Barista Bible its new international focus. Whenever I wanted a photo or an

17 August, 2012

A modern coffee culture is starting to emerge in Vienna, due in large part, to the efforts of Johanna at the Vienna School of Coffee. Johanna is passionate about specialty coffee and imparting all she knows to those who are keen to learn. With Joanna’s advice and a copy of the Vienna Guide to Coffee, we headed off to find the places that are setting new trends.

Exuding a wholesome approach to coffee and all things fresh, sustainable and fair is Akrap Coffee, where we enjoyed two perfect piccolo lattes. Through their use of quality, fairly traded coffee, the boys at Akrap Coffee say their aim is to change the lives of farmers while brightening up the day for their customers. Take Ubahn 2 (that’s the Vienna underground train) to find Akrap on the corner of Theobaldgasse and Königsklostergasse in the Museumsquartier.

POC, which cleverly stands for ‘people on caffeine’, is where latte art and flat whites were introduced to Vienna. On the day we were there, straight after the World of Coffee

10 August, 2012

Of the traditional coffee houses there were a few standouts. The ‘grand dame’ would have to be Café Central, breathtaking with its marble columns, vaulted ceiling and chandeliers – and Strauss music amplifying the atmosphere. The piano player greeted us with a nod and ‘herr ober,’ the formally clad waiter– whizzed us to a table for two, whisked menus in front of us while whipping large, starched napkins onto our laps – all before we could draw a second breath. This art of ‘meeting and greeting’ had obviously been refined over decades and was a delight to experience. We enjoyed our schnitzel with white asparagus and potatoes along with a fine glass of local wine. And for dessert? Apfel Strudel (of course!) – with lashings of heavy cream.

No research of Viennese coffee houses would be complete without a visit to Café Sacher where there are tables and tables of well-dressed ladies and gents and more cakes than you could ever possibly imagine. It’s certainly touristy, with the merchandising and

31 July, 2012

We were in Vienna first of all to exhibit the Perfect Espresso books and training system at the World of Coffee event that hosted four of the World Coffee Championships. These events and winners were as follows:

World Barista Championship Raul Rodas (Guatemala)

World Cup Tasters Championship Cory Andreen (Germany)

World Brewers Championship Matt Perger (Australia)

World Cezve/Ibrik Championship Zoltan Kis (Hungary)

As well as the other exhibitors from Australia (Cafetto, Natvia and Da Vinci Gourmet Syrups) and all the other Australian supporters, Paul and I were there waving the flag for Craig Simon (from Veneziano Coffee) the Australian Barista Champion, Fred Lullfitz (from Di Bella) the Australian Cup Tasters Champion and Matt Perger (from St Ali) the Australian Brewers Champion. We were particularly proud of Matt Perger, the latest World Champion from Australia, who also came 3rd in last year's World Barista Championship. It’s a case of ‘watch this space’ as

30 December, 2011

Imagine 1,206 different coffees to taste – all in 3 days! 

Every year coffee roasters from all over Australia send their best beans to be judged by their peers at a conference and tasting event known as The Golden Bean.  Coffee enthusiasts come to learn about the latest trends and developments from experts in their fields – and between sessions, participate in tasting and judging beverages made from beans entered in the following categories:

Espresso, milk based, Australian grown, filter, organic espresso, single-origin, decaffeinated, syphon, chain/franchise coffee.

Behind the scenes is a team of dedicated baristas, the best from all over the country, who give up their time to pull shots and foam milk all day – on machines that have been pre-calibrated for consistency.  The beverages are presented to the tasters in another room away from the intense and complex aromas that result when dozens of different beans are ground and

04 December, 2011

Queensland’s coffee community gathered in Brisbane at Di Bella Coffee Roastery on the weekend – to see the state’s best baristas compete in an event that will see the winners go on to the Australian finals in May next year. In June, the Australian winners will compete in the World Barista Championships in Vienna.

Four of the six categories in the WBC were represented at the competition and the winners were:

Barista

1st Matt Troughton (Dandelion and Driftwood) 2nd Janelle Kingsley (Dandelion and Driftwood) 3rd Jean-Paul Sutton (Veneziano)

Latte art

1st Scott Luengen (Cup Coffee) 2nd Adrian Zucher (Veneziano) 3rd Sam Liao (Dandelion and Driftwood)

Brewers cup

1st Kelsey Kerr (Dandelion and Driftwood) 2nd Sam Liao (Dandelion and Driftwood) 3rd Peter Wolff (Dandelion and Driftwood)

Cup tasting

1st Fred Lullfitz (Di Bella Coffee) 2nd Daylan Isai (Di Bella Coffee) 3rd Jolie Beckett (Toby’s Estate)

Special congratulations must go

19 October, 2011

The inaugural Become a Barista school competition held in Brisbane recently was a huge success. 

Participants from seven schools performed to an exceptional standard considering their limited experience. Having said that, participants should be inspired by Matt Perger, the current Australian Barista Champion. Matt was 21 and had been making coffee for less than 2 years when he won this prestigious award – and came 3rd in the World Barista Championship final where over 50 countries competed.

Chefs of the Future had asked me to help them organise a competition to complement their cookery competition for high schools students. We hope the barista competition does as well as the cookery competition, which has become an international event, supported by the Culinary Federation of Australia.

We kept the competition format and scoring of the school event as close as possible to that of the World Barista Championships, the international benchmark for barista competitions. 

30 June, 2011

The new World Barista Champion is from El Salvador

The title of World Barista Champion for 2011 goes to Alejandro Mendez from Viva Espresso in El Salvador – significant not only because it is the most prestigious title an individual barista can win but also because it is the first time this title has gone to a producing country.

The competition took place in Bogota Colombia with over 50 nations competing.

Runners up were Pete Licata from Honolulu Coffee Company, USA in second place and Australia’s Matt Perger, from Axil Coffee Roasters in third place – only half a point behind.

SCAE World of Coffee results

While we did not make it to Bogota, Paul and I were among a small number of Australians who travelled to Maastricht to wave the flag for the three Aussie competitors in the SCAE World of Coffee. They all performed superbly to maintain Australia’s reputation as a leader when it comes to coffee skill and knowledge.

Australian Latte Art champion, Kirby Berlin