Mecca Espresso 67 King St Sydney12/06/2007
It had to happen eventually, so it might as well be now. As I am so behind in my blog about Mexico I have decided to jump to presant day as believe it or not I am still active in this community…
I finally got to go to Mecca Espresso which Klaus Thomsen had been telling me about for ages, saying that they are doing the best job in Sydney by far. I went in there a couple of days ago to just say hello to owner Paul whom I’d met at the SCAA meeting in Long Beach. It was good to catch up and I was glad that Paul took the time out to sit at one of the bars to talk to me. Paul is in the process of changing the way Sydney is going to consume coffee, huge statment I know, but keep an eye on his space, its going to be very exciting! After an espresso that was made by Reuben, Paul invited me to come back on Monday, yesterday to meet Scott Callaghah the current Australian barista champ. The plan was to have a look at the video of his performance and just hang out at Mecca for a few hours. I was really excited to meet him as I had just seen him making coffees on a national morning tv program that morning, doing his bit to promote the industry.
Mecca Espresso is right in the city center and do a roaring trade during business hours, which means they get to shut the place on Sundays, something that would be a treat for sure. They have a three group Mistral, the first one that I have seen up close and personal and a two group Synesso on the back counter. I’m guessing the two machines are split up only because of space, though I am gonna go back when they are busy to see how the place runs, just for interest sake. One thing I did like was the tennis grip on the Reg Barber, it felt so supple! Mecca also uses two Robors and a La Marzocco swift and have a small food option. As with most cafes in Sydney they have quite a large area outside to sit and just people watch. The espresso that Rueben made me was clean, low in acidity and had a smoky finish to it that had a long lingering aftertaste.
As it was the long weekend I decided to go home to Orane and show Julia McFadden around my neck of the woods. Julia is a kiwi barista that was part of the Irish barista team, for the European Team Coffee Challange, Dublin 10/06. Actuall go see www.theflyingthud.wordpress.com for a cool promo video on it, it was such a great event. She had not been to the outback yet and was very excited to be greated by a huge Kangaroo in our front yard when we pulled in at 6.30pm on Firday night. So after the relaxing weekend out of Sydney we had to get up too bloody early on Monday to make the three and half hour journey so I could be back at mecca by twelve.
I somehow managed to be only 20 mins late for the little gathering I was a worried that i would of missed the start but as it turned out Alex was still seasoning the two group Synesso. It was only a small group with only Paul, Reuben, Alex, Scott, myself and two other blokes who I forget thier names. Alex played around with the Synesso trying to get it up to temp as the coffees were coming out sour and he was hating it. Actuall it was really good to see how fanaticle he was about it as he would not serve a shot till it was right. So after a while we got our coffees we finally got the dvd on the way.
Alex, Reuben, Paul and Scott
One of the first things that I noticed about the finalist perfomance was that most of them were using tools to level the coffee. I’m not really sure about this I don’t recall seeing anyone in the Irish, UK or even the US barista finals use these. I have to wonder if this is going to affect Scotts score in anyway come Japan. I guess its all down to sensory with the new score sheets so if there is no affect on taste then what differance does it make. I should of asked why they thought it nesasary to use the tools, I’m sure they might say its to improve consistancy, would anyone like to comment? Call me old fasion, but I like the conection between barista and coffee when you get in there with your hands to level. I know that Scott makes and sells these so I will have to have a play with them and hopfully Scott himself to sell me on them.
Anyway his performance looked great on dvd, though it was spliced and made a lot shorter, I would like to see his whole performance from prep time right through to performance before I would offer any sugestions. I hear he is going to do a few run throughs with judges over the coming weeks, hopefully I can be a part of that. Even though I have helped to train the Irish and Mexican barista champions I would really love to see Australia bring back the tittle. Sorry James too, your a good kid and all, but you know what the Aussie and English rilvary is like, any chance we can beat the pomes we’ll take!!!
As someone a lot smarter then me once said…
The Americans say, God bless America, the Kiwis say, God defend New Zealand, the English say, God save the queen and the Aussie’s say, thank Christ for Australia!