Archive for August, 2007

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You have to check this out!

30/08/2007

Hey all,

 You have to have a look at this its fantastic and should be something that is done in every country, plus the add for it has happened to all of us!

 http://www.thecoffeeguide.com.au/firstdate/

 Well since I am in planning for the States and I don’t know till the day of the interview with the American embassy whether or not I will be getting a visa. I have decided to only work two days a week so I can spend time with my family and friends till I know. So the Alex and Paul from Mecca espresso on King street Sydney have thrown me a safety line and given me part time work. I will be working on Saturdays from 6am till 5pm so come on in and say hello!

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Better Latte then never!

27/08/2007

Well things have been really quite of late down under so I can finally catch up on some of the news and goss for the last few weeks since my last post on the Aroma coffee festival.

First of all I will have to say that I am no longer working at Campos, though its a great cafe unfortunately we could not see eye to eye on a few issues and there was no other option but leave. I wish Will and boys all the best and I just have to say one thing, look outside of the bar you work in as there is a huge coffee world out there, good luck! 

A few weeks ago I got the chance to catch up with David Cooper when he came to visit after the WBC. He came to Campos cafe were I was working at the time to have a coffee and a catch up. As usual though we were just way too busy to really get the chance to talk to him whilst working. Thank fully we got the chance to go out and have dinner with him that night. 

Cooper and I behind the bar at Campos. Photo courtesy of Emily Oak and Barista Mag blog 

 Dinner was at Wagamamas in Darling harbour which was great as I got the chance to not only catch up with David but also Rob Forsyth, Jack Hanna and Emily Oak to name just a few.

Interestingly I got to meet Ivan Andrade who has just set up a web site for Baristas and more importantly were cafe owners can go and find skilled Baristas. Please have a look at his cool website, http://baristaandsons.com.au/

Rob Forsyth chair of AASCA Ivan and Emily

After dinner we took off to the bar down stairs were Scott Callaghan joined us for a few beers to many, of course the talk was all coffee, coffee, coffee! Its really great to be able to get around like minded people and just chat about the industry, as you all know its really hard to get that out of people who don’t understand what we do.

Coops and Scott

 Jack Hanna is so cool!

The Coopers

On other news now that I have not really been talking about it that much and now that the Barista mag article I wrote is out I am in the process of trying to get my visa sorted for the States. I will be working for Intelligentsia but in what capacity I am not really sure just yet. There has been a lot of movement in the ranks over there so I guess i will just have to sit tight and wait. The one annoying thing is that both myself and intelli have committed time and money to getting me over there but it comes down to the interview i have with the American Embassy. So if the guy is in a good or ba mood it could very well affect the decision that is made. I guess I will just have to sit it out and wait like I have been since December 06… Wish me luck!

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Aroma Coffee Festival 22/7/07

06/08/2007

 Aroma Coffee Festival 22/7/07

This is the second Aroma that i have attended and instead of slaving over an espresso machine all day pumping out coffee, I had the pleasure of being the head judge at Sydney’s latte art comp.  For those who don’t know the festival, its bloody huge and brings in, up to and often over 90 thousand visitors for the day! I am thinking that it could, very well, be the largest outdoor coffee festival in the world, but I can’t back that up. Its held at the Rocks and over looks the Harbour Bridge and Sydney’s Opera house, so as far as settings go it has to be amongst the best in the world, am I being too patriotic?

IMG_7706[1]Early morning at the Rocks

Sydney Opera House

Aroma coffee fest in full swing!3pm full swing

Pack streets at around 3ish that dayDitto

I was lined up to be head judge in the morning and in the afternoon Jack Hanna, current world latte art champ, was to take over the duties and finish the day. The day was interesting and it is at least funny to see that the same problems that arise on the day seem to happen in one way or another in Ireland, UK and the States, just part of the game I guess.

The stage whilst setting up the stage whilst setting up

The audiance at the latte art comparound 1pm

Out of all the guys that I judged Reuben of Mecca on King street was the most consistent and technically correct. He managed to only be 8 seconds over the hard to reach 8 minuet time slot, something which no one else that morning seemed able to do! I was pretty unimpressed with most other contestants as they seem to have put little to no effort into the comp, and it seemed like a bit of an after thought. I guess its still in its infancy so everyone is there to learn, including myself.

During this Jack Hanna got up to do a show for everyone, which was fantastic the guy is quite a showman and is very confidant in front of the crowd. Not sure how many coffees he made but he managed to inspire Ben D’Ememd, Campos head barista to try some new stuff in Campos weekly Latte art SMACK DOWN!

World Latte art champ Jack HannaJack Hanna

 I had been waiting all day in anticipation for Scott’s full dress performance in front of the crowd and what would turn out to be punter judges! Things got of to a bad start when Scott burnt a whole in the plastic cover on the Deli- Corte by the bottom of his hot pan. Calmly Scott announced that the GB5 has a steel plate top and this would not happen in  Japan, as some help ran off to get his other pan. All in all his performance was really good he was calm and talking a lot.  I took some notes with the view of sharing some thoughts but our paths never really crossed, and from the vantage point that I had, they might not of been spot on. Anyway who the hell am I to offer advice when i was not asked?!

Just about to start.... Or had he just finished?Scott

They got punters up to judge for himPunter Judges

I was told that I was rostered on the Champions Bar to pull some shots but after I had finished judging I looked at the roster, my name was not put on… Kind of good actually as I have not actually won anything other a small latte art comp in Glasgow, were I won a 5 day trip to Milan Italy in October. Oh and I did represent Ireland in the Ireland V UK Team barista challange 2005 with Stephen Morrissey (IRE) and Arther Wynn (AUS). I was starving and had a thirst so at about 3pm I took off to have some beers at the opera house bar and catch up with some old friends.

 Ben on the right from WAChampions bar

Paul Bassit Paul Bassit at the sunbeam stand

Sunbeam stand complete with thier own naked portifilters

Naked portifilter video Slow motion footage of a naked portifilter mid pour

The top three latte art winners were as follows

1. Tristan Creswick (Australian Beverage Corporation)
2. Reuben Mardan (Mecca)
3. Habib Maarbani (?) (I should really find out where he works)

So congrats to all three!

What a view!Out doors in winter, Ireland eat your heart out!

Booze hound, I blam Ireland for this behaviorJulia and I

Kate and Nick.Kate and Nick (Nick Lamshed was my former drummer in my old band, Doubled)

 The next day was spent doing a cafe tour with WA Barista champ Nolan, I picked him up from out the front of Single Origin were I had the best coffee to date there. We then went to see Allpress and have some coffees on the clover that they have operating there. James the head barista took time out to talk to us, so as usual it was a pleasure to be there. After a quick visit to Campos roastery we then went to have a coffee at mecca where Mars made one of the nicest espressos I have had there as well! It really was a day of great coffee as all the places we went to, did not pull a single bad shot, how good is that!

Ernest our roasterErnest making love to the roaster at Campos

Campos coffeeCampos coffee

MeccaLater at Mecca with Nolan

Nolan waiting for his coffeeNolan WA barista champ

Piccolo latteDouble ristretto piccolo soy latte (Nolan makes the barista work for his money, this one is by Mars)

My flat white by MarsFlat white by Mars at Mecca

Nolan has some big plans for next years comp and even bigger plans for Melbourne, though I am not really sure that I should announce on them.

 I’ll end on this flat white that I got a Mecca about a week latter by either Alex or Reuben of Mecca.

On another day at mecca by Reuben or Alex, not sure...

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Just a quick shout out!

03/08/2007

I thought that I would quickly congratulate James on his win it could not have happened to a nicer bloke. I really believe that the coffee industry has got a fantastic spokes person for the next 12 months! Its going to be an exciting year for us all!

Good job old boy!

Good job old boy!

 I have been really busy with work and rehearsing for a gig that I did last night (did I mention I am a muso? got to www.myspace.com/deatonsmusic to hear some tunes) so I will play catch up again this weekend and post on the Aroma Coffee Festival in Sydney.

Till then!