Thursday, April 12, 2007

Melbourne Coffee Guide

Well I'm pleased to announce that I will be reviewing for Melbourne's version of the Sydney inspired Coffee Guide. I've already submitted 5 reviews - it's been a chance for me to get out and explore some cafes that I hadnt been to before. The Melbourne Coffee Guide is due to be released around September this year with around 150 cafes reviewed. Reviews are anonymous - and there'll be no bribery or favouritism shown (be afraid, the coffee nazi could be lurking!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Western Australia Trip

In the leadup to the Victorian Barista Championship I decided I had better check out the Western Australian Barista Championship having not organised one before. The trip was great, aside from the chance to visit the Margaret River, experience Perth's Coffee Culture and lend a hand at the WABC, I also got to celebrate my Nanas 80th Birthday (Happy Birthday Nana!).

Below is a picture from the Judges Callibration Session that I participated in in the lead up to the Western Australian Barista Championship.

I was pleased to see that Perths coffee culture is developing, I was treated to quite a few great coffees - Velvet, Epic, Tiger Tiger to name a few.

Velvet - Great Piccolo Latte (Acidity of their blend cut nicely through milk)

Epic - Passionate Owner, Great Doppio Ristretto

Tiger Tiger - Got a chic Melbournian feel - Very cool place hidden in a lane way, well made coffee.

I'm planning to head to South Australia toward the end of this month to check out the Final of the Australian Barista Championship and Adelaide's Coffee Scene. Any recommendations?

Victorian Barista Championships

It's a little embarrassing how long it has been since my last post. Cant believe quarter of the year has passed. There is going to be a succession of posts, so much to catch up on.

Well, with a sigh of relief I can say that I held the Victorian Barista Championships. To get it up and running meant some time out of the business, fortunately the effort seemed worthwhile as the feedback has been very positive. I would also like to credit Justin Metcalf (WBC Head Judge) who really spent a lot of time helping me get the championship off the ground (his technical perspective was invaluable also). The event was held at the Beachclub (Waterfront city, Docklands), I was pleased to see a pretty large crowd of 250 or so people entertained by the comical antics of Cam Smith from RRR Radio (as MC for the event), I had also envited Paul Bassett (previous World Barista Champion) and Emily Oak (World Barista Judge) along to judge in the final. Competitiors interacted with the public by making coffees using their competition blends after competing (the caffeine addicts were pleased). Dave Makin retained his crown with his impressive professional performance; from my perspective as Sensory Judge I believe the overall standard of compeition really was very good (most of the finalists have expressed an interest to try again for the Australian Final in the open heat held in Adeliade). The experience was quite rewarding, looking forward to explore more opportunities to judge in the future. A final word of thanks to the sponsors (Sungold Milk, Cafetto, Davinci Gourmet Syrups, the beahclub, EES) and all volunteers who made the event possible.

Check out the photos here.