Barossa Coffee Roasters
While I have been reviewing café lattes, ristrettos and coffee shops now for a little over two years – what follows is my first ever coffee bean and roaster review – and I am not sure how to do it justice. Like with most things in the blogosphere, and in particular the review based blogosphere, what follows (and what precedes) is purely subjective. On a purely existential level – we can not even be sure that what I perceive to be reality, is the same as what you perceive it to be – so what I say is blue, you may also say is blue – but because we do not share the same optic nerve, we can never be sure that we are experiencing the same blue. We could, very reluctantly say the same about coffee beans, and lattes and ristrettos – tragedy that it is – that what I think is wonderful, you may think otherwise. We have all experienced going to a highly recommended café, or espresso bar only to be served by rude, baris-divas (that is – a barista who acts like a diva) a substance that is not completely unlike the very best that International Rust has to offer – but trust me when I tell you – YOU WILL enjoy the beans by Barossa Coffee Roasters.
Now, with all that mind numbing mid-saturday afternoon after two coffees and a trip to a Farmer’s Market stuff aside – on to the review.
I – literally – fell over the Barossa Coffee Roasters – well as much as you can fall over sometime in a virtual environment that has nothing to do with a world of war craft, second or third lives – but I came across them on Facebook while I was searching for any and all things coffee related. Now, laying my cards on the table here – I was born and bred in the southern Barossa Valley – however, my review is in no way tainted by that sense of connection – because I did choose to leave, the first chance I got – but (in choral voice that would do an Kwantas Commercial proud) – “I still call Will-iams-town, home” – despite all but my cousin now living elsewhere.
The first thing you notice about the Barossa Coffee Roasters is the high value they place on customer service. With some online coffee bean transactions you are just a receipt number and a credit card transaction to the roaster or supplier – but to BCR (because let’s face, if I have to type “Barossaa Coffee Roasters” another twenty times, I’ll get RSI) if you even just express interest in purchasing their product – you are a valued client. Even before I placed an order, I had emailed back and forth a few times with Janelle – all communication very friendly and easy going – and this, in the end, did make the decision to purchase beans from BCR easier. At the same time as investigating BCR, I had made overtones to a few other ’boutique’ roasters about purchasing their product – in one instance my enquiry was not worth a response, while the others response was so abrupt (dismissing my interest in Fairtrade as ridiculous – ‘no serious coffee drinker is that worried about it’) that I would unhappily drink International Rust again, before purchasing their product (which did come recommended to me). In this day and age – post GFC – businesses who understand that ‘if not for the client, I wouldn’t have a business’ like BCR will prosper, while those who imagine their products are better than their customers will go the way of the BETA Video Cassette.
As a company, BCR are ‘people and planet friendly’ – with 50c per kilo of one variety going to the FairCrack movement (http://beanbay.coffeesnobs.com.au/FairCrack.aspx) and with their roastery – the home of little red – being powered by the sun via a solar panel array.
The only drawback about BCR is the price of their beans. They are expensive. In comparison to other roasters I have purchased from they are between $12 and $4.50 per kilogram more expensive. This price does not include postage – some roasters post orders over 1kg for free – BCR charge a flat rate of $9.50 regardless of size, and it was delivered within 48 hours of roasting. But as with most things, you get what you pay for – and I am very happy with what I received.
When you begin your relationship with BCR, you’ll begin to appreciate just how ‘Barossa’ they are – from the quality customer service, to the ‘Bean List’ which tells you what you can order, to the ‘tasting notes’ that accompany your selection in the mail, to the ability to visit – by appointment – their cellar bean door – it is all Barossa!
Out of the four single origins listed, I ordered 500g of their ‘Organic Nepali Terai Supreme’ and allowed Janelle and her husband Paul to surprise me with my other 500g from either their Guatemalan Huehuetenango ‘Tres Marias’ or their ‘Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe’ – which ever sang to them on Roasting night – they went with the Huehuetenango, because they were playing show tunes….or something like that??
I began with the Nepalese coffee – having never tasted coffee from this part of the world before, and I was rapt with the results. Only taking me two goes to dial the beans into my grinder – the first ristretto was dark and rich, with a definite nod in the direction of cocoa and mocha, and the latte (using Fleurieu Jersey Milk) was as smooth as silk, with an aroma that even my almost three year old identified as like buttered popcorn (his favourite). It has been a week since I opening the pack, and in that time the flavours have intensified – it is has been a wonderful journey so far.
I opened the Guatemalan Huehuetenango a few hours ago, and I am fighting the urge to make another. Using the same dial settings as the Terai Supreme – the first shot was almost the ‘god shot’ – with my wife, she who is not that fond of the freshly ground coffee smell, commenting on the wonderful aroma of caramelised figs in the air – and the palate was as the per the tasting notes suggested, of salted caramel.
All in all – if you love your coffee, and don’t mind splurging a bit on the odd occasion for a coffee adventure – I don’t think you can go past South Australia’s own ‘Barossa Coffee Roasters’ for customer service and quality. I’ll be ordering from them again, that is to be sure!!
Posted on October 22, 2011, in Barossa Coffee Roasters, Coffee Beans Online and tagged A1 Customer Service, Barossa Valley, Beans Review, Coffee Beans, Online Shopping. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.