Category Archives: Coffee Lifestyle

Drink Coffee, Live Long(er) and prosper….

There is an article in Melbourne’s “The Age” Newspaper, sharing the wonderfully exciting news that scientists (probably the same ones that can’t seem to agree on the issue of Climate Change) have suggested that if you drink coffee you will live longer, although the article then goes onto say that “The study doesn’t prove coffee makes people live longer, only that the two seem related.”  So I think what they are saying is that you will live longer if you drink coffee, but drinking coffee will not necessarily make you live longer….confused?  Me too – perhaps I need another coffee.

The article goes further by saying that “Even a single cup a day seemed to lower risk [we assume the risk of death in general, not the death star, climate change or being hit by a bus – although that is not clear] a little: 6 per cent in men and 5 per cent in women. The strongest effect was in women who had four or five cups a day – a 16 per cent lower risk of death.” Which then raises the question – if you drank nothing but coffee, 24/7 – would live forever?  Read the article here.

What’s your coffee base?

Over on the Five Senses website, Jennifer Murray – winner of the 2008 Western Australian Barista Competition and now Five Senses’ beloved buyer of the world’s best green beans – writes about the genesis of every cup of coffee – no matter how you drink it (real coffee – none of this instant stuff that dissolves in water…)  She writes:
“Sure, perfectly steamed, silky milk enhances the coffee experience and yes, some milk brands taste better than others. However, let us not forget the real player here — the often neglected espresso base that has evolved for better or worse as the industry has grown. Here’s a look at some of the current trends and ‘faux pas’ that exist in cafés today, and what you can expect in the cup as a result…”

She then goes on to explore the three bases, with their pros and cons:

  1. Single Shot Espresso (25-30ml)
  2. Double Shot Espresso (50-60ml)
  3. Double Ristretto (25-30ml)
She concludes by saying “So, as you can see, these different methods definitely create three different results in the cup. None of which are incorrect, it all comes down to personal preference. Just keep the cup size in mind, and remember that a larger size doesn’t always mean a bigger coffee, it may just mean a milkier one.”
To read the details of each base, click HERE
What is your experience?  Have you had the large coffee which was over extracted, watery and milky?  I have – you’d be better off with a Macona (joke).  Tell me about your experiences – good and bad.

Coffee hike could grind you down

From the Herald Sun:

COFFEE lovers, prepare to cough up more for your favourite cuppa.

Major chains have confirmed they are bumping up prices to compensate for rising costs.  A hot caffeine fix will burn a recommended 20c deeper hole in your pocket at many Hudsons Coffee outlets nationwide from Tuesday.  The Coffee Club plans a 10c price rise for its Victorian outlets next month while Melbourne Nashi sandwich bars increased coffee prices by 20c this week.  McDonald’s confirmed a recent “small price increase” at a rate below inflation, but would not say by how much.

The Herald Sun revealed in May how some small cafes were lifting prices by up to 30c, citing costs for beans on the world market at their steepest in 30 years, higher power bills, and rising wages for quality baristas.  This year’s hikes have pushed the cost of a cappuccino or latte well past $3 at many locations.

But operators deny ripping off consumers.  To read more click HERE

We probably all knew it was coming, however what I found interesting was this comment from ace coffee reported Karen Collier when she said “This year’s hikes have pushed the cost of a cappuccino or latte well past $3 at many locations.”  Can anyone tell me of a coffee place that sells a regular coffee for less than $3.00?  I don’t think I have ever paid less that $3.40 for a regular.

What is the most you have paid for a coffee?

Café Owners/Baristas (I believe there are a couple who occasionally read this stuff) how do you feel about the price hike? Do you feel it to be needed/justifiable? (not being critical – I’ll happily pay $4 for a good coffee).

CafeSmart – Helping The Homeless – UPDATE

HELP FROM THE GROUND UP

On FRIDAY AUGUST 5th CafeSmart will bring together cafes and coffee drinkers around the country to help people who are homeless.  Participating cafes will generously donate $1.00 per coffee sold to fund local projects.  We want our supporters to take a simple action and buy their coffees on the 5th at participating Cafes and consider making an extra donation online.  “Grab a coffee and help the homeless” is something we can all do.

CafeSmart will take place during National Homeless Persons’ Week, 1-7 August 2011, and will bring together café owners, staff and their customers, to create change in local communities. StreetSmart is also teaming up with coffee roasters around Australia who will be supporting cafes through supplying discounted coffee beans on the day.

Now that the nomination date for cafés has closed, we can confirm that only three South Australian Cafés have signed up for CafeSmart – which between you, men and your next cup of coffee – is a pretty poor effort.  But then I guess we should ask, how many were asked to sign up?  How many actually knew about it?  Anyway, on Friday August 5th – make sure you get out and about and purchase a coffee from either:

  • Bar9 – 96 Glen Osmond Road, Eastside, SA, 5063 – click HERE for previous review
  • The Organic Market & Café – 5 Druid Avenue, Stirling, SA, 5152 – click HERE for previous review
  • Caffeteca, 53 Tynte Street, North Adelaide, SA, 5006 – which is yet to be reviewed, although it is a café I used to go to every day when I worked next door – but back then it was the Tynte Street Deli….

BeanScene – A World Class Coffee Magazine

Cover Price – $8.95

Editor: Christine Grimard
Prime Creative Pty Ltd
11-15 Buckhurst Street, South Melbourne, VIC, 3205
www.beanscenemagazine.com.au

This review is based upon the June 2011 edition, of this bi-monthly magazine.  BeanScene magazine is a larger, much more substantial looking magazine, then its interstate rival – coming in at 100 pages inside cover to inside cover – which more than compensates for the additional $2 at the news-stand. The  contents page doesn’t easily allow for an apples with apples comparison with Crema, as there is no indication of regular features verse special features – but based purely upon the cover information and the three key pictures in the contents page, this edition features especially:

  • The story of Coffee Icon Toby Smith, and his journey from selling beans from his mother’s garage to having stores in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Singapore and New York.  [What’s wrong with Adelaide? Reviewer wonders – no need for comments on thing ;)]
  • Christchurch – how the shattered but not broken Coffee industry is supporting the region as it gets back on its feet after a disastrous 2011.
  • Domestic Bliss – a great couple of pages on the latest and coolest coffee gear out there – from the AeroPress [www.aeropress.com.au] to the La Pavoni espresso machine [www.lamborghinicaffe.com.au] to the tampers of Espresso Gear Australia [www.espressogearaustralia.com.au]
  • Giotto: the untold story – how a couple of New Zealand coffee entrepreneurs rescued the iconic brand.
  • Celebrity Chef – Guillauame Brahimi
  • Fairtrade – the story behind the label

The magazine, according to the contents page is divided seven components all focussed upon coffee:

  1. Upfront – which includes an Insider Insight into trade, Coffee News in brief, and New Products on the scene;
  2. Industry Profiles – whos who and whats what – did you now there was a Cappuccino Price Index?  This never gets a mention during the news on breakfast television!
  3. Product Profile – which includes an article on the various methods of processing coffee beans, and an article on a Tasmanian initiative to help Rwandan genocide survivors;
  4. Personality Profile – which interviews industry people from international judges, baristas (sounds all legal doesn’t it?), and bean traders – it also highlights a couple of members of the Coffee Snobs website and forum;
  5. Technology Focus – pretty self explanatory;
  6. Café Scene– what is happening around the place – plus a review of a cafe in every major Australian city, and Singapore – this edition they look at:
    1. Single Origin Roasters – Surrey Hills, NSW
    2. Nook Espresso – Burleigh Heads, Qld
    3. The Cupping Room – Hobart, Tas
    4. Limes Café – West Perth, WA
    5. Caffe Buongiorno – Modbury, SA
    6. Brother Baba Budan – Melbourne, VIC
    7. Black – TripleOne Somerset, Singapore
  7. Skill Base – which teaching us novices some of the barista skills for our home coffee nooks – including how to make the ‘Elephant Sketch’ latte art by current Australian Latte Art Champion, Kirby Berlin.

To quote Molly Meldrum – “Do yourself a favour” and get into BeanScene Magazine. If you are a serious coffee nut, then this is the magazine for you. If you like to keep your magazines, to refer back – then likewise, this is the magazine for you as it is well presented, with a solid well labelled spine. I was concerned about BeanScene when I saw that it was published by a publishing company in Melbourne, and not by Coffee people in Adelaide, but their content proves that they have staffed well, and have even made the effort to provide a good cross section of the coffee geography of our region – including New Zealand and Singapore. Certainly not for the casual coffee drinker, but a must for a conscientious coffee connoisseur.

CafeSmart – Helping The Homeless

HELP FROM THE GROUND UP

On FRIDAY AUGUST 5th CafeSmart will bring together cafes and coffee drinkers around the country to help people who are homeless.  Participating cafes will generously donate $1.00 per coffee sold to fund local projects.  We want our supporters to take a simple action and buy their coffees on the 5th at participating Cafes and consider making an extra donation online.  “Grab a coffee and help the homeless” is something we can all do.

CafeSmart will take place during National Homeless Persons’ Week, 1-7 August 2011, and will bring together café owners, staff and their customers, to create change in local communities. StreetSmart is also teaming up with coffee roasters around Australia who will be supporting cafes through supplying discounted coffee beans on the day.

To date only two South Australian Cafés have signed up for CafeSmart.  If you local, favourite java joint is not one of the two listed below, ask them to sign up so that we can all make a difference to those in need.

  • Bar9 – 96 Glen Osmond Road, Eastside, SA, 5063 – click HERE for previous review
  • The Organic Market & Café – 5 Druid Avenue, Stirling, SA, 5152 – click HERE for previous review

Crema – The Café Lifestyle Magazine

Cover Price: $6.95 inc GST

Editor: Libby Brooke
Crema[TM] Magazine
PO Box 402 Unley BC, Unley, SA, 5061
http://www.cremamagazine.com.au/

This review is based upon the Autumn 2011 Issue of this seasonal coffee magazine. Crema is a light easy to read magazine, with 47 pages from inside cover to inside cover, with this month featuring a rich looking rosetta on the cover, while plugging ‘Brisbane’s best cafes.’ Other special features from this edition include:

  • Latte art – a five page article (three pages of photographs) featuring the work and passion of Habib Maarbani, a former NSW Barista Champion and now NSW Sales Manager for Mocopan Coffee.  Some great shots of a ghost, a sea dragon, a land dragon, and an Angel fish.  What this article lacked is some step by step instructions on how to attempt these creative pours, although it does point you towards ‘Crema TV’ on their website (not reviewed).
  • Ken gargett on wine – an article about the wine and food of New Zealand’s Marlborough region
  • Car Review of the Mini Countryman ALL4

Regular features of the magazine include:

  • Book reviews – this edition looks at three cook  books which do not seem to be connected to coffee in anyway;
  • Crema Kitchen – with a recipe for Ricotta Pancakes and a sidebar article on matching coffee and food from Adelaide’s own Ian Callahan from Bar 9;
  • Roast & Ground – which is a roundup of coffee related news from around Australia, and a chance to throw in more advertising [there is plenty in this small magazine];
  • Coffee profile – which I found to be the most interesting article in the entire magazine, in that it profiles a coffee growing region of the world – in this case Chiapas, Mexico – and gives you a sense of what to expect from beans grown here – for example – they would have the fragrance and aroma of hazelnuts, honey and vanilla, yet have the flavour characteristics of stone fruits, with an aftertaste that is sweet and short;
  • Industry Comment – highlights something from within the coffee industry – this edition they highlighted the Coffee Common, which was part of TED [Technology, Entertainment, Design] 2011.  From what I have read here and elsewhere, this would have been coffee heaven!!

Overall, my impression of Crema is that it is a good try – but is not what I am looking for in a coffee magazine.  For example, I would suggest that approximately 50% of the magazine was directly about coffee, while the remainder is wine, travel, food – and if I had wanted to read about them, I would have purchased a magazine in that field.  I was also disappointed by the distinct lack of anything South Australian in the magazine (with the exception of the publication location and the sidebar from Bar9) which also extends to the website. I wonder if this is a conscious thing to gain acceptance in the eastern states who still firmly believes that there is nothing past Ballarat but desert. If you want an easy to read, light coffee table (or smallhouse) magazine – then Crema is fine – and despite what it says above – it is made in South Australia, so go local!!

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