Category Archives: Social Justice

When you do what you do, how do you do it? Drinking or Tasting Coffee

Cupping - not spooning!

When I was first introduced to the world’s second most traded commodity (i.e. coffee – just in case I had already lost you) I was simply  – like most people – a coffee drinker.  I loved the flavour, I loved the atmosphere of the coffee place, I loved the social and communal aspects of coffee – but I could down a latte pretty quickly, and tell you it was nice.  When I become more serious about coffee and purchased a half decent home espresso machine I was still an avid coffee drinker for all of the above reasons (well other than atmosphere – because I was making coffee in my family room – most likely with Octonauts on in the background…not quite Paddy’s Lantern or Bar9) but then a number of things happened which  encouraged me to consider more than just drinking coffee, but to also appreciate coffee for what, where and how it is what it is.

Firstly – I read the  book “God in a Cup: the obsessive quest for the perfect coffee” – which introduced me, on a far deeper level, to the world of speciality coffee – and the 400 or so taste variants that the experts can detect when they ‘taste’ their coffee – I took this as a challenge.

Then – I was introduced to the ristretto – a wonderful little coffee drink – the first 15mls of a single shot to be precise – which is super sweet, low on the caffeine, minus any bitterness  and highlights so much more of the unique bean qualities than does your average latte or cappuccino.

Ristretto from the Coffee Branch

Then I purchased some beans from Barossa Coffee Roasters, which came with tasting notes – including bean origin, and likely flavour profiles etc. and all of a sudden I was drinking my coffee in a more mindful way.  I began savouring the experience and seeing if I could detect the individual flavour nuances on the front of the tongue verses the back of the tongue – the dominant after taste etc with the result that my coffee drinking experience became much deeper and fulfilling.

If you are interested in developing your pallete from that of a coffee drinking to a coffee taster – check out this excellent post on the James Hoffman blog by clicking the link.  Also, for those in Adelaide – if you want to go that next step, Ian Callahan over at Bar 9 is conducting a Cupping Night next week – for more information, click HERE – so wish I could make it!!

If you need to see how it is done, this You Tube clip is pretty good.  Life is too short for instant coffee!

CafeSmart – Helping The Homeless – UPDATE


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….
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