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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!

Look who made the Top 10!

Look who made the Top 10!

Due to my mid-week coffee meeting whilst going through my 360 degree ministerial review, I have, after completing a review of said coffee, finally made the Top 10 Users list on the Beanhunter.com!  “Big Woop!” I hear you say, “So What?” I sense you mutter, “Click, click goes the mouse….”

All it actually means is that (a) I have drunk a lot of coffee since discovering the Beanhunter.com and (b) see a.

It was also pleasing to note that during the week Adelaide jumped ahead of the Gold Coast and Canberra as top places for Coffee.  We now have to catch London on 103 (Adelaide is currently on 75) before seriously making a challenge on Melbourne’s status as coffee capital of  the world sitting pretty on 762 places for coffee (excluding franchee shops – sorry GJs, Hudsons, Star Chucks etc.)

New Page – The Locations

If you are at all like me and often can’t be bothered scrolling through the archives of a blog – just on the off chance that there may be something interesting there – which would of course make us completely useless as side kicks or assistants to the Indiana Jones type adventurers….I think I have veered slightly of course there, my apologies.

I have created a new page for those who like to see where I have been, without having to go on a quest to do so.  Click on ‘The Locations’ page above to be taken to a list of the 85 Coffee places that have been reviewed since May 2009.  In truth I was a bit disappointed to find that I had only reviewed 85, and not the magical 100 or more – especially considering that there are more than 150 posts on this blog – which just goes to show how much rubbish I write when not drinking enough coffee – case in point – the length of this entry which was just designed to highlight the new page, but has now degenerated into the ramblings of a sleep deprived 30 something who is hesitant to check the live score update on the NBL website, so as not to cause the 36er’s to loose – because my checking would cause this – it has nothing to do with the fact that….oh, never mind.

New pageThe Locations – lists all the coffee places by region – hope it is helpful – not completely unlike this entry….

Café Marketing in the IT Age

Let me preface this by saying that I do not – in any, way, shape, or form consider myself to be an expert in anything that follows – however as a frequenter of café everywhere, there is very little written below that I do not endorse as the way to go.  I guess the only thing that goes unsaid in what follows is that (a-z) you need to have great staff who love coffee and in no way see a customer as an inconvenience.

I also do not kid myself that there are a plethora of café owners who log in to their email everyday just waiting to see what the latest news is from www.makecoffeenotwar.com is – but in case there is one, or two who are regular readers here, but are not yet regular fivesenses readers – then what follows I think is worth its weight in bandwidth.

Ashley Brian has written a great article on “Using the Internet to Market Your Café” and not only is what she has to say worth a read, but some of it – for those of the younger Gen X brand – will be surprising – for example the idea of creating a website for your café is only the third most important thing your should do – not the first, when it comes to the Internet.  She writes:

Read the rest of this entry

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