We've been serving the Bathysphere as a drip for a few days now and it's going down real nice! Nice new addition to our coffees on offer..
The Fair Foodstore opened it's doors less than three months ago and now we can boast another great cafe with our coffee in it's capable hands. Sarah Masney(Movida among other places) runs the ship and Dave Masters (Ora Cafe in Kew) is taking care of the foodside of things and doing a spectacular job of it. The space is not only smart but stylish, and it's feel is welcoming and warm. Already they are getting rave reviews and getting busier and busier by the day.
Small Victories have been open since may and we have loved watching them do great things from day one. Dane Johns who has been working with us on and off for a few years has joined forces with Ben Farrant(Gills Diner) and Aldric Hansen (Crimean among other places) and they are doing amazing things at this North Carlton site. The food is incredible and the coffee ain't half bad either! Using the Bathysphere on a custom La Marzocco and running rotating single origins they are doing us proud. And as of very recently they are doing nights, so we thought it a great place to go for a staff dinner this friday night.
Don't listen to me, check out what Broadsheet has to say..
Almost unbelievable to anyone who has done a major build we completed it on time! We're all really happy and relieved with how well it has come up and are looking forward to finally being able to say this is it. This is Wide Open Road!
If you want to see in person the piece that the awesome artist Adam Parata (a half decent Barista too!) did on the wall at Wide Open Road then you better be quick because as of Tuesday the whole thing comes crashing down. We are locked in and almost there, another 50 seats and a full commercial kitchen ready to roll. Open everyday over Easter!
We think we are that close to opening up stage 2 of Wide Open Road. Here's a couple of pics of the kitchen which is ridiculiously big. Menu and wine tasting on Monday night, it's all happening.
Wide Open Road is about to expand. In early 2012 we will be finishing what we started by adding more seats and a commercial kitchen. This means we are looking for people to join our team. Most of the positions will not be available till approximately late March although we are looking at starting a Chef straight away.
If you are looking to travel and want something short term, something that is not too demanding and is a quick job to do then come in for breakfast and coffee and don’t apply for work.
If you are passionate about what you do, experienced beyond human comprehension and looking to be part of something big, then come see us.
We are looking for a Chef to work 3-4 days per week
We are also looking for a Kitchen hand 4 days per week.
Please apply in person or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We now have a licence to consume alcohol at our outdoor seating...
This week I was 'dragged along' to the Espresso Machine Classics Exhibition at the Italian Historical Society in Carlton. Some sweet looking machines and designs that are in no way anything like what is on the market now. We really let go of aesthetic for the function and never went back. The exhibition itself is 'ok' but for anyone who appreciates beautifully designed machines I highly recommend getting along to it before it's gone. (although the website states it's over i dont know if it is quite over yet!). The designs are very much reminiscent of old cadillacs and deco style buildings..very sexy!
Not a great example of what i was talking about, this one is not so car like and more space like...the 'sputnik' as it was apparently nicknamed, was built in the late 50s in Australia by Golden Fleece Petroleum Company to be used in a chain of service station roadhouses.
Ok so just in case someone checks out this site before coming in and expects the Slayer on our bench...it is gone. It has found a loving home at 'Padre' (where the rest of its siblings live). We are are back to the humble Synesso Cyncra. The reason for our decision was a practical one; the Slayer has so many possible variables and it allows for the user to be able to change every single aspect of the espresso and create magical coffees, however it does not have a way for the user to then take out the variables and keep a constant.
It is being constantly developed and updated, which means it is improving all the time and becoming a better and better machine but, the simple fact is, it is still being developed in the hands of the consumer and we simply didn't have the time and capability to be part of that development..
The fact that we are now roasting coffee (and relatively new to it) means that we need to keep our variables as low as possible to be able to develop our coffee on a daily basis. Therefore we had to go back to what we know best and that is the Synesso..
We are nearing the opening date. Our opening hours will be 7.30am to 5pm mon-sun. Keep checking in for more news..
We have been working for months now trying to improve the 'Bathysphere'blend.It's been a struggle especially seeing as it has been difficult to get two of the beans that we use for it. The Costa Rican one we used is now finished and the Kenyans in general have been a nightmare to source. We tried to replace the Kenyan with something else but all attempts brought results that we were not happy with. We have decided that no matter what we have to keep sourcing Kenyan beans as they are an integral part of our recipe. It's a blend that comes up very nice in a milk based coffee, with notes of chocolate and caramel and a sweet finish. Of course this is always going to be something we strive to improve from roast to roast but for the time being we are extremely content. We have had Josh Bailey from Bailey coffee working with us to help improve our roasting method and we are loving the process and the results..nice one Josh!
Why are we doing what we do
I have been thinking about why people keep blogs and what they have to offer, and therefore I guess find a purpose for our blog(beside it being merely a tool for self promotion). What I have realised is that we have jumped into the roasting side of the coffee world somewhat green and inexperienced and have had to learn the ropes by asking people around us to help and guide us. Everyone out there has been very generous with their knowledge and for that we are thankful. However, what I have decided (for the time being) is that if I were to do it again, I would want to see someones journey from the start as to how they got to where they are and to be able to use that info as a springboard into the land of roasting.Therefore I will endeavour from this point on to document our experiences and hope that not only will it be a good point of reference for us in the future but that it may someday benefit one newcomer.
I have added a few links to coffee people and places we keep in touch and up to date with and I will add more with time.
Our bag of the Costa Rica Herbazu' has arrived, we've roasted it on a hottop home roaster to sample before throwing it in the Giesen Roaster. We had our first try of it just then as a pour over and it was amazing.It is very balanced... Not only does it have citrus acidity but it has a nice and smooth mouthfeel. Incredibly sweet with tealike elements to follow. Love it! Can't wait to have it in the Slayer.
So we've been roasting on our machine for a few months now and it's been a lot of fun and very frustrating all together. The coffee is getting better and better and we've been putting together our blend which we are calling "Bathysphere". It's coming along nicely and we're tweaking it from week to week...
We had a couple of guests in the roasting area last thursday. Joshua Bailey from Bailey Coffee and Tim Fraser from Dark Star Coffee(WA).
It was a gentlemen's roasting day! I'll follow up with the results in a day or two...
Justin from Coffee Supreme was our man, he delivered the machine with the mods we had hoped for, installed it and gave us a rundown of all it's bits and pieces.
We don't know how to change the O rings because we have the newest version of the machine( so word on the street is we won't have to change them every other day), but i gotta say, i'm a little nervous about not knowing how.It seems the first thing anyone who has one has learnt to do. The good thing is we don't have it running in a shop yet so if anything goes down at this stage we won't be up the proverbial creek...
As expected it is a very sexy machine and it pulls a hell of an espresso. We've been working on a blend we call Bathysphere for a few weeks now and it's tasting very good. Therefore we decided to try it on the new machine; the thing I can say with confidence is
The Slayer needs a lot of playing around with to know how to get the best out of it, otherwise the coffee tastes great.
We were lucky to be invited to a presentation but the Indonesian embassy in collaboration with ASCA (Australian Specialty Coffee Association) of Indonesian Coffees.
We are well on our way now. the roaster should be fired up in a few days.
I was lucky enough to attend a seminar last weekend with Susie Spindler and Erwin Mierisch from Cup of Excellence http://www.cupofexcellence.org/. Not only did I get to really understand the selection criteria/methods for a CoE coffee, but we also got to try some great coffees. As well as that we had a chance to actually cup, using the standard CoE cupping forms and get an understanding of, just how tough a job the jury has when selecting the winners.
So a big thank you to Mark and all the crew at Seven Seeds for all their hard work organising the event and their tireless efforts during the sessions.
After all that amazing coffee, it's now time to get some low grade beans to burn and to season the roaster with. mmmm..who wants to cup some of that?