Sydney Royal Fine Food Show Summer Edition 2015

Veneziano Coffee Roasters collected a further four medals from the Sydney Royal Coffee Competition, part of the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show, over the weekend, adding to a long line of roaster awards

Now in its 17th year, the coffee competition is held in February every year as part of the Summer Fine Food Show. Veneziano has entered almost every year since 2004.

The Veneziano awarded coffees are:

Espresso Class 1:

Silver:  ‘Contract Roast’ Dark blend (7th overall)

Bronze:  Veneziano Hachira

Cappuccino Class 3:

Bronze: Veneziano Estate

Plunger Class 5:

Bronze: Veneziano Juliette


In other related news sister company Think Tank Coffee, Craig Simon’s coffee consultancy, has achieved these three medals in the same competition:

Cappuccino Class 3:


Think Tank Seasonal blend (1st overall)

Think Tank Hachira (3rd overall)

Plunger Class 5:


Think Tank Neel

2015 Victorian Barista Champion!

2015 VIC Barista Champ Craig Simon of Think Tank Coffee Ninety Plus CoffeesCraig Simon of Think Tank Coffee does it once again! We congratulate him on a well-deserved win in the 2015 ASCA Victorian Barista Championship 2015, held over the weekend (February 8).

Whilst for most of us looking from the outside in it may appear he does this with ease, and he’s certainly a man of natural talent, however it doesn’t come without it’s fare share of hard work and preparation. Craig has definitely learnt the virtues of fitting in lots of practise.

For the 2015 competition period he’s been executing plenty of trials with the new season Ninety Plus coffees, and continuing to explore the hybrid processing method he inaugurated for last year’s competition with the Panama Gesha.

We can’t wait to see him in the Australian Barista Championship at MICE in March.

You can follow his progress and competition coffee story via social media:

Veneziano Coffee Roasters Appoints National Business Manager – New Role

Lance Brown in Australian Latte Art judging duties with Jen Marks, 2013 champion

Specialty roaster Veneziano Coffee Roasters is pleased to announce the appointment of Lance Brown to the position of national business manager, as the company is poised for further growth and commences occupation of larger premises.

The need to produce higher volumes of roasted beans due to an increase in contract roast arrangements has prompted expansion and the need for the newly created role at Veneziano, one that Lance is aptly suited to. Lance will manage larger, national accounts for Veneziano, a first for the expanding company.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Lance on board. We are always looking for ways to give our customers, both current and new, a competitive edge in the market”, says Veneziano managing director Craig Dickson of the appointment. “By employing Lance in this role we are effectively providing our customers with an extra layer of service. With his detailed knowledge of the market, they stand to really benefit”.

Craig adds, “Our customers are constantly telling us that the thing they like the most about Veneziano is that we’re easy to do business with. Anyone that knows Lance, and in our industry that’s practically everyone, knows that he’s a great guy and he’s a natural at building business relationships. It makes him the perfect person for the role, and a good fit in the company. I can’t wait for him to get out there!”.

In a hospitality management career that spans more than two decades Lance is looking forward to embarking on this new phase of his career. He comes to Veneziano after vacating his eight-year role as national account manager for the Pura Milk brand with Lion Dairy and Drinks (a merger of former National Foods and Lion Nathan), where he grew the milk supply business to cafes from 17 million litres per year to a phenomenal 84 million litres per year.

“This is a natural transition for me, I’m really fortunate to be moving into something that I love doing; to be working with such an amazing team and a company that has the coffee skills, the best people and is driven to be number one”, Lance tells us. “With my experience in large multinational corporations, I’m looking forward to bringing more of a structure and format to the new position, that will benefit Veneziano’s future growth and direction”.

While Lance himself is the first to admit that the milk business more or less sold itself in the coffee industry, he very much prides himself on delivery of service. “Delivery on the promise was the key to managing my accounts”, he explains.

“I was responsible for managing every coffee chain nationally and Lion is the only supplier able to deliver on a national basis. You need to consider that deliveries were taking place 6 days a week, every single week for the entire year. The cafes depend on the milk arriving daily in order for them to meet coffee sales or they simply can’t operate, and to not deliver was simply not an option”, Lance emphasises.

“After eight years, I can say I know the business inside out and I know everyone in it!”


Lance Brown career history

Lance commenced his career in hotel management and catering after studying at Melbourne’s William Angliss Institute. His first job in hospitality was as general manager of the Keg chain of restaurants, followed by a role as public catering manger at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre (MEC) where he managed the home, boat, car and all other major shows hosted there.

It was at the MEC where Lance first crossed paths with Craig Dickson, state manager at  Douwe Egberts at the time. The pair developed a strong working relationship and in 1998 Lance also began working at Douwe Egberts as key account manager for Spotless, Delaware North and other large contract catering companies. Within six weeks of Lance commencing Craig had accepted a role as national account manager, vacating the state position for Lance to fill.

“I still remember the coffee we drank in the early ‘90s”, Lance laughs. “They were big, meringue-y capp[uccino]s on top of some bitter, brown water. We really didn’t know much about it back then, did we?”, he jokes.

Things have changed dramatically since then. In the seven years Lance worked at Douwe Egberts he saw the very first Barista of the Year Award. He also managed the “street baristas” which included names such as David Makin, Rocky Veneziano and Ben Ward. Along with his mentor Craig Dickson, these names are some of the best-known in Australia’s coffee industry, having shaped it into what it is today, inspiring a boom in specialty coffee.

Lance was introduced to the Pura Milk business and National Foods (later absorbed in Lion Dairy and Drink) during his time at Douwe Egberts, so the progression across was completely natural. His eight year stint with Lion saw him managing every coffee chain in Australia, utilising his people and relationship skills to the maximum.

He also became heavily involved in the Latte Art competition, and commenced judging Australian competitions. After four years he become World level accredited and has since judged at the World Latte Art competition in Nice, France 2013, the same year Veneziano’s Jen Marks represented Australia and will judge again in 2015 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

“I put my hand up for it because no one else seemed interested, the latte art competition was always the poor second cousin against the barista competition”, says Lance. “It was the perfect fit for Pura Milk and I’m pleased to have been part of it, because it’s now gaining more respect in the competition world and it has its own loyal following”, he says.

“I have absolutely loved my time at Lion… I will miss the people”, he reflects. “However, I’m very happy to be leaving in a strong position and knowing that I gave it everything I could. I am definitely looking forward to some new challenges with Veneziano, being inspired by the team and forging new relationships there. Now is the perfect time”.

Veneziano’s First Nitro Coffee Installations

Nitro Coffee Kegs and System under bench placement Veneziano Coffee RoastersVeneziano Coffee Roasters has provided the first installations of its latest innovation, Nitro Coffee; five Australian cafes will offer this product once trading resumes in the New Year.

Veneziano Coffee Roasters is excited to announce the installation of Nitro Coffee, its newest cold brew offer  of nitrogenated coffee on tap, at the premises of its first client cafes in Australia. Ready to serve up Nitro Coffee from tap when they reopen in January 2015, will be:

- Coffee HQ at Flinders Street Station, CBD Melbourne (VIC)
Smith Street Alimentari , Collingwood (VIC)
St Rose Cafe, Essendon (VIC)
VCR Cafe Brisbane (QLD);
Santucci’s Cafe, Camberwell (VIC)

Another installation is coming soon to VCR Cafe Melbourne in Bond Street, Abbotsford (VIC).

The multi award-winning specialty coffee roaster, together with Australian Barista Champion Craig Simon, has chosen specific microlot coffees and seasonal blends to work with the Nitro Coffee system, a concept that is inspired by draught beer.

“It [Nitro Coffee] has attracted a great deal of interest among cafe owners right from the outset, since we introduced the concept to the market at a couple of major coffee trade shows during the year. In fact, we were overwhelmed by the level of interest, even from overseas, which makes us very excited to be rolling it out”, explains Veneziano managing director Craig Dickson.

“Nitro Coffee allows cafes to offer customers a visually exciting cold brew coffee with an alternative mouthfeel to espresso based coffees; it’s versatility allows a whole range of serving options, that include with or without milk and additions such as alcohol, or it can be served flat or with the micro bubbles”, he says.

Serving Nitro Coffee requires minimum effort on the part of the barista; it’s quick and doesn’t leave a mess, which is another part of it’s appeal.

Nitro coffee on tap served black - by Veneziano Coffee Roasters Nitro coffee with milkFeatures of cold brew Nitro Coffee system:

• Three-second pour time
• Consistent coffee quality in every glass
• Serve it black or with milk
• Ideal base for flavoured and alcoholic beverages
• Three month shelf life
• 100% recyclable, disposable, lightweight 20 litre kegs integrate easily into the retail environment
• Low maintenance equipment
• Low establishment costs
• Available in two tap font combination


Veneziano provides the roasted and brewed coffee for the kegs, working with nitro equipment provider and maintenance company, Coffee Keg, to supply the Nitro Coffee apparatus to cafes and Xtracted Espresso Solutions for the install. The hardware consists of fonts with two taps, each allowing for nitro and flat coffee if desired and also European standard recyclable kegs for under bench placement.

Call 13 COFFEE to order your installation now!

Nitro Coffee Kegs and System under bench placement Veneziano Coffee Roasters

Colombia Origin Visit Mark II

After an initial visit to Colombia in June this year, experienced Veneziano roaster Jack Allisey returned to Colombia last month where he spent time with Cooperativa Andes visiting a couple of key farms, cupping countless coffees and revisiting the three main farms he’d seen on his first trip.

His mission was to select new season coffees for our microlot program whilst putting selection criteria in place with Cooperativa Andes, who will be looking after quality control on the ground for Veneziano. These selection criteria are important to ensure Veneziano can maintain consistent coffee quality throughout the year.

Jack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters Coopertiva Andes Colombia

Jack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters Coopertiva Andes ColombiaKeep an eye out as these excellent Colombian coffees start to arrive, our first batch of microlots is set to be ready to roast just after Christmas!


“I spent two days cupping with the Cooperative gaining a better understanding of taste profiles the Antioquia region has to offer before selecting coffees for our microlot program. Amongst the microlots I chose are some experimental process lots from our friend Juan Carlos at Las Mercedes, who has been playing with different fermentation techniques and honey process coffees since my last trip”, explains Jack.

“One lot I’m particularly excited about uses an uncommon, double fermented honey process starting with a 15 hour bulk ferment, after which it’s separated into smaller vats and fermented without water for a further 30 hours and then dried on the raised African beds at his grandmother’s farm; creating a surprisingly clean, very juicy and complex cup”, he says.

“We’re eagerly anticipating these experimental processes, because up until recently the processing of coffee for export has been heavily mandated by the Federal Coffee Association; so it’s interesting to see the much wider variety that Colombia has to offer”.

Jack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters Coopertiva Andes ColombiaJack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters Coopertiva Andes ColombiaJack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters Coopertiva Andes Colombia






Among the coffees that were cupped, Jack tasted some standouts from Finca La Julia which he was lucky enough to visit for the first time on this trip.

Finca La Julia

This 6.9 hectare farm is owned by Jesús María Posada and his wife Olga del Socorro. Jesús bought the farm in an abandoned state 15 years ago and began using the existing plantain crops to recover money to finance planting of the 4.5 hectares of the farm’s current coffee trees. As Jesús gained an interest in quality coffee he began to separate the varietals grown on his farm, specifically focusing on the caturra grown at altitudes above 1600 metres as this was identified as the highest quality grown on his farm.

“Jesús and Olga do all the processing on site, including an impressive solar drying set up. Whilst they have a mechanical drier on site, they prefer to use the solar set up as it provides a higher quality cup with more longevity”, says Jack.

“The work Jesús has done really shows; in 2013 he was one of four farmers from the Antioquia region to place in the Cup of Excellence and in 2012 he was recognised as having the best coffee by Cooperativa Andes. We look forward to working with La Julia in the future”.

Jack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters visiting Cooperativa Andes ColombiaCooperativa Andes

On this trip, Jack spent more time with Cooperativa Andes gaining a better understanding of the work they do in the community.

“They’ve recently set up the La Arboleda community wet mill just outside of Jardin. Whilst central processing stations are common in other coffee producing countries, this is foreign in Colombia where all farmers have traditionally done the wet processing themselves. Centralising the processing allows quality to be placed at the forefront and techniques standardised across the board. It also takes the strain of processing off the farmers, saving them money, time and risk”, he says.

“Coffee at the La Arboleda mill is bought much the same as any of the Cooperative’s other buying points. The cherry is graded by a physical analysis process and the farmer receives payment on the spot. It will be interesting to see the effect on the farming community these central wet mills have as this first test case has been well received by the farmers and Cooperativa Andes is beginning to build a much larger mill to supplement La Arboleda”.

Relationship coffee 

During his Colombia origin trip Jack also had the opportunity to revisit our friends at San FernandoLa Cascada and Las Mercedes. Sporadic rain has influenced the crops creating a slightly less predictable harvest. Despite this, all three farms have an impressive amount of cherry and very even ripening considering the rain. Don Humberto at San Fernando has noted that the bulk of his harvest will be during the traditional “fly crop” next year as opposed to main harvest which is happening now. Despite this, they still anticipate a 15% production growth for the 2015 crop due to crop renovation works that have taken place.

San Fernando

Jack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters San Fernando ColombiaJack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters San Fernando Colombia Jack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters San Fernando Colombia






La Cascada

Jack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters La Cascada ColombiaJack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters La Cascada ColombiaJack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters La Cascada Colombia





Las Mercedes

Jack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters Las Mercedes ColombiaJack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters Las Mercedes ColombiaJack Allisey Veneziano Coffee Roasters Las Mercedes Colombia


Santuccis guest feature on Beanscene December issue

Beanscene cover Santuccis Cafe affogato and Veneziano Coffee Bond St Summer seasonal blendBeanscene cover Santuccis Cafe affogato and Veneziano Coffee Bond St Summer seasonal blendThe guys at Santuccis Cafe in Camberwell were thrilled to star on the cover of December’s Beanscene. Or rather, the star of the show was their beverage of choice, an affogato made using Veneziano’s Bond St Summer seasonal blend as one of the key ingredients. Perfectly timed for summer, the desert-style beverage is a favourite of brothers Fabian and Massimo Crea, who along with their sister Romina do an amazing job of running the show.

Our Bond St Summer seasonal blend consists of 40% Brazil Sertaozinho, 30% Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Konga and 30% Ethiopia Derar Elan. It’s the perfect accompaniment to Santuccis affogato with flavour notes of: creamy, dry cocoa, plum, sweet spice (black) or caramel, lemon cheesecake, blackberry, very sweet notes (with milk).

View the Beanscene behind the scenes cover shoot video here.


What’s in Specialty Pods?

What goes into Sourced coffee capsules pods

What goes into Sourced coffee capsules pods

What goes into other coffee capsules pods

What goes into other coffee capsules pods

Our coffee producer from Sethuraman Estates in India, recently sent us this image (left) of a new drying bed they’ve prepared to help them cope with the extra load of R Certified specialty Robusta that we require in our unique Sourced pods blend.

Note the uniformity of the beans in size, colour and ripeness; the product of stringent quality control apt for a prized product grown under precise conditions. We are currently preparing for our annual visit to India with Kaapi Royale where we’ll be able to view the exact growing environment where this crop flourished.

As an example of the kind of coffee that you can expect in non specialty coffee capsules, refer to the image on the right of a generic coffee. You can see different levels of ripeness as indicated by colour, various sized cherries that will be processed together for the same length of time, that is bound to affect the flavour attribute ending up in the capsule and ultimately your cup.

So, if you care about taste and quality, even in a capsule, then consider Sourced coffee pods, Australia’s first specialty coffee capsules compatible with your Nespresso machine.


Robusta coffee finds a champion


Craig Dickson and Jack Allisey cupping with First Pour customers

Craig Dickson (centre) and Jack Allisey (right) sharing knowledge with First Pour customers at a weekly public cupping session

Robusta gets noticed – and gets a great write-up. A credit to the dedication of grower Sethuraman Estates’ Nishant Gurjer. We’re proud doing business with you mate!

The entire article is reprinted below, or you can read it here at Good Food online.


Robusta coffee finds a champion

Good Food

Matt Holden

Robusta gets a bad rap: “bike tyre” sniffs a specialty coffee aficionado in an online forum; “100% arabica (no robusta in here)” say the labels of all but the cheapest supermarket blends.

Robusta (Coffea canephora) is a hardier, more disease- and pest-resistant coffee species than Coffea arabica, grows at lower altitudes and produces higher yields. It also contains more caffeine – about twice as much as arabica.

Something like 40 per cent of the world’s coffee output is robusta, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service – much of it grown in Vietnam, which in 2013 was the world’s second-largest coffee producer, exporting 25 million bags.

Robusta is also widely planted in India and francophone west Africa (perhaps one reason French coffee tastes so bad).

Much robusta ends up in instant coffee. It’s in traditional Italian espresso blends, lending deep, earthy notes and bold, dark flavours, and is also blended in Greek and Turkish coffee (though Greek coffee roasted in Australia is now often pure arabica).

Managing Director Veneziano Coffee Roasters, Craig Dickson

Craig Dickson

When grown at low elevations for high yield, it can taste pretty ordinary: rubber, smoke, ash, medicinal are the words that spring to many cuppers’ lips. Robusta has not, until recently, been a guest at the specialty coffee party.

But Melbourne roaster Veneziano wants to change that, with robusta from Sethuraman Estate in India’s Karnataka state.

Three of Sethuraman’s robustas have earned Q Robusta certification from the Coffee Quality Institute, scoring more than 80 points in cupping by qualified graders, and are certified as specialty.

As Veneziano’s Craig Dickson explains: “The specialty coffee movement has resulted in us roasting somewhat lighter to highlight the sweetness, acidity and also the complex individual flavours of beans.

Jack Allisey Q Cupper and Roaster at Veneziano

Jack Allisey

“But in milk these complexities can be lost and the coffee struggles to cut through. Using specialty grade
robusta allows us to put a blend together that achieves a carry-through of flavours, without the traditional taints of robusta coffee, which generally come from poor processing.”

The Sethuraman robusta really shines in Veneziano’s Forza blend, giving deep, toasty, chocolatey notes to short blacks and milk coffee.

The Forza is one of Veneziano’s most popular blends, especially, says roaster Jack Allisey, in places that do a lot of takeaways.

“Robusta treated as specialty coffee displays lots of desirable flavours: chocolate, sweet, creamy,” says Allisey. “And it brings great viscosity and mouthfeel to the cup.”



Golden Bean Roaster Competition 2014

Veneziano Coffee Roasters achieved five medals in four categories at the weekend’s Compak Golden Bean Roaster Competition in Port Macquarie, in the highest number of entries seen to date.
The microlot coffees submitted by Veneziano successfully achieved awards in the Filter Chemex and Single Origin categories, whilst its traditional blends were recognised in the Espresso and Organic Espresso categories, in a competition where every coffee entered is judged by industry peers.
In addition, Veneziano received recognition for a further seven awards for its contract roasting, for various blends commissioned by its customers in the categories of Coffee Chain Espresso and Coffee Chain Milk Based Coffee and gold medal recognition for its beans used in the Home Roaster category.
Veneziano was awarded the following:
  • Silver medal for microlot Ethiopia Nekisse – Pour Over Filter (Chemex) category
  • Bronze medal for microlot Costa Rica Black Pearl – Single Origin Espresso category
  • Bronze medal for microlot Kenya Yara – Single Origin Espresso category
  • Bronze medal for blend Pure – Organic Espresso category
  • Bronze medal for blend Bella – Espresso Coffee category
“I am extremely pleased at the performance of our microlot coffees”, says Veneziano managing director Craig Dickson. “Particularly so because it’s a reflection of all our hard work in selecting and building direct trade partnerships with our growers”.
With regards to the contract roasting Veneziano does, Craig explains, “It’s also very satisfying to be recognised for the blends we create for our customers because they are quite prescriptive in what they are looking for in their coffee, for the satisfaction of their own customers”.
“It really demonstrates our ability to partner with customers [requiring their own branded coffee blends], understanding what they need to achieve and our ability to really nail their requirements”, he says, finishing with, “After all, this can only be good for specialty coffee as consumers continue to gain an appreciation for it through wider exposure”.
Veneziano has previously won numerous awards in various specialty roaster, coffee and barista competitions, having competed since its inception.
On a slightly less serious note, the Veneziano also team took out the “Best Dressed” award at the Golden Bean roaster awards dinner ceremony, during which all the medals were announced.


Team Veneziano - Best Dressed at Golden Bean Roaster Competition awardsL-R: Pat Connolly, Craig Simon, Luke Gowty, Ben Romeril (front left)

Team Veneziano - Best Dressed at Golden Bean Roaster Competition awardsThe guys enjoyed being best dressed!

Colombian Cup Of Excellence Pre Auction Cupping

Colombia COE pre auction cupping at First Pour Melb by Veneziano Coffee RoastersWe’re ready to bid for the best Colombian green bean of 2014.

We want you to help us cup 34 different lots from 28 farms. View the winning farms here.

The winning lots are coffees scoring 85 points and above in each cupping by both the national jury and the COE International Jury.

These coffees have each been cupped a minimum of five different times during the cupping process.



Friday 17 October & Saturday 18 October
11am – 12pm
First Pour – Bond Street Abbotsford (Melbourne)

Colombia COE pre auction cupping at First Pour Melb by Veneziano Coffee Roasters
Colombia COE pre auction cupping at First Pour Melb by Veneziano Coffee Roasters Colombia COE pre auction cupping at First Pour Melb by Veneziano Coffee Roasters Winning FarmsColombia COE pre auction cupping at First Pour Melb by Veneziano Coffee Roasters Winning Coffees95f7cec5-fd42-459f-964a-350a9050712e