Latest from First Pour
16th January 2015
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”.
31st December 2014
Veneziano 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.
Features 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!
19th December 2014
What goes into Sourced 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.
28th October 2014
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
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).
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.
“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.”