Latest from First Pour
14th November 2013
Industry appointment, Australian specialty coffee.
Melbourne, Australia, November 14, 2013 – Craig Dickson, Managing Director of Veneziano Coffee Roasters calls it a day with his intention to stand down from the AustralAsian Specialty Coffee Association (AASCA) organising committee, including his role as president, effective as of the Annual General Meeting December 2, 2013.
Hesitant to let go of a good thing, Dickson says, “I regret that due to time and work factors I must sacrifice a responsibility that I am really passionate about and one that continues to raise the profile of the specialty coffee industry in Australia”.
“However, I’m also extremely proud of the achievements AASCA has made in the three years I’ve been active in the committee and as its president”, he recalls.
Recapping some milestone events achieved by AASCA during this period:
- Most notably, in an Australian first AASCA under Craig’s direction created the MICE concept – the country’s first international coffee expo which serves as a platform for hosting world events, resulting in successful bids to host World Barista and World Brewers Cup Championships 2013 and World Latte Art, World Coffee in Good Spirits and World Cup Tasters Championships in 2014
- Maintaining high standards for national coffee competitions, including the judging competencies of volunteers, to foster some great barista talent and raise the profile of the barista profession as well as raise the profile of Australia’s specialty coffee scene in the world arena
- Securing sponsors that complement the global specialty coffee environment as well as the domestic scene
- Implementing an improved and more user-friendly website and social media platforms; and more.
“It’s been both challenging and rewarding and I’d like to thank all my industry peers that I’ve had the pleasure to work with in order to achieve all that we have in this period of AASCA’s operation”, Dickson explains.
“I can say that I’m pleased and ready to hand over to the next committee an AASCA that stands in a great position and I’m looking forward to seeing the developments of the next phase as they occur”, he concludes.
AASCA President 2011 – 2013
AASCA Sponsorship Manager 2010 – 2011
AASCA Accredited Judge – 10 years
World Certified coffee competition judge – 4 years
Managing Director, Veneziano Coffee Roasters
Veneziano Coffee Roasters - specialty coffee roasters; award winning blends and exclusive microlot coffees; supporter of direct trade with producers and cooperatives; on site quality coffee training and education by professional baristas; First Pour café espresso bars and coffee showrooms; home of Australian barista, latte art, cupping and roasting champions; licenced Q cuppers and World certified judge; professional espresso machines, grinders and equipment for cafe and home; Australia’s largest distributor of Chemex Coffeemakers, recipient of countless roaster and barista awards and proud supplier to over 500 of Australia’s best cafes.
The First Pours are located at:
SA – 111 Melbourne Road, Adelaide
QLD – 369 Montague Road, West End Brisbane
VIC – 26 Bond Street, Abbotsford, VIC
About AASCA – founded in 2001 by a group of passionate coffee professionals, The AustralAsian Specialty Coffee Association (AASCA) gives the specialty coffee industry in Australia a voice. AASCA is a not-for-profit, whole-of-industry association with Australia-wide coverage, registered under Federal legislation. The association has over 10 categories of membership and is open to anyone who is interested in specialty coffee.
13th November 2013
What makes a good crema and what does it tell us about the coffee? Craig Dickson speak to Matt Holden, writer for Fairfax Media’s Good Food. He also covers what judges are looking for in the competition environment. All of Veneziano’s baristas understand the importance of a perfect extraction. They are experienced competitors and this is covered thoroughly in all Veneziano training courses.
Read that article in full below, or visit Good Food online to read it here.
Clues in the crema: what can it tell you about your coffee?
Published Nov 5, 2013.
Written by Matt Holden.
A while back, Copenhagen’s Coffee Collective wrote about skimming the crema off the top of an espresso to improve its flavour. Crema is bitter, they said, and coffee tastes sweeter without it.
But the Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano says that a ”certified” espresso has a ”hazel-brown to dark-brown foam – characterised by tawny reflexes – with a very fine texture”. So no crema, no espresso.
(I tried it. For a few days I ordered two espressos at a time and skimmed one. Sometimes it tasted better, sometimes not. Depends on the beans. But espresso is definitely creamier with the crema. Duh.)
So what can crema tell you about your coffee? Veneziano Coffee’s Craig Dickson is president of the Australasian Specialty Coffee Association. He’s been an Australian barista championship judge for 10 years and a world championship judge for four, and judged the last two semi-finals.
”We used to look for dark brown or hazelnut crema with reddish highlights, but what judges expect has changed over the last couple of years,” Dickson says. ”With lighter roasts you can get a lighter-coloured crema, so now we want baristas to describe how the crema will look.”
Crema consists of carbon dioxide bubbles in a film of fats, oils and sugars. Good crema is an even layer of fine bubbles that is ”elastic”, says Dickson.
To judge elasticity, you tilt the espresso cup to 45 degrees; the crema should stretch to cover the surface of the coffee, and re-form as an even layer when the cup is set right.
Good crema is an important part of espresso flavour and texture, even of milk coffee. ”A lot of the flavour in milk coffee comes from the crema,” Dickson says.
And while some say that natural-process coffees produce more crema and washed coffees less, he doesn’t reckon you can tell much about processing from crema.
What you can tell, he says, is freshness. If the coffee is too fresh – only a couple of days post-roast – there is too much carbon dioxide in the beans, and the crema dissipates quickly. If the coffee is stale – as early as 14 days post-roast, but certainly by 21 days – the crema will be thin.
How do you get good crema at home? Use freshly roasted beans from your local coffee roaster (not ground supermarket coffee), and grind fresh for each cup – don’t leave the beans sitting in the hopper.
What about skimming? ”If you’re removing the crema, you’re getting into a filter-style thing,” says Dickson. ”I’ll leave that one for the real geeks.”
30th October 2013
OTTO is a Stove Top Espresso Maker, combining Giordano Robbiati’ classic Italian style of the Atomic with unprecedented functionality. Meticulously engineered and crafted, “the little guy” offers inspirational ergonomics and delivers superb coffee.
OTTO is made almost completely of stainless steel promising you a lifetime of satisfaction from this modern international design classic. Recognised for excellence, the ‘Little Guy’ won the Australian Design Mark at the prestigous 2008 Australian International Design Awards and was a finalist in the International Design Excellence Awards in America (IDEA).
The three year development phase has been driven by a love for great coffee. The process of uncompromised care and attention has produced results beyond initial expectations. The critical issues of extracting great coffee and steaming milk with an exceptional texture have been comprehensively achieved.
OTTO comes with an OTTO tamper, the OTTO experience DVD providing a barista training session, two Italian designed latte glasses and a stainless milk jug, packaged in a robust premium travel case.
ABOUT CRAIG HIRON:
Tradesman and entrepreneur, Craig Hiron, is the creator of Otto, a revolutionary home espresso maker. Craig grew up in Sydney, leaving high school in 1989 embarking on a career in accounting. He later started a roofing business before crewing internationally on feature films. In 2005, Craig began the development process of recreating the Atomic coffee maker, a design and coffee icon. Craig took Otto to market in Australia in 2009 and is now developing accessories and pursuing international markets.
15th October 2013
Team Veneziano are thrilled about their awards at this year’s Golden Bean Roaster Competition Awards. In 2013 they were awarded the following, taking the total number of Golden Bean Awards to more than 20 since its inception in 2006 by Cafe Culture magazine:
-Gold medal: Syphon (Steam Punk) category
-Silver medal: Milk Based (Latte) category (Bond St)
-Bronze medal: Filter Coffee category
-Coffee Roaster Overall Golden Bean Runner Up!