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.”
16th October 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.
L-R: Pat Connolly, Craig Simon, Luke Gowty, Ben Romeril (front left)
The guys enjoyed being best dressed!
12th October 2014
We’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)
10th October 2014
Saturdays at First Pour in Bond Street, Abbotsford are buzzing with activity lately. We’ve been running a number of events onsite.
Calling on all home baristas, enthusiasts or those who just want to pick up some coffee skills – keep an eye on the various workshops we will run each week.
Check out our snap shots from our recent filter/brew and latte art skills workshops.
Keep an eye on our Facebook page for more events coming up, including the Colombian COE pre-auction cupping this Saturday, October 18.
FILTER/BREW & LATTE ART SKILLS WORKSHOPS