Well, after 10 months of being open we are finally here, the website is up and we are excited to start sharing our thoughts and ideas with you through this blog page. Our reasoning for having such a page is to let you guys know what is going on here at Addison & Steele and Standing Room Only. We are hoping to go into more detail about the new coffees we have on offer, not just the names of such coffees alongside a pretty picture of latte art, but where and how the coffee is grown, how this effects the cup profile and how we are best enjoying it ourselves. You can expect postings of upcoming events both hosted by ourselves and our peers so you can engage in the coffee community as much as you would like. Our end goal is to spark the level of excitement that we feel with every new coffee we experience.
For all you coffee professionals out there we will also be sharing new ideas, strategies and recipes that we have been working on. As we continue to push ourselves in our own craft and publish our findings we appreciate the critical response from our peers as this is what drives us to reflect, refine and be better.
In this first post I think it would be apt to discuss what ‘Specialty Coffee’ means to us. I say ‘means to us’ as there seems to be a disparity between the literal interpretation and our own. Specialty Coffee relates to Coffee Grade of 80 points (out of 100) or higher. This is scored through the ‘cupping’ protocol, mostly conducted in a local or regional capacity by local and international judges. For many the definition of Specialty Coffee stops here, however we believe this doesn’t capture the ideas and the culture behind the term.
Farmers of such coffees work hard (really hard) to deliver quality in hope for higher, fairer prices for their product. We believe it is our duty as servers of these coffees that their work isn’t in vein. That is why we work with Small Batch Roasting Company based in North Melbourne. Small Batch source coffees from truly exceptional farmers, focussed on quality, consistency and progression. These same ideas are seen in their roasting practice as we continue to be engaged in their coffee selection, be it the Candyman Blend or the range of Single Origin offers. Each coffee is roasted with the upmost care, focussing on maximum development of sugars and acids without imparting roast taints onto the coffee, this results heightened cleanliness and clarity of flavour. It is very common to see roasters not uphold the quality of the coffee they are working with. Improper roasting and a lack of quality control results in a product that fails to represent the work of the farmer and (we believe) forfeits the privilege of the Specialty Coffee title.
As Baristas we are the final custodians of the coffee before the customer. This is extremely important as our final choices regarding extraction and service can massively effect the customers interpretation and experience of that coffee. We must be diligent in our choices in order to showcase the work of the farmer and roaster. We are fortunate enough to have access to some incredible equipment, including our Slayer V3 espresso machine and the fabled EK43 grinder. The team behind these machines are too in search of making coffee extraction better and more consistent. Understanding the capabilities of this technology we are able to get the most out of each coffee we prepare, time and time again. At Addison & Steele we aim to extract our coffees to deliver transparency and focus of each origin. This process of tailoring recipes and understanding each coffee we have on offer is very important as it allows us to communicate the individual characteristics each coffee possesses whilst providing the customer with the best experience. Once we are happy with a recipe we can focus on consistency so that you may always have delicious coffee. Our promise is that we will weigh every dose and every shot, focus on extracting all the unique characteristics of each coffee we have on offer and always be recording our results to ensure we never settle.
Specialty Coffee is not just a name, grade or title. We believe it is an idea and a culture upheld by all those involved in it’s process. Together, true Specialty Coffee farmers, roasters and baristas are working to deliver a common goal: better coffee.