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February 2017 Newsletter

The lead up to our break in December could best be described as a
mad scramble. We were stunned by the response to the December
special, which sold out in 3 days! I hope you all enjoyed it as much
as we did, we took the remaining 322 grams with us to Singapore for
Christmas.

Before we managed to get on the plane we had to make sure we filled
all the orders, and it was a huge effort. We broke our records for
receiving orders in a single day, and also for sending out orders in
a single day. Even then we had a 2 day shipping delay because I
simply couldn't roast fast enough to keep up with the demand.

We did finally catch up in the second week of December and I'm
pleased to say that to the best of my knowledge everyone got their
coffee before Christmas, despite the usual courier delays and
Australia Post's abysmal performance. The last Express Post
"overnight" satchel took 10 days to arrive but it did get there.

The long break has given us a much needed battery recharge. I did
take the opportunity to check out both familiar and new coffee shops
in Singapore, but I won't be doing definitive reviews this time
around, because I ran into an unexpected problem. At three of the
six places I checked out, I was recognised before I could order.
Comes of attending the various conferences and seminars I suppose,
but makes it hard to get unbiased results. I can report that based
on the double espressos I tried, Highlander is still the one. (See
our September 2013 newsletter.)

The recognition factor got me thinking about how small the coffee
world has become. Back when I started in the industry the fax
machine was just becoming the latest revolution in communications.
Now there are all the different types of social media built on a
fast, low cost internet backbone, and the changes in the coffee
industry are just as profound as those in other parts of society.

One of the most profound changes is right at the start, at the
farming level. Coffee growers have always been incredibly
conservative, unwilling to introduce much in the way of innovation
into their farming practices. Decades of bitter experience and
equally conservative buyers kept things static.

The explosive growth of the specialty coffee industry, which more or
less coincided with the similar growth of the internet, led farmers
to discover that there were increased profits involved with
producing something different to and better than average.

Combined with modern social media, the realisation that innovations
in farming and processing methods can maximize profits has spread to
almost every coffee farmer with internet access in the world. Now
it's become an industry, and there are companies like Nucoffee in
Brazil that specialise in supplying high quality microlot coffees
direct from farmer to roaster.

So this month's special is

Brazil Nucoffee SL 219/15
$46.00/kg


Sourced from the Coopervass Agricultural Cooperative, this is the
heaviest bodied Brazilian coffee I have ever cupped. It has a sweet,
herby front palate (the best description I can come up with is
"Almond Icing", a smooth mid palate and a heavy sweet creamy finish.
If I'd been blind cupping it I might have picked it as one of the
more exotic Indonesian coffees, but it certainly stood out in a line
up of Brazils!

Until next month

Alan







Coffee for Connoisseurs is a division of Frew International  Ltd.

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