So Wens, you’ve been with us over a year. How does the coffee scene in Australia seem to you now?
Is seems amazingly creative and dynamic, yet there also seems to be a fascination with automated pourover machines, which from what I can tell is basically a Bunn-O-Matic, the staple coffee machine in every truck stop diner and pancake house from coast to coast. I think you can control the drips a bit better, but it is still just hot water dripping from a showerhead into a glass pot sitting on a hot burner. I really don’t understand the fascination with these things, and I just want to say, “No, no, no we already did that for generations in the US, we are still recovering from it, you all somehow dodged a bullet, don’t drag it up now!”
We’ve noticed around the cupping table that you’re not overly enamoured with dry process coffees? True?
That’s true. I think it’s a really hard thing to get right, most coffee producing areas do not have the right kind of climate to dry effectively during the post harvest weeks, and for me the result is often sourish and fermenty tastes that I really don’t enjoy. If you find a great clean sweet one, they can be fun to play with in blends, though.
What exciting new developments are in store for the cupping room in 2013?
Wow, lots. We are having our lab certified by the SCAA at the end of May, we will hold 2 Q Grader courses this year, we have an amazing roster of International guests visiting to provide our clients with a wide variety of lectures, labs and workshops. We will look to host some public and industry events as well, for all the good coffee people in Sydney.
Where was your last trip to origin and where will your next take you?
Earlier this year, I bundled a few trips back to back for efficiency , Mexico, Central America and Africa. In a couple of months I will be heading back to Africa to do the post harvest quality selections with our partners in Rwanda and Burundi. We are so excited about these coffees. The producer groups we are working with are really on the ball.
Work with us here…you’ve been sentenced to a desert island and can only take 3 coffee cultivars with you, what would they be and why?
If you sentence me to a tropical island my coffee plants will have a much better chance of survival! Ok, it would have to be SL-28, the rare Moka, (we will actually have some of this coffee in a few weeks), and Ethiopian Longberry. Reason, they are consistently the most delicious and complex. They would keep me entertained.