Saturday, March 10, 2007

Taking The Plunge

The blend ...

As some of you might know, I recently developed a french press/plunger blend and entered it in the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show. The blend started off as some idle speculation when cupping a few months ago and, as far as I was concerned, ended there. Pete, however, thought it might be fun to randomly enter it into the show with the rest of his stuff. Long story short, we let it sit for ages and then I frantically pulled it together the week before it had to be sent in. I wasn't especially happy with the final product, and was quite shocked to see that "Dr Kalossus" finished in the middle of the pack, rather than dead last!

The show ...

Organising any sort of roasting competition is always going to be hard. From the little that I know, here's how I'm led to believe the SRFFS works:

-We enter and pay money
-SRFFS sends us a barcode
-We roast, stick it in a bag, slap the barcode on and post it off, along with a sample of green
-The coffees are all tasted and scored
-Medals are allocated based on points

On the whole, I think that they do a pretty good job. The barcoded bags are a great way to keep everyone honest and I love the fact that some years a stack of golds might be handed out, other years it's nothing. I'd like to see a few changes, though. The small one would be to give a bit more detail about the tasting process; ie. how much coffee is ground, how long it's steeped for, what temperature the water is, etc. The big one is running a few rounds. With 22 coffees in the category that Dr K was in, I think that it really is necessary to run an elimination round, then to re-taste the top six or so ... or maybe anything that is in the running for a medal. This would have had absolutely no impact on Dr K; I just think that the judges are probably tasting too much coffee at once.

Thankyous ...

Two thankyous are in order:

Thankyou to Pete for allowing me to burn your beans and trash your brand name ;P

Thankyou to Mark from St Ali for lending me some yellow bourboun at the last minute ... boy was that cutting it close!

The challenge ...

No doubt you're wondering why this post doesn't actually include any information about the blend itself. Simple answer; the final version wasn't worth speaking of and, more importantly,
I need to keep everything top-secret at the moment. Mark and I have beer at stake over the outcome of the next competition.

Suffice to say that in the coming months y'all will be seeing some plunger blends in the hoppers at First Pour!