Eureka! Australian Coffee
It's kind of funny. I gather that many of the Australian farms are starting to harvest now, or will be starting in a few weeks ... yet now seems to be the time that Australian coffee is cropping up everywhere. If this means that it's taking us the best part of a year to get coffee harvested and processed in our own country, I have to say that that's kind of pathetic. But you can't argue with the results. Read on!
Archimedes Was A Coffee Drinker. Apparently.
There's a little espresso bar and roastery on St George's Road called "Grower's Espresso." Unfortunately, I'm seldom, if ever in that neck of the woods, so it has been a while since I last tasted any of Mark and Sam's Eureka Coffee. Lucky for me that, like all serious coffee dudes, Mark likes to keep track of coffee happenings all around Melbourne, so a few weeks ago he stopped by my work on a coffee crawl and dropped some of his stuff off for me.
Eureka take the whole bean-to-cup thing literally; they roast a single origin grown on their family farm in Byron Bay. I don't know much more about it than that, but if you're interested you should check out their webpage as linked above.
The coffee itself seemed to have a split personality. It was not difficult to pour and always presented a relatively balanced shot. Whenever I ground the coffee, my grinder was filled with a rather special rose blossom type scent. Enter Jekyll and Hyde: half of the shots were balanced and eminently drinkable, but not especially memorable. Remarkably, the rose blossom scent translated directly into the cup in the other half of the shots. In fact, the whole experience had me perplexed enough that to make sure that I wasn't just spitting out exceptionally wanky tasting notes I actually dug down into the pantry and pulled out a bottle of rosewater to make sure it was actually the same scent. Perhaps this is a coffee that warrants some serious experimentation in terms of dose and temperature. One final note; I found that this coffee benefited greatly from being allowed to sit in a sealed bag for a week after roasting - at two or three days after roasting it displayed the classic symptoms of excessive acidity and ephemeral crema.
On your Marks ...
From Australian coffee from one Mark to Australian coffee from another Mark. Bin 549 is kicking butt and taking names on the Clover at BBB. Various people, including St Ali's Mark, have described it as having a "coffee cherry" flavour. Not having eaten a coffee cherry, I wouldn't know - I'll have to check out the Nez du Cafe kit again. I thought that it started off tasting of liquorice, then some sort of interesting flavour that I'm content to describe as "coffee cherry" emerged. Top stuff. I haven't tried it as espresso yet, but several people have recommended it.
I'll be keeping an eye on the new harvest Australian coffees to come ...