An early start on a sunny Saturday morning back in December was made worse by the fact that we couldn’t have a coffee at home. Fortunately we departed knowing that there would be more than enough caffeine provided throughout the day as we headed off for the inaugural Bean Brewding coffee tour. Bean Brewding is another Brisbane based blog, a collaboration between three guys whose aim is to identify the best coffee experience in Brisbane and promote the Brisbane coffee scene. It was an idea that had been floating around in the heads of the Bean Brewding boys for quite some time, and with the help of Yelp Brisbane, the dream was turned into a reality. For this tour, they had selected three of their favourite locations south of the Brisbane CBD. The tour was made up of us bloggers, Yelpers and Bean Hunters.
We headed out to meet the rest of the ‘tour group’ at PUK espresso in South Brisbane. At PUK we were greeted by Richard from Green Cauldron coffee roasters. He provided us with an extensive history of coffee in Australia, and explained some of the reasons behind the lack of good Australian grown beans. Farms located in bulk coffee producing regions such as Africa and South America allow for relatively cheap labour costs for tasks such as hand-picking coffee beans straight from the plant, something that is simply not affordable in Australia.
Richard went on to say that the Green Cauldron farm and roasters are named after the Green Cauldron region of Australia where they are based, located in the hinterland inland from Byron Bay. Richard stated that contrary to popular belief, Byron Bay tends to have a large amount of cloud cover and a high rainfall throughout the year – not the best weather for holiday makers and tourists, but fantastic for producing coffee. We were given a taste of one of Green Cauldron’s blends in the form of a V60 pour over. Richard advised us that the nature of the growing conditions at Green Cauldron generally provide the coffee with a much more subtle flavour than one of the big name blends. Indeed the blend and pour over brew method created an easy drinking coffee that was a great start for the day.
We piled on to a minibus provided by vroomvroomvroom.com.au and headed off to our second location – the brand new Cup Roastery at Woolloongabba. At this new branch of Cup (the original being located in West End) we were greeted by Josh Russell who started his coffee career under the knowledgeable veteran Peter Wolff before leaving to start his own business at Cup.
Josh ran through the entire roasting process with us, and had one member of the group assist him with a small 3kg batch of an Ethiopian sourced coffee. The batch of Ethiopian coffee in question was roasted for 10 minutes and 45 seconds, and cooled for another 5 minutes before we were allowed to bag it up to take home for personal sampling – though we were advised to wait a minimum of 3 days before grinding and brewing the coffee. While waiting for the roast to finish we were given a filter coffee to drink of an earlier roasted batch of the Ethiopian coffee. Josh then made us a coffee on the Cup standard blend. This was our first traditional coffee made through an espresso machine for the day and the caffeine was definitely starting to build up.
With the high temperatures outside matching the caffeine levels in our bodies we crammed back on the bus, cranked the air conditioning to full and headed to our final destination, an old favourite of ours: Uncle Joe’s Coffee House. Adam and Mark were welcoming as always and provided so much coffee we almost had enough to fill a bath tub. Mark is a member of the new breed of coffee roasters in Brisbane (along with Josh from Cup), having started in 2009 at Supreme Roasters in Yatala. Adam is a barista extraordinaire, having recently placed 3rd in the Queensland Barista Championship.
Mark comes across as a scientist in the way he approaches coffee. He is meticulous in his approach to roasting, going as far as to research specific chemistry of the complex sugars found in coffee beans. By doing this he is working out the best methods to roast the coffee to ensure that he can avoid the dreaded ‘coffee headache’ and stomach cramps that some people complain of when drinking bulk roasted coffee sold at the large chain stores.
Adam prepared everybody a piccolo on the house blend the ‘Supafly’. It was a swansong for the Supafly as it turns out as we have just come to the end of the season for the Supafly, and it has been replaced by the brand new blend – Yirgi Bear. Mark made us all an Aeropress filter coffee with the Yirgi Bear and as expected it has an amazing complex flavour. Mark provides a little stopwatch with his Aeropress coffees as the taste evolves over time and the true sweetness of the coffee does not present itself in the cup until about 30 minutes after the brewing itself is complete.
Unfortunately the coffee tour had come to an end and it was time for everybody to return home. I, for one, am definitely looking forward to the next tour, which is rumoured to be in the planning stages to focus on either the CBD or the north side of Brisbane. Keep an eye out for it because it is an experience not to miss!
Cheers for reading,
**Disclaimer: all coffees were provided by the various cafes/suppliers along the way**Links: