New Zealand Coffee Scene

Upon reading such blogs as those listed in the blogroll to the right I have realised that the caliber of barista’s, coffee enthusiasts and professionals is much higher globally than we see here in New Zealand. It appears to me that our latte drinking culture is not so much focused on the essence or foundation of good coffee so long as they have something hot to drink. While I realise this generalisation is somewhat far stretched, it is the closest comparison when measuring against the depth of intelligence and care of brew amongst many others I have recently come across in the coffee environment.

It is challenging and thought provoking to read the blogs of James, Tristan, Steve, Dave and many others. It reveals that there is still much to be learnt by so many within New Zealand’s coffee culture. In my first 6 or 7 years making coffee I only ever really focused on pulling the perfect shot and complimenting that with the silk textured milk.  It wasn’t until a couple of years ago, with the help of Auckland Barista Champion Ben Boyle that I began to look deeper into the essence of the entire coffee process.

Having now an understanding of green bean variations, the effects of climate conditions and growth variations – the enormous masterpiece of roasting and blending, coupled with a more detailed focus on the perfect grind, water temperature and extraction methods – and of course the help of some professionals along the way – I can now say that I have learnt the beginnings of how to appreciate good coffee.

It is a vision now that I share with a number of others in New Zealand to portray a greater appreciation nationwide and hopefully lift the entire standard of coffee throughout New Zealand.

In a post I read the other day, James mentioned the focus that one particular farmer had on working with the end barista to work together in producing a distinct coffee  – knowing the opinions of end users and establishing favoured coffee characteristics. An idea that I think we could do with seeing a lot more of.

The overall idea – that the coffee be appreciated for the complexity of the process from cherry to cup, and the education to customers as to what really is a great tasting cup of our finest black.

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