Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Articles: CoffeeGeek Columnist Feedback
Cafe Culture Downunder by George Sabados
Commercial Equipment
Nuova Simonelli, La Marzocco, Rancilio. Nationwide installation. Instant financing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Articles > Columnist... > Cafe Culture...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 2 of 5 first page | last page previous page | next page
Author Messages
nickcho
Senior Member
nickcho
Joined: 7 Nov 2002
Posts: 435
Location: Redwood City, CA
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: this
Grinder: that
Vac Pot: yes
Drip: drop
Roaster: Trish!
Posted Wed Jun 13, 2007, 5:49pm
Subject: Re: Cafe Culture Downunder by George Sabados
 

The only comment I have is this:
As far as George talking about "Third Wave," he's taking down a straw-man.  In my humble opinion, he doesn't know what we mean when we're talking about "Third Wave."

Love ya George!

Nick

 
www.wreckingballcoffee.com - www.portafilter.net
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Contact via AOL Instant Messenger Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
PatriotSmith
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Posts: 4
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Jun 13, 2007, 6:40pm
Subject: Re: Cafe Culture Downunder by George Sabados
 

"If you interpret the comment to talk about ratings by quality then I agree that the idea of rating countries is absurd.  But I resent your shock that our espresso would be any good.  As with any country - and as I have treid to say above - we have a fair bit of mediocre stuff.  But we also have our crop of top cafes."  



Nowhere did I express shock at the suggestion Aus. would be among the excellent in coffee (in fact I specifically mentioned my awareness of the existence of excellent coffee in Aus.), but to overlook so many others in this claim, and to state it so absolutely and unquestioningly is concerning; if nothing else one must fear complacency (and no, I do not mean specifically the U.S. is overlooked; it is an unfortunate reflection on this dialogue that one must assume an individual is so tied to their country of origin as to ignore reality). One must qualify the true meaning of this, which is that there are, as I mentioned previously, many excellent coffee roasters/retailers and baristas in Australia. Of course, just as in any other country, this does not exclude the existence of mediocre individuals in the same professions. Sadly I feel as though you have indeed misrepresented my post; in fact I made it quite clear that I am sure there is excellent coffee in Aus;I am not trying to simply rearrange the quality hierarchy to place my country on top, but rather I am rejecting the notion of a country wide coffee quality hierarchy itself, a rejection you appear to be in aggreeance with. The rate and quantity of consumption is not relevant here; people could be consuming mostly mediocre espresso, just as is the case in the U.S. with, for example, most mainstream popular beers. Just because Wal-Mart sells the most doesn't mean what the sell is of the highest quality; ubiquity, presence, logistics, and economics contribute far more to their success. If George's intent is to create such contentious articles, the least he could do is cite references in the future to back up his myriad assertions.

"In fact, since 2004 there has existed a compulsory minimum industry natio nal training standard for espresso in Australia and New Zealand. The US, on the other hand, has had to rely on the SCAA or other organisations to set a voluntary kind of "national" standard."

Also, I am curious if you could expand upon the mandatory minimum training standard mentioned above. If it is simply a nationally set standard for a voluntary training program, I fail to see how this represents any sort of support for the assertion that Aus. has superior coffee quality nation wide. The article is filled with similar statements. My main contention, and one I do not believe to be provocative in the least, is that I find it likely that much of the coffee in Aus. remains mediocre in quality, just as in the U.S. and most everywhere else. Do I sense a complex of sorts in this instance perhaps? Do you feel Aus. has been wrongfully neglected on the worldwide stage of coffee quality, or the like? It is so strange how one most constantly defend the superior nature of their nation; of course one's self and company I do understand I suppose. But then again, I am from the "greatest country in the world."



Addendum:

"Frankly, that strikes me as quite racist, offensive and ignorant."

I was seriously considering not even justifying the absurd accusations above with a response. While I am usually the one calling out the anti-P.C. police police (intended duplication) on their gleeful stupidity and needless provocation, this is truly one of the most ridiculous and unwarranted charges of racism I have ever been witness to. On a strictly semantic level I do not believe the term would even apply in this case, i.e. in relation to your accusation (which is I presume is) that I harbor some sort of anti-Australian ideology, or that I have made statements that suggest as much. Regardless, I would really implore of you to refrain from throwing such a term around, as it degrades its meaning and effect considerably; on the other hand, however, offensive and ignorant I don't mind at all.

Again, I find the whole issue of a  best coffee country a bit pointless/empty. While I do acknowledge the (limited) bragging rights awarded to Italians for genuinely bringing espresso into the world, this does not mean the country of Italy is the dominant force in coffee quality for all time. I do not take seriously any individual's claim that their country is "the best/top at/in coffee," regardless of from where they come. Many would argue that determining a single coffee roasted in a single way to be the "best of all" is an impossible (and undesirable) task, let alone an entire country and everything within it.



Edit: Also, I did want to mention George's somewhat off (though not unexpected in the context of this article) discussion of the "Third Wave," as Nick just did.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
pstam
Senior Member
pstam
Joined: 27 Jan 2004
Posts: 2,349
Location: Beijing
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: ECM, SAN MARCO, EURO 2000
Grinder: MAZZER
Vac Pot: YES
Drip: YES
Roaster: YES, HOME STYLE
Posted Wed Jun 13, 2007, 9:29pm
Subject: Re: Cafe Culture Downunder by George Sabados
 

Seeing your sales statistic figures, I would post again ours for "Pass By Bar" in Beijing, at that time the most clients were from Europe mainly France.

Normally the sales of pure espresso drink (without anything, like water) in cup is around 22% - 23%.  Only after few months of our coffee service, without any promotion.

pstam: 咖啡销售统计_小.gif
(Click for larger image)

 
Peter in Beijing
-------------------
http://www.kaffa.cn/
-------------------
I am looking for the way and the place to extend our trainning courses.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
emily
Senior Member
emily
Joined: 2 Mar 2006
Posts: 157
Location: Sydney, Australia
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: i share with everyone
Posted Thu Jun 14, 2007, 1:27am
Subject: Re: Cafe Culture Downunder by George Sabados
 

I too work in a similar fashion to George - in fact we've worked together in the past. While I'll agree with some of what he's said, I'd disagree with other parts. I recently wrote an article for a publication in Australia with a similar theme  - basically that the Australian market is saturated with espresso coffee, as it's all we know. It is both a blessing and a burden.

Australians are so exposed to espresso that in many cases they cannot distinguish good from awful from excellent. Because it's all we know, as roasters, as cuppers, as retailers and baristas, our background and the development of coffee styles in Australia is very different to many other places in terms of it's general acceptance into mainstream consumption and the narrow platform from where we've come.

THe way we roast, the coffees we cup and select, our general style of consuption and extraction, production etc. is very different to anywhere else I've been in the world. (Which includes, Norway, Vienna, Seattle, Vancouver, Miami, Japan, Brazil, New Zealand and this is not to show off just to say I've gone to check out a lot of other espresso 'hotspots' to compare to Australia.) In terms of espresso Australia is a more competitive market - it's smaller and more concentrated and we're all coming from a similar base and background.

THe other problem with the saturation/overexposure as Luca said is that many coffee producers in Australia are either lazy or naieve with their product - which means if we dont get our butts into gear as a whole, we'll fall behind the rest of the world in the development and evolution of a product which IMHO we have been ahead in for many years. ( So i agree with George here - we started off out front, but we're falling behind in some areas rapidly).

There is a small(ish) group of dedicated coffee professionals (which really in Australia is espresso professionals cos we dont do anything else!!) who are working and improving, and educating and pushing boundaries - these are those that Mark talked about travelling and learning and comparing.... but on the whole, our industry here (the non specialty end) is a shocker. I've worked with a number of roasters in the last few years on a consultative basis who dont even bother cupping their coffees - they buy off a list quoting grading and origin as the only information they need to guarantee a good product. They keep no roast records, times or temperatures, they dont cup their finished product. They roast, pack and sell.. and unfortunately, some Australians are still consuming it.


The training standards referred to and the rapid growth of training schools are also two sided - i work at a TAFE training institution - (government accredited training school) and offer the 'prepare and serve' and 'plan and monitor' espresso coffee standards. WE take over 40 hours to teach, train and acredit these programmes... other coffee schools do it in 3 - 5 hours. THe downside of this is that many courses are rubber stamped with a govt accreditation for basic espresso skills which are not deserving. In a lot of cases private training schools pump through the students and they come out with poor skills - because the teachers dont know any better and still reflect the fact that in this saturated market people are so used to espresso they'll accept just about anything.  


On a more positive note though, what it does represent however is the depth to which Espresso coffee has penetrated Australian society - the educational arm of the govt feels that a basic national minimum standard is required to regulate the industry and lay some sort of foundation.

So I'm not sure how much sense this post makes, there are a few unlinked points, but still the overall theme is there (I think!!)

Australia is advanced in espresso because we started earlier, had less outside influences and the market has only ever demaned espresso - but unless we keep innovating as a whole I worry we're going to fall behind. THe enthusiams of other countries as they 'discover' espresso and push boundaries etc is rapidly overtaking in terms of an overall better cup across their respective industries.


By the way Mark - anytime you want to head down this way you're more than welcome... We've got plenty of great espresso bars and roasters and cafes to take you too which will blow your socks off, so we're not done yet...
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
AndyL
Senior Member
AndyL
Joined: 31 Dec 2003
Posts: 1,337
Location: australia
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: 2 Synesso,1957 urania lever
Grinder: 2 Robur E, Robur, K10
Vac Pot: Hario
Roaster: 5kg Renegade
Posted Thu Jun 14, 2007, 3:10am
Subject: Re: Cafe Culture Downunder by George Sabados
 

George great article.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
wushoes
Senior Member
wushoes
Joined: 9 Feb 2006
Posts: 318
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: La Marzocco Mistral and FB80
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC, Robur
Vac Pot: Hario and Yama
Roaster: Donnie Lee
Posted Thu Jun 14, 2007, 4:03am
Subject: Re: Cafe Culture Downunder by George Sabados
 

Awesome post Em! I assume the article you're talking about is the Crema Spring 06 edition?

I also feel that the new markets such as Denmark take off with espresso with such enthusiasm and zeal that Australia is going to be left for dead.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
alanfrew
Senior Member
alanfrew
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 643
Location: Melbourne
Expertise: Professional

Posted Thu Jun 14, 2007, 4:56am
Subject: Re: Cafe Culture Downunder by George Sabados
 

emily Said:

There is a small(ish) group of dedicated coffee professionals (which really in Australia is espresso professionals cos we dont do anything else!!) who are working and improving, and educating and pushing boundaries - these are those that Mark talked about travelling and learning and comparing.... but on the whole, our industry here (the non specialty end) is a shocker. I've worked with a number of roasters in the last few years on a consultative basis who dont even bother cupping their coffees - they buy off a list quoting grading and origin as the only information they need to guarantee a good product. They keep no roast records, times or temperatures, they dont cup their finished product. They roast, pack and sell.. and unfortunately, some Australians are still consuming it.

Posted June 14, 2007 link

Not all of us came from an espresso background, particularly roasters in Melbourne, and (strangely enough) in Perth and Freo. There were lively non-espresso coffee cultures in both cities well before the advent of Italian migration to Australia, based around vacuum, filter and plunger coffees, from the 19th century onwards. (Not that I'm quite that old .. yet.) And there are still many commercial roasters who don't cup, keep roast records or even try competitor's coffees.

But by and large that's changing; the (relatively) young up-and-comers I talk to DO cup, DO keep records, DO travel, and they are starting to appreciate that there is a larger coffee world out there. George's assessment of the relative espresso based markets is spot on, except for one little detail. More DOMESTIC espresso machines are sold and owned per capita in Australia than in any other country in the world, to the point where they are unremarkable "furniture" in ads for all sorts of other stuff, including home loans.

I was particularly struck by this the other day, when walking past a "designer home accessories" store. Along with various cushions, vases, picture frames etc. there was a killer central display of Elektra espresso machines, with tastefully displayed matching kitchenware surrounding it. We Aussies truly live in a MATURE espresso culture.

This was brought home even more forcefully last weekend, when my wife and I had breakfast at the Westin Hotel on Collins St. in Melbourne. I asked for a double espresso as part of the buffet breakfast, and it was perfect. As good as any espresso I've had in Italy, better than ANY espresso I've ever tasted in the USA (even from Schomer's own hands), produced by an anonymous barista on an anonymous machine. Repeated 3 minutes later. Compared to what I was served at the Westin Long Beach, a few short weeks before, no contest.

There is a huge undercurrent of young baristas (and hopefully roasters) who are beginning to know what quality espresso should be, driven by an increasing customer appreciation of quality coffee.


Alan
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
JacobS
Senior Member
JacobS
Joined: 5 May 2006
Posts: 156
Location: Copenhagen
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: GS/3
Grinder: Robur
Roaster: Probat '73 RE 1 Sample...
Posted Thu Jun 14, 2007, 5:04am
Subject: Re: Cafe Culture Downunder by George Sabados
 

bump for subscription
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MarkPrince
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,624
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Versalab M3 Grinder
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Bonavita
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Thu Jun 14, 2007, 11:18am
Subject: Re: Cafe Culture Downunder by George Sabados
 

Em, always great to get your input. So many points made, and I like the counterpoints to a few of George's comments. The information about the govt controlled (instituted? mandated? encouraged?) certification system was very enlightening.

Alan - the comment about the espresso at a Westin Hotel was especially eye opening, but not surprising to me. I sometimes get flack from my fellow Canadians and friends to the south about being such an Aussiephile when it comes to espresso and the culture - especially Nick who asked once "if you love them so much, why don't you marry them!", but it's things like this Westin espresso, and many other tales of just awesome espresso found in the most unlikely of places that make me sit up and admire the Aussie (and Kiwi) espresso "scenes".

I was hoping to see more positive discussion from folks on this side of the world. I was a bit worried that the thread would be derailed by a few comments last night, but its good to see it is back on track.

More! More!

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
www.twitter.com/coffeegeek www.flickr.com/coffeegeek, www.instagram.com/coffeegeek (you get the picture)
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
May
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Aug 2006
Posts: 15
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Sunbeam 6910
Grinder: Sunbeam Conical Grinder
Vac Pot: Hario 3 Cup
Roaster: Non just yet!
Posted Thu Jun 14, 2007, 11:29am
Subject: Re: Cafe Culture Downunder by George Sabados
 

Just something else to add to alan's point..

One of the domestic homewares companies that also has a line of espresso machines has released a 'breakthrough' espresso machine that steams and extracts at the same time at quite a cheap price.  

Not only that but they are offering free coffee training/appreciation seminars in most capital cities every weekend for their buyers.  That's also a sign of a very mature espresso market imo..

 
Three Beans and Dinner for Three.
http://3bns.jazzmatique.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
showing page 2 of 5 first page | last page previous page | next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Articles > Columnist... > Cafe Culture...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Home Espresso Machines
Watch videos with Gail & Kat, Rocket, Jura Capresso, Saeco, Rancilio, Quick Mill, Nespresso
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.288858890533)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+