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Melbourne's steamy love affair with coffee continues

March 11, 2013, 11:26 amYahoo!7

Melbourne is a city obsessed with coffee. Cold drips, aero-press, cupping and siphon are common words in the local vernacular thanks to a widespread passion for the bean, complemented by a number of leading providores who call Melbourne home.

Melbourne s steamy love affair with coffee continues
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Melbourne is a city obsessed with coffee. Cold drips, aero-press, cupping and siphon are common words in the local vernacular thanks to a widespread passion for the bean, complemented by a number of leading providores who call Melbourne home.

MELBOURNE'S COFFEE CREDENTIALS

Melbourne’s long and eventful love affair emerged when Melbourne’s first espresso machines landed in the 1950s, strongly influencing a distinct European café culture which is now combined with the new wave of coffee makers and drinkers that continue to put Melbourne on the global map when it comes to coffee.

2013 is the year of the bean in Melbourne – the city’s ever-growing coffee community will play host to an exciting number of global coffee focused events and celebrations including the world-first Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar, part of Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and the World Barista Championships.

2013 MAJOR COFFEE EVENTS – THE YEAR OF THE BEAN

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar (1 – 17 March)
Flavours from the world’s exotic coffee growing regions will gravitate towards the city centre at the Urban Coffee and Brew Bar, from March 1-17 as part of the iconic Melbourne Food and Wine Festival. Shipping containers, timber pallets, packing crates and tools used to transport coffee, have been used to construct an architecturally designed terrace coffee farm featuring more than 125 coffee plants in the heart of the city at Queensbridge Square, Southbank.A rotating roster of Melbourne’s top baristas, brewing workshops and classes for general public led by big-name specialty cafes and roasteries are just some of the activities designed to inspire visitors to experience the handiwork involved in this simple daily pleasure – from bean to brew. Don’t miss names like 5 Senses, Small Batch, Market Lane Coffee and St Ali in the program.

Melbourne International Coffee Expo (23-26 May)

Melbourne International Coffee Expo, 23-26 May, will bring together the World Barista Championships, the World Brewers Cup and the inaugural Global Coffee Review Symposium at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds. Melbourne will be represented at the event by its own World Brewer’s Cup Champion, Matt Perger. Matt, who is the first Australian to win the coveted title, is a barista for St Ali – one of Melbourne’s most popular coffee roasters and providores. Over the course of one weekend the world’s leading baristas and Melbourne’s leading coffee vendors will come together to educate, inform and share ideas. The event is complemented by peripheral roasting workshops, café tours and opportunities to interact with the best minds in brewing.

COFFEE TOURS

My Aching Head – Melbourne Coffee Tours
Few things are more Melburnian than a bicycle coffee tour. My Aching Head offers the chance to get off the beaten track and discover some of the city’s top cafes. Given Melbourne’s largely flat street layout, it’s a leisurely two-hour ride that incorporates roasting houses and laneway cafes where coffee lovers can sample beans originating from different estates around the world and learn about different brewing methods. Melbourne’s Historic Coffee Tour
Barista judge and coffee connoisseur Maria Paoli runs Melbourne’s popular Evolving Success Historical Coffee Trek. Paoli’s tour hones in on the history of coffee in Melbourne and the techniques used by pre-war immigrants in the “espresso revolution” of the mid 1950s, bringing the tour up-to-date by showcasing the city’s thriving café culture and the success that local baristas enjoy in international barista competitions. Tour participants sample a wide variety of coffee blends and learn about what makes a perfect cup of coffee. Coffee connoisseurs will appreciate the finer details of brewing methods, coffee roasting and the history of coffee beans and domestic coffee making machines.

BACKGROUND


Caffeine has been pumping through the arteries of Melbourne’s city centre for many years. Starting with the original Pellegrini Espresso Bar which opened in the 1950s, a thriving Italian influence helped the spread of coffee culture in Melbourne over the decades to follow, until the new wave of specialist roasters and baristas emerged in the early 2000s. In 2005 Mark Dundon (the brainchild behind well-known Melbourne cafes including Seven Seeds, Brother Baba Budan and De Clieu), opened St Ali in South Melbourne, setting a precedent of roasting coffee rather than buying imported roasts. Since then, the scene has continued to grow with the St Ali empire, now run by Salvatore Malatesta opening new touch points in the inner north, east and south of Melbourne (Outpost, St Ali North, Café Racer and Il Fornaio, and Sensory Lab in the city centre). Market Lane Coffee burst onto the scene in 2009, with a purist approach to coffee (as in it's the only type of beverage served) and dedicated mail-order coffee club. Today it is almost impossible to walk around a corner in Melbourne without the familiar scent of a perfectly brewed espresso wafting down a laneway.Melburnians have become discerning coffee drinkers and while many still favour espresso coffee styles – caffe latte with rich crema – cafes now offer an array of alternatives, including syphons, filters and French pressed coffee.

COFFEE FACTS


• Melbourne’s love of coffee just keeps growing – the volume of coffee beans imported from around the globe through the Port of Melbourne has increased by around 780 per cent over the last decade.
• Every day, on average, the Port of Melbourne handles 30 tonnes of coffee beans. This makes the equivalent of 3 million cups of coffee each day – that’s enough to give every metropolitan Melburnian a daily coffee fix.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Tours & Events
• Melbourne Food and Wine Festival – Urban Coffee Bar and Brew Bar - www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au• Melbourne International Coffee Expo - www.internationalcoffeeexpo.com
• Evolving Success tours – www.evolvingsuccess.com.au
• My Aching Head – Melbourne Coffee Tours - http://myachinghead.net/melbourne-coffee-tours/Specialist roasters – tasting, brewing and roasting
• Market Lane Coffee - www.marketlane.com.au
• Seven Seeds – www.sevenseeds.com.au
• St Ali – www.stali.com.au
• East Brunswick Project & The League of Honest Coffee – www.padrecoffee.com.au
• Auction Rooms - www.auctionroomscafe.com.au
• Proud Mary – www.proudmarycoffee.com.au Espresso bars and Cafes
• Manchester Press – 8 Rankins Lane, Melbourne
• Pellegrini Espresso Bar – 66 Bourke Street, Melbourne
• Cup of Truth - http://cupoftruth.com.au
• Patricia - http://www.patriciacoffee.com.au/
• Dukes - http://www.dukescoffee.com.au/Visit Melbourne - Destination guide, accommodation, things to do, map, weather.

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