Coffee News…. WBC, Cup of Excellence et pui…

OK ! So, I wish I was going to London…. WHY ? It’s WBC time or in full World Barista Championship time. This year promises to be bigger and better than ever…. as always. This time the WBC will be held in London from 23-25 June and it will held in conjunction with the ever popular Caffe Culture Event, which I had been going to since it’s inception in 2006. But, typical, just when I move away from Europe, I miss out on such a wonderful opportunity, but such is life. In any case, if you can and haven’t booked your flight yet or better still if you live in London, log onto the caffe culture site ( and you can attend for free, yes ! for free. This year, they’ve got a special treat, the launch of the new La Marzocco espresso machine, the Strada – the first La Marzocco machine that would let the barista to have absolute and direct control of pressure at any point during extraction, Wow ! Also, there’s a whole load of guest speakers like David Schomer (if there was a phd in espresso, he would have one), Latte Art and Coffee Tasting competitions. Let’s not forget the Caffe culture event too, where there will also be specialist workshops, like how to run a cafe.

Also happening in the coffee world at the moment are the auctions for the Cup of Excellence (CoE). I blogged about the CoE a while back in 2009, but in short it is a process where the best coffees in a country are selected by both national and international cuppers to determine which is the best coffee. After which, the selected coffees are awarded the prestigious Cup of Excellence award and auctioned off through the internet. Today, they had the CoE for El Salvador and redcherry coffee roasters of Cape Town were hoping to get some, even though I was lucky to taste some just last week, brought back by redcherry coffee roaster, Audrey (more on that experience later).

All over in Melbourne, Australia, I have to let you know that Market Lane in Prahran Market, Commercial Road is up and running… well it’s been operational for about 6 months and from the reviews and pics (see market lane review ) I can’t wait to buy a ticket and see the place for myself. For more about Market Lane see for more and if you are in that part of the World, you’re very lucky… get down there and buy some coffee.

Still on new ventures, Square Mile Coffee Roasters have just opened up a new coffee shop in London, Penny University. The name might sound strange but it is based on London coffee history, where people visited coffee shops so often that they use to learn a lot about life, so for example each coffee shop was known for the professions that visited it, whereby if you went to a coffee shop frequented by physicians/doctors, you could learn a lot about medicine just by hanging out there for the day. The famous insurance company, Lloyds of London was created in a coffee shop frequented by insurers of course. OK ! so what’s penny university ? It’s actually one of the first modern coffee shops not to offer espresso based coffee – don’t scream ! They are of course offering top quality coffee using different methods like the HarioV60, Woodneck, etc. For more see square mile coffee, link on my blogroll, and if you are in London for the WBC or just in London, get down there for a different coffee experience.

As for me, I’ve joined twitter and I have been learning a lot about coffee and roasting, which is always very exciting for me. You can tweet me on atastyescape

Last but not least, as you know, I moved to Cape Town about 6 months ago to pursue my dream of running a coffee and cake shop and just this week I’ve finally signed a lease. You can follow check up on updates on my new blog related to the caffe on

Ciao !


A Gift from…..

I must say, this will be my freshest blog to date, as this pic was taken this morning and as you know in the mornings it’s always an espresso based milk drink – today’s was a flattie or flat white (for those who don’t know, it’s an Australian version of a cappuccino made in a 150ml cup as opposed to the usual 225ml version).

So ! why is this a gift ? Because this special coffee was roasted by the Danish speciality coffee roasters, Coffee Collective. This is currently their espresso blend, made up using 60% Brazilian Daterra, 20% Guatemalan Finca Vista and 20% Kenyan Kiawamururu arabica beans. It’s described as a sweet and caramelly (is there such a word?) espresso. Coffee Collective are really serious about coffee, made up of people who are world champion tasters and a former WBC Champ. They work very closely with farms and are passionate about getting seasonal coffees too, offering coffees freshly roasted to buy through the internet. BUT I didn’t order it, it was a gift from Renato, coffee roaster at EspressoLab, Cape Town, generous soul he is. When I went in last week for a cortado, he offered to give me some coffee to take home free of charge. Leaning over I saw that the bag was brightly covered with the coffee collective logo to see more, visit their website (link at the bottom of this post). So what was the coffee like ? Actually, when I first tried it last week, I thought “it’s a bit fresh and I didn’t really get a good pour), so I rested it for another week and decided that today was the DAY and what a wonderful surprise. OK ! there was a bit of a struggle at first…

And I thought “urrghhh !” I’ve wasted this precious coffee, because I got about enough coffee for 4 espressos or for me, two doppios. As it trickled in, it began to get a bit light, which usually means weakish crema is on the way.

However, as this was a gift, it’s like God changed all the parameters because as soon as I blended it with well frothed milk, Wow ! I detected that dark chocolate, medium acidity, well balanced and sweet smooth finish. I was so pleasantly surprised that I got inspirational and tried this shot out, which is my favourite pic of the mo.

My portion is finished but if you’re in Europe, I strongly advise you to try and order as much of this as possible. See for more and well done Coffee Collective for a really memorable espresso blend.

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