June 14, 2014
14 Jun 2004
Above is the first post on MCR on June 14th 2004. It was the year of my daughter’s birth. She was less than six months when I posted that and it was done in a giddy frenzy of happiness and anticipation of what was to come as a dad. For MCR it was the first of nearly 1,000 posts - some I love and some I wish had never gone up. The date is also auspicious for me as it's also my son’s birthday exactly two years later. He turns 8 today! Happy birthday my beautiful boy! It’s been 10 years to the day, my gorgeous daughter turned 10 early this year, and of course today is MCR’s 10th birthday.
I did some math on the number of coffees my team and I have consumed in those years and they are quite staggering. I make it over 30,000. And at about $3.50, I get just over $100,000 spent on coffee alone. I actually think it’s double that but I can’t bear to contemplate a bigger number. If you do the numbers, note the majority of those coffees were consumed during 2009-2011.
I started writing about coffee as a result of my own passions, and while I loved coffee and still do, it was the act of reflection and just sharing the experience that motivated me at the time to write each day. It’s about coffee, but in effect, through to about 2010 many of the posts were personal accounts of my life so you could say it was a personal diary, a web log, or blog ..LOL.
Of course life happened and MCR morphed into a commercial endeavour (I swore to myself I would not do that, but it kinda took on a life of its own). Kids grew, and life went on. Before I knew it, 10 years had passed.
In these last years I think you will agree that the coffee scene boomed Australia wide, but particularly in good ole’ Melbourne. It was crazy! Coffee roasters were popping up every three minutes, cool cafes were appearing daily everywhere with amazing coffee and food, tattoo parlours had a line out into the street of aspiring baristas and beards and beanie’s seem to be the order of the day if you pull a coffee (Interesting that Barista courses didn’t do as well). Groovy music filled the graffiti splattered café alleys like Centre Way and Degraves, Block Arcade, Hardware Lane and more, and the click clack of stilettos and black leather shoes hit the cobbled pavements between work and hot coffee shops.
If you sense a note of facetiousness in my tone you would be right. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved the ride, and I think the coffee went to a new height of quality. Brands like Padre, Proud Mary, Seven seeds, Espresso Syndicate and more set a new standard of coffee quality, service and more. In my view, we then went over the crest of amazing coffee and into the valley of bullshit where some brands were touting coffee as ‘amazing’ that was absolutely not. It was wrapped up in cool venues and tattooed baristas and so it had to be great, but seriously,.. in soooo many ways it wasn’t.
We had situations where we did the top 100 and I would get abuse on the phone from people who should have known better (you know who you are). Seriously,.. crazy times, but unforgettable and precious none the less.
My favourite craziness is of course the single origin phenomenon. For the record, my personal taste for coffee fails to appreciate fruity or bright coffee. Me? I like 'coffee tasting coffee', that tastes like coffee with earthy tones, nutty,.. not a one dimensional flavour. Occasionally I’d taste a good single, but for me, mostly it tasted like average coffee with a squirt of dishwashing liquid in it.
I think perhaps lovers of the coffee scene were memorised with the media that followed us into the coffee commentary world and many peeps just got sucked in with the whole manufactured hip and grooviness. I’m a bit of a victim like that with wine, I really love the stuff but could not tell you why, and I am bamboozled in most cases with what sounds like absolute waffle.
As negative as the above sounds, I think that the heart and soul of the coffee scene in Melbourne is still very much here. I call it coffee 2.0 (I don’t actually, I’m kidding) and it consists of the ever growing mass of people who do their work in wired cafes, collaborating on global projects, start-ups, ideas, art and literature, and innovations. These cafes are our workspaces and great coffee and service is just the beginning.
I think the world is changing, many good folk are opting out (or being pushed out of corporate life) and are taking a more lifestyle and entrepreneurial approach to their income generating activities. This is underpinned by great coffee, places to meet, think, collaborate and work. That means appropriately laid out cafes, wifi that works and some space to work and talk. Great cafes are where the real people get social and then then tell the world about it on social media.
I cannot believe its 10 years. Happy birthday us! Thank you sincerely to all of who have been involved at any point on the journey. I give MCR 3 beans, we'll keep on doing our thing, and push out to the web and apps as long as you'll have us.
Lastly, but most especially, Happy 8th birthday my little man Vance. You are a legend, I love you with every ounce of my being.You rock my world completely!
February 27, 2014
Great coffee just doesn't happen by accident. Men and women slave over big ass roasting machines all over the world to deliver that exceptional coffee taste. We at MCR are on the hunt for the best roasters anywhere on the planet. We want to connect them with our readers, the great coffee lovers of the world, and we plan to deliver it right into your phones via our apps. So, if you roast, big or small, we want to know you,... just go to www.roastbank.com and register.
November 30, 2013
Bruce is a production manager at local radio at Zinc 96.1. Funny bastardo!,.. knows nothing about coffee,...who cares! I love coffee
October 14, 2013
Some of the regular readers may have seen my T-shirt with that on it, and I have to confess it been very much like that the last few weeks. Coming into summer and spring racing, it's more about booze and parties than coffee but the cold weather has kinda taken me back to the bitter cold of Melb 2013. In spite of booze and gourmet nights, I have found a couple of quite corners in cafes to enjoy and contemplate, one being Piccolo Cafe, and more recently the new Third Wave cafe, who should be listed on MCR soon. The coffee at Piccolo is consistently smooth and flavoursome, and at Third Wave, they are pulling off magic every time. I like both not just because of the coffee but the quiet corner where you can work.