Archive for the ‘3 Beans’ Category

Happy Birthday my beautiful eight year old boy, and my 10 year old Blog!

Saturday, June 14th, 2014

MCR First Post 2004








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!

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$375 per kilo for coffee! Seriously!

Monday, October 7th, 2013

And that’s wholesale!  Retail is $650 per kilo.

When I was invited by the Campos coffee guys to cup the Iron Man Geisha, I really was sceptical.  The most expensive coffee in the world?  I needed to see this.  Truth is  I was late, but Matthew was his usual charming self and has delayed the session to accommodate my tardiness.

The delightful lass at the Elgin street store led me around back to the Carlton Laneway that access the roaster where Campos does its thing.  Behind the Roastery is, a somewhat out of place book shelf.  Afore said lass pulls a book forward, and like in the old Batman movies, the bookshelf pivots open like a big secret door to reveal the Campos Cupping room.

I had been here before, but this was a very exclusive affair, with Campos blue bloods, Matthew Dessaix, and Dylon Green and the delightful Phoebe Montague from fame.


Before us were five cups coffee grounds ready for the nose stage.  If you don’t know how cupping is done, check out this post or wikipeadia can give some insight.  Effectively it is a standardised way to gauge the quality of coffee all around the world.

We slowly went through the coffee’s, first the nose as dry and wet, then the impolite shocking slurping of the nectar.  The hunt was on for the Iron Man Geisha.  The first one was ok, but it was just coffee,.. it had some interesting notes but all in all, nope!

Next was what I called the factory floor metal coffee, that was a Safeway special I think,.. no again.  The third, as a delightful chocolate and earthy flavour, very nice,.. Cup Of Excellence (Brazil I think), then we got onto 4.  I noticed how clean it was, and the coffee permeated my mouth without being rude or bitter.  It was a delight to drink and there were what seemed to be 1000 flavours pushing through my mouth.

This was it; this has got to be it.  The 5th was amazing to, I was a bit taken aback, it was another CoE, from where I cant remember, and I was in no condition to make a note on my iPhone.

Coffee doesn’t keep like wine does, but once you have had some of this, you may want to shrink wrap the rest for your grand kids to see if not drink.


I think it retails at about $650 per kilo.   My guess is our Japanese brothers and sisters will snatch this lot up, but you may grab some through the Campos guys.


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Picollo Espresso

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Natalie and Bridget, two sisters who have passion in their eyes and fire in their heart run this place.  This is not a manufactured koolesque cafe, this is the real deal,.. lovers of coffee come here as an oasis from the drudge of urban dayze.  The coffee here is Campos.  MCR loves Campos. Simply, the guys do a great coffee, the team here takes it up a notch and all is well in the world.

This morning I braved the freeze and rain, with only my scarf and the promise of a good coffee to greet me and kick off the day.  I think I am not alone when I say many of us rely on the baristas to do their job superbly so that we can do ours.  Its that time of the year when the grey days of Melbourne are plashed with the vibrant smell of freshly extracted coffee.

Enjoy my friends.





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The church of Cafenatics on fire!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Something about the Cafenatics guys that is a cut above the rest. They are not only great coffee makers, but undertake to create the experience for their breakfast and lunch businesses like a quality restauranteur.

I am checking out their recent star on Church Lane off Collins. This is a slick fitout, relaxed atmosphear that appeals to the urban worker, for that hearty breakfast, essential caffien hit or business meets.

Of course the coffees are as much about redundancy packages, new business startups, projects and who is sleeping with who in the office, that is a constant. Essentially I say Cafernatics is in step with the times and offers a great coffee and food experience. Mind you, I don’t see wifi anywhere.

I tried their coffee of the day, the single origin from Costa Rica, Pepe, which was a delightful, bright and smooth coffee, perfect to kick off my day.

Well done you guys.

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