Experience = consistent quality
Winning medals and awards may assist towards helping customers build trust in your brand, but it's only a very small part of a bigger story.
Nothing ever stands still in the world of coffee.
This means whatever happened yesterday, last month or a couple of years ago has been well and truly replaced or superseded by what's going on right now.
Ingredients are constantly changing, almost weekly and the conditions we roast under (weather) always change. Even once you perfect the status quo, consumer tastes and preferences shift in remarkably short cycles.
So if it's a quality coffee to enjoy at home, great beans for the workplace or office, or a cafe needing cutting-edge coffee solutions that stand out from the competition, chances are we may have a perfect solution for you.
IT STARTS WITH SELECTING THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS
Every year many hundreds of different raw/green bean lots are imported by Australian coffee brokers. It's close to a thousand actually.
Each lot has distinctly different cup characteristics, price and available quantity.
This large range of choice presents the first challenge or dilemma to the coffee roaster or coffee brand owner - green bean selection.
Whilst it's never an easy task to pick winners 100% of the time, having the right level of experience helps reduce risks to buy well.
Sometimes the reality or perception of quality can be different.
An expensive bean with a high cup score does not guarantee or translate into immediate success by those important people paying for the end beverage, coffee drinkers.
How many times have we seen and heard stories of hyped up coffees or brands failing to satisfy expectations.
Great coffees have a lovely balance and often it's that balance which is never easy to create and sustain over time.
It is easy to take great raw coffees and roast them badly and there are plenty of new coffee brands doing exactly that.
Unfortunately, the inverse is not true - taking bad ingredients and by roasting it perfectly you can't create an amazing cup.
Storage of the raw coffees is critical for maintaining quality and consistency - a simple fact overlooked or disregarded by a majority of coffee roasting companies.
At Carlini Coffee, storage is just as important as quality of ingredients and skill of roasting. We give equal attention to each of those disciplines.
WE DO IT OUR WAY
Around 90% of our green beans are purchased from the major Australian brokers.
The remainder is spread between Direct Trade and the small Tier 2/3 brokers when something unique and interesting is offered.
A reason we spread across many brokers is to reduce risks of defective product quality and provide a broader menu of choices.
Our green bean selection process is stringent - we allocate plenty of time every week to managing green bean sourcing and the related quality controls.
WHO IS THE PERSON ROASTING YOUR COFFEE ?
If you are a specialty cafe or private label client and serious about quality, try finding out "who is the person roasting my coffee and how much skin do they have in that game ?".
- Is it the smartly-dressed, smooth-talking sales person sitting in front of you offering incentives. No
- Or is it the media-hungry coffee company owner promising the world and showing off. Definitely not
- Does your existing coffee supplier retain the talent of roasting or do they promote the delivery driver into a production role so they can "look after the roasting". Doesn't sound important does it.
- How is the person roasting your coffee employed with the correct incentives to make a perfect product for you ?
- Roasting coffee is one of the hardest gigs around. It's back breaking, cold, hot, dusty, smokey - you must concentrate 100% at all times. Rarely do people stick at roasting coffee for more than a few years because it smashes your body with injuries. Turnover of roasting staff is high - all that knowledge and experience goes out the door.
- Most people roasting coffee end up leaving to start their own coffee brand. All that knowledge walks out the door. As a customer of a brand, how do you apply pressure on your coffee supplier to manage those risks.
Roasting great coffee is all about experience.
Never from freaky talent. Absolutely not from a classroom or researching the internet.
It's also certainly not some long-held whispered secret passed down through generations that most European producers like to fool you into believing.
Generally speaking, the average level of roasting experience for the person producing the coffee at Australian coffee companies is literally 18 months. That's about 3 years too short in our opinion.
Experience is one thing - delivering a consistently high quality product is another.
Many large coffee companies can't retain their roasting staff. So the skills and experience are constantly walking out the door, along with their product quality and consistency. This is why large companies can't do high quality products.
Who do you trust to roast your coffee ?
Only the owner of a coffee brand can be trusted to always do the job perfectly. After all, they have everything to lose.