Monday, 20 October 2014

Golden Bean Awards 2014

More roasting medals this year for Central Victoria’s Custom Coffees.

Grata Espresso golden bean medals
 October saw the running of Australia’s largest and most prestigious awards for specialty coffee roasting, the Golden Bean Awards.

Held in Port Macquarie QLD this year, the event hosted over 1300 entries in twelve categories and was judged by a panel of 200 industry peers, over the week.

The Golden Bean Awards are a huge event on the coffee roasters calendar and are a sought after award.

In recent years, Custom Coffees has won a total of 5 medals in different categories and 2014 was another one of those winning years for the business.

Custom Coffees entered three coffees into the competition and came away with two medals, and outstanding effort considering the enormous number of entrants and the quality of coffee available.

This year Custom Coffees won a Bronze Medal for our outstanding Fairtrade Organic Cascadia Decaff in the Decaffeinated Latte category, for the third time in a row. 

They also took out the Silver Medal in the Organic Espresso category for our beautiful Fairtrade Organic Soul Blend. 

“These new awards are a testament to our continued dedication to roasting the excellence, with a dedicated team of ten passionate coffee professionals,” said Andrew McDonald Customs Coffee Director.

Custom Coffees is based in Bendigo Central Victoria and were the first, and continue to be, the leading coffee roaster in Regional Victoria. 

“I’d like to congratulate the whole team at Custom Coffees for their dedication, passion and continued pursuit of coffee excellence. You’ve made us proud again this year, well done.”  Andrew said.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

The Top Four Cafe's & Restaurants in Bendigo?

February  2015

1. Masons Of Bendigo

2. The Woodhouse

3. Simr.

4. The Brougham Arms

What do they all have in common?


All Award Winning establishments.
All demand premium ingredients and produce. 

And all long time Custom Coffees clients.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Nespresso Compatible Coffee Bombs

Nespresso compatible

At last, Artisan coffee in a pod.

Nespresso compatible
After a lot of R&D over the past 12 months, we think we've nailed it.  Beautiful award winning coffee in a convenient Nespresso compatible pod.

We developed three different strengths, 'Atomic Bomb', the strongest blend, the 'Cluster Bomb' for those who want a little less kick and 'The Dud',  - decaf!

The beauty in these pods is the suburb balanced coffee flavour, not a metallic sharp taste,  and the depth and longevity of the crema displaying the quality of the ethically sourced AA Grade coffee beans in the specially developed coffee pod blends.

Hi Andrew.

Coffee is amazing. It does exactly what it says on the tin... 'Compatible Pods that taste like coffee'.
Super smooth, no bitter after taste and certainly no metallic taste...Bravo, I'll be back for more.
Thanks again Andrew, ... and good luck with Coffee Bombs.

Alan Browning 

Nespresso compatible
This crema remains perfect after 30 mins!
With fresh coffee the entire shot seems to be crema as it brews. Only after the pour stops does it settle out into two clearly defined phases. With older coffee you can often see a thinner, separate head of foam settling out as the shot pours. The resulting coffee is often thin and watery meaning the little crema we have disappears quickly.  (Read - 'other' Pods - stale, flat, metallic taste)
Crema is one of the many joys of an espresso. The honeycomb network of bubbles traps many of the aromatics ready to release them as the bubbles burst on the tongue. It lends both an appealing texture and an appealing look to the drink, and will remain inextricably linked to the romance of coffee.   

Nespresso compatible

A Division of:  

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Every wondered how your E61 Group Head works?

The vulnerable E61 Group Head has been in service since 1961 first seen in the original Faema E61 Espresso machine .

A derivative of the original patented design are still used today by most of the large espresso machine manufactures.  Weighing around 4kg and made of of nickel plated solid brass, it was and still is renowned for it's fantastic even thermal qualities, partly due to its thermal mass, but more so to its patented thermosyphon head heating, a movement of heated water purely driven by hot water cooling slightly along its journey - thus creating a free and continuous circulation of hot water through the group head, much like the circulation of heated air cooling and falling in a room, only to be reheated again and rising. 

Still today a lot of espresso machines use the manual original version of this group head. A manual leaver drives a cam providing three different positions of valves. 
1. Off / dump pressure. (fully up)  
2. Pre infusion (allows ambient pressure heated water into the poprtafilter to wet the ground coffee)  (mid point)
3. High pressure pump on. (fully down) 
The length of the pre infusion and high pressure extraction is up to you, opinions vary on what the correct timing for each is. 

In a push button society where ease of use and digital timing take the guess work out of the extraction, the 3 way cam has been replaced with a simple of / on solenoid of course thus removing the important manual pre infusion step. Different manufactures have different way to get around this, some pulse the pump for a second, stop, and restart to pre infuse, others have stepped pressure building to achieve the same result, or its ignored all together. The important point here is that all still rely on a basic design concept devised in the 1960's by Carlo Ernesto Valente -  the venerable E61 Group Head. 

The video below beautifully shows the inner workings. 
What a great piece of engineering - those crafty Italians. 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Customer Service isn't a department, its everybodys job.

                           Customer Service, are you getting it?

Customer Service Grata Espresso
Tammy & Zoe
Custom Coffees has been in business for nearly 15 years and prides its self on its customer service record. That customer service ethos has been woven through all aspects of our business and as such has seen steady business growth through great products and great customer service during those 15 years.

Highly recommend custom coffees!! Not only does their coffee make you crave more but their customer service is outstanding!! We use custom coffees at Sweeneys cafe at latrobe uni in Bendigo and love our weekly visits from Tam and the always prompt and helpful service. Thanks guys.    

Hello Custom Coffees Crew,Just wanted to send a quick letter of thanks for sending Brett out to look at the coffee machine at the Bendigo Tramways this week. He was very helpful, as you all have been to us. We really appreciate the extra training and maintenance advice you give us as none of us are trained baristas. Our coffee has been getting great reviews and it's all thanks to you for helping us prefect the perfect cup. Some of us have been to other paid training coffee courses and we've still learned much more from the training and advice you've provided. Thank you so much for going above and beyond just being our coffee bean supplier. We all appreciate it.

The Bendigo Trust Team 

The coffee supply industry usually fails in providing adequate and timely response to client needs. National roasters and ‘Johnny come lately’ suppliers may achieve a churn though various methods, but suppliers who have a great product, who identify the type of relationship a client wants from the start – and then focus on doing it really, really well – will prosper and achieve longevity. Custom Coffees is a shining example.

Grata espresso car

With two Customer Service reps on the road five days a week who's sole job is to look after you and additionaly two sales staff also on the road five days a week, help - if you need it - isn't far away.    

CCHQ's ethos: 

"To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity." 

We absolutely stand by that.


Grata espresso dispatch
Michael &  Matt in dispatch. Hundreds of boxes out the door every week via FastWay Couriers.

Grata Espresso Head Quarters
CCHQ  Bendigo.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Food Fossickers Event Sunday March 16th. Bendigo

Come and be part of a regional food wonderland in the shade of the Bendigo Botanic Gardens, where Central Victoria’s local food network Food Fossickers presents: 
“A Picnic with the Mad Hatter”. 

Grata Espresso Food Fossickers
Date: Sunday, 16th of March 2014
$10 each online prior to the day
$15 each at the gate 
Children under 3 years are free
Sample regional delights from local producers and wineries or build the perfect picnic spread from our hawker style restaurant stalls and craft beer bar. This food and wine festival is a good ol’ fashioned family picnic day with something for everyone – the very best restaurants, food producer and wineries from the region, with music, entertainment and loads of fun activities for the kids.

Pimped SanRemo Torino for the Food Fossickers Event

Custom Coffees and Grata Espresso are proud to be associated with Bendigo Food Fossickers and the Picnic w the Mad Hatter. 

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Coffee Dubai Style. A visit to Raw Coffee Roastery

Raw Coffee Roastery. Dubai
Raw Coffee Dubai, owned and run by a Kiwi, Matt Toogood, who, according to his website was bringing in suitcases of coffee from NZ into a Western - Ozzie / Kiwi  style coffee starved Dubai and decided to do something about it in country!

I went to visit on a recent trip to Dubai.
Unfortunately Matt was called away selling to a new client, but his Master Roaster Kushal Balami was in the roastery. Not only is Kushal very passionate about his coffee and a roaster extraordinaire, he's also the 2013 UAE's Barista Champion! Talented staff to have on board. As a side note, Matt   was the 2011 / 12 Champ!

A semi industrial lane way revels its secrets.

Located down a lane in a semi industrial area, south of Dubai proper, Raw Coffee shines as a beacon for good coffee in a land where a good 'Western' coffee can be difficult to find. Raw coffee supplies to local cafes and restaurants and has built quite a reputation over the past six years of operation.
Well stocked for a busy Dubai Winter Season.

Raw Coffee has its own small cafe in front and a further relaxed coffee area upstairs with some very funky couches and tables..

Kushal Balami - Master Roaster.

Running two 13kg CoffeeTools roasters, Raw Coffee pumps out around 2000kg a week keeping Kushal very busy!

Richard and I were warmly welcomed and  shown through the facility, as would I suspect any coffee addict! The girls out the front and ancillary staff were very friendly and accommodating, explaining coffee roasting and distribution Dubai style. 

Great to see some Oz/Kiwi style coffee flair!

And great may I say to have some strong, well crafted familar Western coffee, it was very well received. Raw Coffee have several single organic single origins on offer to clients and a similar amount of 'post roasting' blended blends. Lighter roasted than we would typically do at Custom Coffees, but horses for courses, its clearly working!

I would highly recommend a visit to Raw Coffee Dubai. 
Thanks to all the staff at Raw Coffee for letting us have a poke around.

Monday, 13 January 2014

FairTrade Coffee

One of our FairTrade Organic Bends.

Grata Espresso fairtrade coffees

Fairtrade coffee ensures that the farmers who grow the coffee beans are paid a fair price for what they produce. Not only is this equitable and helps to ensure better conditions for workers, but it means farmers are better able to afford to feed their families, educate their children, and reinvest money back into their farms to further develop them.  Fairtrade coffee helps people in developing countries help themselves.
There are many Fairtrade certified products available around the world. Coffee is one of the most popular, as many of the world’s least developed countries rely on coffee revenue, where in some instances it makes up nearly 80% of exports. On this larger scale, Fairtrade coffee helps ensure these nations have the resources to look after their people and develop their economies. Our Fairtrade coffee—whether blended or single origin—is also organic, so it cares for people as well as the environment– better for the farmers and better for you!

The countries from which we source our Fairtrade coffee are:
  • East Timor
  • Ethiopia
  • PNG
  • Peru
  • Indonesia
  • Brazil
Grata Espresso Fairtrade coffees
Custom Coffees are registered, certified and annually audited by FairTrade Australia & New Zealand. 

Only businesses as such can legally display or claim to use the FairTrade branding or logo.

See all of our available FairTrade Coffees here.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Back into it for 2014!

Grata Espresso Roasting tubs
60kg tubs all ready...
Tubs all lined up for todays roasting schedule. Back a few days early to make sure sure we have plenty of coffee for Mondays reopening after the Christmas clean out! This gives the coffee four days to degas before shipment, you want it fresh but not too fresh..

Christmas for Custom Coffees is always a busy time. For the three weeks leading up to our  break, this year started the 21st December, we have to prepare for being shut down for two weeks. Three weeks of coffee needs to go out in one week. This always takes some planning starting months before.

Custom Coffees has over 30 coffee varietals on the floor. Factory stores staff have to order a minimum 3 months in advance from our suppliers, and we always have two months of raw coffee supply in our factory and storage areas - so five months earlier we need to start to ramp up to cope with three weeks of coffee going out in the last week before Christmas shut

fastway Max at Grata Espresso
I know Max, its nearly over...

Ask Max, he knows all about the week before our Christmas break..

Grata espresso Fairtrade organic coffee
Fairtrade Organic Coffee.   Beautiful FTO Seven Blend.

Going to be another big year for CCHQ me thinks, got a few things on the go...