[Homeroast] coffee in Australia

Zara Haimo zara at haimo.net
Mon Nov 22 19:25:20 CST 2010

I had 4 really good cups of coffee during the 2 weeks I was in Australia this fall/their spring.  One cup was a macchiato at Mecca in Sydney - outstanding small roaster and coffee house with a couple of locations in town.  If you're in Sydney, that's the place to go if you don't have access to homeroast.  Three cups were "short black" or espresso at Skybury coffee farm which I visited my last day there.  "Long black" is what they call an Americano.  One of the staff took me around the grounds - much of what I saw was yellow catui if I spelled that right.  They irrigate because there isn't much rainfall on the tablelands in northeastern Australia.  The farm is at 500 meters or about 1650 feet and an hour's drive from Cairns in Queensland.  They force simultaneous flowering and fruiting by withholding water for a few weeks and then resuming irrigation.  High labor costs means that picking is mechanized.

I also spent a bit of time talking to the owner.  I thought the shots he and his staff pulled for me were excellent with a long sweet finish that lasted a couple of hours after I drove away, but he kept apologizing for only having the dregs of the past year's production left.  He said the European market takes all his best coffee and he sold out completely this year.  He expects to have a bigger and better harvest in the next year as the drought that has affected much of Australia for the last dozen years has ended.  He's also adjusting his processing techniques to bring out more of the sweetness and said the coming year should be his best ever.  I had planned to bring some greens home, but he is going to send me some of the new crop when it comes in this summer.  

I've posted some photos from Skybury at http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=244880&id=557478721&l=f779fbdd0d   In addition to coffee, they also grow a variety of fruit including mangos, papayas, longons, and bananas.  Note the kangaroos and wallabees grazing on the grass at dusk.

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