It was August 2014 and Bean Brewding’s Walking Coffee Tour of the Valley had been highly anticipated. Much like the last two tours the itinerary included three locations each offering a unique experience. The tourists had booked their tickets online, handed them over and received their tour passport.
Bear Bones Espresso was the first location which had kindly opened specifically for the tour. The tourists sat for breakfast enthusiastic about the morning ahead of them.
Bear Bones Espresso
Focus: Coffee Roasting
Rosco started with a comprehensive presentation and photo gallery on his latest trip to Ethiopia. As head roaster Rosco likes to visit the source of the origin to get a greater appreciation for the bean. He talked about growing, harvesting, processing and the traditions of buying. It was nice to know that the handshake is still the way to seal the deal.
The group all moved to the sample roaster and Rosco guided us through two roasts, to point out the difference between double and single roasting. We got to smell, touch and look at coffee beans before, during and after the roasting process. There is nothing better than the smell of coffee beans as they are being carefully and caringly roasted … Mmm heavenly scent.
Several lucky tourists had the chance to roast their own coffee, bag it and take it home. Every walking coffee tourist received a bag of freshly roasted Bear Bones coffee to take home and enjoy at their leisure. What a treat!
Focus: Espresso Based Coffee
A short 10 minute walk to Bellissimo Coffee and the group were greeted by Mark and Romeo. We were ushered through the contented Saturday morning crowd to an intimate training space where the guys gave us an up close and personal demonstration on the art of making espresso coffee. Plenty of tips were shared and key questions answered giving the group everything they needed to know about making great espresso at home.
We covered the importance of the grind, tamping and the dose (amount) of coffee and how they contribute to a delightful espresso. We got to touch the beautifully machined tamp that had just arrived from overseas and tourists were invited to make their own espresso, putting the tips into practice.
Everyone left Bellissimo with a take away coffee and a tip sheet that included a 10% discount when they come back to Bellissimo.
Blue Sky Coffee
Focus: Alternate Brew Methods
Back on the road for 10 minutes and Teagan, Danny and Brent were waiting at Blue Sky Coffee. Each had a station setup for demonstrating alternate brew methods.
Danny, head barista at Blue Sky demonstrated the pour over method. Each tourist got to experience the technique themselves teaming up to make their own brew. Danny had selected a Kenyan single origin roasted fresh by Blue Sky Coffee, just right for this method.
Brent of Barista Tools demonstrated the Espro Press, a modern much improved version of the classic French Press. This is a precision coffee brewer with a double micro-filter keeping the grounds out of your cup. The stainless steel double wall keeps the coffee hot for up to an hour. Danny did Brent a favour and provided a quality Ethiopian single origin roasted by Blue Sky, the perfect flavours for this brew method.
Teagan demonstrated capsule and pod machines, recognising the consumer boom in these brew methods. The group sampled the Midnight Oil Blend roasted by Blue Sky Coffee specifically for use in Nespresso capsule machines, as well as the Crema Deluxe Blend that has been compacted into a biodegradable pod to be used in a variety of pod machines.
Morning tea was provided with savory and sweet muffins and then the tour came to an end.
A big thanks went out to the 3B’s of our coffee tour: Bear Bones, Bellissimo and Blue Sky for providing such a unique experience. More photos from the Walking Coffee Tour of the Valley can be found on Twitter using #BBCoffeeTour. Keep an eye out for more tours on our Coffee Tours page.