Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Northbridge Barista Academy
Perth Centre for Photography (Amy Nelson White)
Re-Store Lake Street Northbridge

Western Australians put their coffee making skills to the test at the state's first ever Barista heat in the Australian Barista Championships last weekend. The winner will compete in the national championships and if successful will take a trip to Switzerland to compete in the World Championships.

According to my student barista campionships checksheet the competitors would be checked for the production, presentation and serving of the drinks plus the cleaning and correct use of equipment and hygiene standards plus a bit extra because they are not students. They were required to produce an espresso, a cappuccino and signature drink.

My lecturer's voice comes back again to me again and I can hear her say 'its all about the crema' with judges looking out for the perfect golden crema.

The competition was held at the WA Barista Academy in Northbridge. The Academy has just opened its doors, and is running courses using commercial and homemade machines. I would love to know the results, who the best baristas are and where I would find them in Perth.

Doing another course in coffee is something I really need to think about if I want to consume and write about coffee seriously even though I completed and passed the course run by TAFE as part of the Certificate in Hospitality and is nationally accredited.

Grinding, blending, roasts, packing and filters, tamping, milk frothing and stretching, cappuccino, flat white, espresso, short black, crema, aroma, tastes, mouthfell, filtered, percolator, and plunger plus a whole lot more that I really need to really get my head around.
Taste in the Valley
DiMondo Cafe
Mondo Chocolate Nougat
Junction Icecreamery

It is Friday morning at DiMondo and it is empty except for staff. There are clearly more people at the cafe across the road sitting outside with friends and colleagues having a coffee and breakfast. But this place feels perfect and I love the peace and quiet and it feels a bit like home.

I order a cappuccino and buy a bar of Mondo Nougat, freshly made up the road in Herne Hill. As I have the place to myself I take the seat near the window, get out my daily papers and watch the world go buy in down town Midland. Mondos has always been part of old Midland. My mother use to buy our meat weekly from Mondos which have since moved to Inglewood.

No sooner had I got settled in chairs that at first didn't seem to be too comfortable when my cappuccino arrived. I couldn't understand the rationale behind the napkin under the cup covered in the chocolate sprinkled on the top. What if I needed the napkin to whipe my hands? I would end up with more chocolate on my hands and face. As I take a sip I find its scolding hot. Even though it is pipping hot all the way too the end it was a really nice coffee. I should have asked what type of coffee it was.

The Nougat is beautiful and fresh. There is something about the way Italians combine almonds, honey, sugar, egg whites, glucose, corn syrup, cocoa, rice paper and other flavours. It is gluten free, cholesterol free, lactose free, and no artifical flavours and preservatives. But NOT taste free.

Nougat reminds me of my sister because she use to make it and give to everyone as presents.