The world of coffee is amazing and we live in exciting times. Coffee just keeps getting better and better and will continue to advance as passionate and curious people experiment with new approaches. We are so lucky to have incredible coffee available to us here in Australia, and it’s just going to keep getting better.
Over the recent years there have been many landmark innovations and evolutions such as:
1. The rotary pump
This is a type of pump which controls water pressure to a preset controlled, and most importantly, a constant point which is extremely important for quality espresso extraction. The introduction of the rotary pump brought espresso brewing into the mainstream. Prior to this point espresso machines were hand lever controlled and it was a laborious task brewing coffee all day.
2. The thermosyphon water delivery
This invention enabled consistent water temperature, never before achieved in technology of the 60’s. Modern espresso mechanics and science has shown that the temperature of the brewing water and it’s consistency will reproduce quality cups. The thermosyphon was a true breakthrough.
3. Dual boiler machines
Once again refining the water stability of the espresso machine to within 0.1 degree. A truly amazing feat of engineering. La Marzocco, our preferred machines, led the way in helping this technology become the industry standard. You will rarely see a specialty cafe without a La Marzocco, or other dual boiler machine.
4 The refractometer
This incredible machine refracts light through a coffee sample to reveal the amount of coffee particles contained within a sample. With this data we can work out how well we are brewing our coffee and what we need to do to get the best flavour. It is a groundbreaking piece of machinery for specialty coffee.
5. Roasting analysis machines
Then there’s the roasting analysis machines such as agtron, or colourtrack that show us the degree of roast we are achieving. Again, very helpful in perfecting our coffee. The biggest complaint amongst customers is inconsistent coffee, and so these machines allow us to see inside the bean and track each and every roast, giving us at White Horse Coffee world class QA systems.
6. Cropster roasting software
Cropster Roasting Software provides incredible accountability helping our roasting team achieve and track each roast and benchmark it against our best results.
The greatest advancement
But in my humble opinion I don’t believe the most impacting advancement in coffee, in recent times, is any of these incredible innovations. It is in fact something far more simple, more humble, and significantly less technical. It is something that was adopted from another industry, but has had a major impact on the entire coffee industry. An innovation that has allowed us to experience coffee like never before.
It’s a plastic bag.
Yeah that’s right, a simple plastic bag.
Let me explain.
It’s called the grainpro bag and as the name gives away, it was initially created for storing and transporting grain.
So why is this such a great innovation?
Traditionally green coffee, like grain, was always packaged and transported in burlap sacks, or as some people refer to them as hessian sacks.
However after just a short period of time the coffee absorbs the aromas and flavours of the hessian and starts tasting like the bag itself. This is known as bag defect and alters the coffee flavour to taste more like straw, grain and green grass. These characters are all undesirable in coffee.
This simple innovation has improved the quality of coffee all over the world, and allows us to experience the aromas and flavours the farmers passionately nurtured. With grainpro bags the coffee arrives to us direct from the farms in pristine condition.
These humble bags not only maintain the freshness and integrity of the coffee it also increases the longevity of coffee by up to four times. These bags keep coffee fresher for longer.
This is why I believe the grainpro bag has been such a huge impact to specialty coffee as a whole and to us at White Horse Coffee. These bags are now an essential part of specialty coffee and helps keep it special for all of us who love fine coffee.