Is this New Zealands Best locally roasted espresso?
We'll leave you to be the judge. As with any food product, it is highly subjective, but it is nice to be recognised every now and then.
For the record there were a little over 50 coffees entered in the category. (I don't envy the judges who had two days to get thru 50 espressos.) There-in lies the challenge for the roaster. Do you produce something big and bold and hope it will be judged in the first 10-15 coffees, or do you go for sweet and light, offering the judge a pleasant respite.
We went for the latter, with a blend of our favourite Brazil Ipanema which delivers outstanding crema and richness, together with a Guatemala El Socorro Red Bourbon. (Which scored in the top 3 in Cup of Excellence Guatemala.) The El Socorro delivers sweet bright acidity and a deep fruitness, adding some structure to the blend without compromising mouthfeel.
Probably the most gratifying point of the experience, is to create a coffee which perfectly reflects (dare I say it) "the design brief." The fact that as a professional coffee roaster you are able to use your skills and experience to reach a desired outcome. To balance the varietal characters, to know your machinery, to trust your tasting/olfactive instincts, and to achieve the flavour profile which you aimed for. It is all that any artisan can hope for. Getting an award is brilliant, but the reward is the knowledge that you can marry the science to the art and do something right.
I pay homage to the other roasters who have put the same effort and soul into their work, but haven't yet received the recognition.
Thanks to everyone at John Burton Coffees.