Campos in Fortitude Valley was today named Best Coffee Shop in Australia by the Lifestyle Channel’s public-voted I Love Food Awards.
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Campos owners, Eugene Phua and John Ronchi (pictured), were up against some very prominent and well-established outlets from across Australia and the inside word is that it was a strong win. This speaks volumes for Brisbane's burgeoning cafe culture – Melbourne and Sydney watch out!It's a quirky little coffee shop with a entrance that wanders past a dumpster, quite unusual for Brisbane where rubbish bins are usually something to be avoided in the heat of summer. The plastic astro turf lifts the dull grey exterior and inside it's funky and interesting. Particularly love some of the light fittings!
Campos’ coffee is roasted on site in Brisbane and is now on offer at a growing number of coffee shops around south-east Queensland. I recently attended a coffee roasting and cupping demo there and learnt some interesting stuff. Campos post blend their coffee, not in the roaster. So if there are 10 beans in the coffee, that's 10 different roastings. They believe roasting different blends together loses individual characteristics, so it's better to roast separately and then blend.
Their big silver roaster had some impressive computer screens but John helped the group listen for popping as an indication that the beans were progressing through the roasting process.
The cupping process involved sipping spoonfuls of black coffee from a long line of different varieties that Campos is considering using. I tasted coffee from New Guinea, Nimbin in New South Wales, Kenya, Mexico, Columbia, Honduras, Brazil, Java, Sumatra and El Salvador.
Here's something to think about - does your favourite coffee taste a little different? Now is the time that new season beans are coming through and the flavour does vary.
Another interesting thing that changes a coffee bean's flavour is the time it takes for the green beans to get from the farm to docking in Australia and the way they are treated. Green coffee is affected by extreme heat and after loading into metal containers it can spend weeks baking in the sun in a depot or stuck in a truck which cannot make it through a flawed road system. Some coffee farms are now vacuum packing their green beans and shipping them in refrigerated containers to ensure the quality is not affected.
The age of the beans is also important and there is a significant decrease in quality after the beans reach nine to ten months after harvesting.Wandoo St
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