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Seamless by Sensory Lab - May 2015

Seamless by Sensory Lab - May 2015

Science, meet my tongue.

If you know coffee in Melbourne, there’s no doubt you’ve experienced Sensory Lab. Nestled under David Jones in the city’s heart, Sensory Lab was one of the first to lead coffee experiences toward a more scientific expedition of brewing, flavours and roasting.

Like good scientists, the whole concept behind Sensory Lab is to discover the coffee that fits your palate - the coffee that you want to drink every day. That’s no small feat. 

Headed up by the St Ali group, they have put a lot of effort into working out the best ways to buy, roast and brew coffee so customers are always getting the best result. A key difference however is their research and development team is constantly experimenting and pushing the industry forward. “We don’t believe that we can ever have all the answers; this sense of experimentation and play from our R&D focus is in everything we do.”

It’s clear there’s been a lot of thought around the Seamless blend you’re getting today. Seamless is their seasonal blend. Whereas most blends are constructed to remain fairly consistent in terms of flavour profiles and style, Seamless is designed to embrace and showcase the freshest and best crops available at any given time. Because of this approach the blend can change often depending on harvest sizes and seasonal demands.

This allows them to offer a constantly evolving and dynamic blend for the true specialty coffee fan. Seamless is sweet and creamy with budding floral aromas. Further divings sees you hitting crisp red apples, lemon curd and caramels with this unique lingering liqueur-like finish. Smash it with milk and you get a sense of chocolate and caramels are paired with soft fruit flavours. Not a bad way to begin a morning. Have a sip now - can you taste it?

After spending a few days with the crew, it’s clear these guys are a unique and eclectic bunch of people. Outside of coffee they are bakers, artists, photographers, musicians, fighters, and footballers. They are people who love life, and using that life experience in determining coffee profiles for their audience. They all come together to test and learn until they crack the next big thing.

Candyman Blend, by Small Batch Roasting Co for July 2014 - The one blend they never stop refining.

Candyman Blend, by Small Batch Roasting Co for July 2014 - The one blend they never stop refining.

The one blend they never stop refining.

Not too long ago, a friend likened North Melbourne to a beautiful part of Melbourne, but with no one to appreciate it. “Like Paris on Judgement Day” was the reference. Clearly he hadn’t found Auction Rooms, one of the great coffee institutions in the North. A place where people flock to from all corners of the state to wait in line for an hour to drink some of this city’s finest coffee that lives up to its hype. This cafe was the humble beginning of one of Melbourne’s most respected roasters today whose focus on quality is unparalleled. 

Welcome to the Candyman Blend, and the candy men who make it, Andrew Kelly and Aaron Wood from Small Batch Roasting Co.

Their strong beliefs of what it takes to produce quality coffee is what sets them apart from the pack.

“We need to understand all the factors that effect quality; we need to pay premiums to producers who strive as hard as we do to produce excellence; and we need be continually better at identifying coffees that hit our specific markers of sweetness, cleanness, and complexity”.

Candyman is Small Batch Roasting Co’s sole blend. A blend so good, they’ve put all their eggs in one basket. It’s a combination of their favourite in-season coffees, the culmination of their search for the sweetest and most complex espresso they can create.

“We’re always looking for the perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.”

The beans in Candyman are roasted without the introduction of roast taint; they are fresh and flavoursome. Take your espresso black and the flavours of cherries and lime consummate the balance of sweetness and acidity. Add milk, a smooth caramel toffee sweetness transcends. 

We ask where the future lies for coffee in Melbourne?

Andrew’s response was calm and considered: More travelling! An always present need to visit coffee producers dotted around the globe, with the aim of furthering relationships, gaining greater understanding, and ensuring the coffee beans are harvested and processed exactly.

"We want to change your idea of what coffee can be. We want to showcase the lively and distinctive qualities each varietal has to offer, maximising fruit flavours, sweetness and complexity. We do not do this via hocus pocus, but by discipline of method and great care".

Andrew and the team go to all this care so we can drink world class coffee effortlessly, every day.

The Small Batch crew’s ability to produce fresh and flavoursome tastes doesn’t stop at their coffee. Their recently opened Filter by Small Batch cafe in the CBD is a testament to their commitment to flavours and purity, focusing on filter brewed coffee experiences in a unique city environment. Like their coffee, it’s an experience that will leave your taste buds watering for more.

Want to join the coffee club? Sign up to Three Thousand Thieves today.

Photos by Bobby & Tide for Three Thousand Thieves

Filter by Small Batch and Small Batch Roasting Co

@FilterbySB and @SmallBatchRoast