December 09, 2019

Salvatore of St Ali

The Essence of Family in a Cup.

Over the past 15 years, ST. ALi’s creative baron and CEO, Salvatore Malatesta, has made a significant contribution to driving Melbourne’s coffee renaissance. With hard work, passion and innovation, the ST. ALi team has left an indelible mark on our coffee consciousness. And as we all wind down the year and look forward to time with family and friends over the festive season, we’re excited to share ST. ALi’s very unique Christmas Blend with you.

In true Italian tradition, Salvatore is very close with his family. He spent his youth split between studying and working in the family owned pizzeria in Mount Waverley called That’s Amore. Maybe this is where he got his amore for coffee from?

Or at home, where his mother Antonietta had over 20 stove-top machines capable of dispensing between two and 20 cups of coffee for any unexpected but always warmly welcomed guests. Sounds like she may have been the original Coffee Baroness. Being exposed to his family’s deep passion for food and flavours at a young age helped him develop what he calls an “inherited secret gift” - a very powerful nose and sensitive palate.

Now fast forward to 2005, on a small farm in Costa Rica, Salvatore had an epiphany when trying his first coffee cherry. The flavour blew him away, and not long after he began developing the idea of marrying subtle coffee flavours with seasonal fruit.

An obsession was born and following years of travel, tasting, experimentation and hard work - continues today at his home, ST. ALi. Year-round, patrons can visit St. ALi’s flagship roasting facility in South Melbourne and enjoy the sights, tastes and smells of the coffee roasting process, but near the holidays, things step up a notch in time for Christmas indulgence - this year they’re offering something special with a little extra sleigh-factor.

Introducing the Sleigher Blend.

With so many years of coffee roasting experience under their belt, the ST. ALi team is not averse to taking risks and having some fun with their blends. In recent years, this has involved introducing medleys of Christmas pudding or the addition of gingerbread flavours to their blends. This season, however, they have called upon Salvatore’s Italian family roots to bring something completely new (yet old) to the table - the infamous panettone!

Sweet and scrumptious notes of dark cherry, rich creamy dates, candied citrus, ginger and spice - this blend brings the panettone to the Christmas table - in a big and bold, yet beautifully harmonious way. A lot like a family coming together at that special time of the year!

And what can we say other than holy cannoli… ST ALi, you have done it again. Instead of bringing a plate for Christmas, perhaps you could bring a Christmas Palate? (see what we did there…)

What about the beans and how do we make this blend sing?

Bean Blend

Guatemala Esquipulas Cooperative Washed @ 60% Costa Rica Sonora Estate Red Catuai Natural @ 30% Kenya Mwirua AA Washed @ 10%

For our traditional espresso machine fans, ST ALi recommends:

  • Dose: 18-20g
  • Yield: 40-44g
  • Extraction time: 26-28 seconds

For the filter V60 users, the team suggests the following approach:

  • 15g coffee (slightly coarser than your usual grind, due to Kenya component)
  • Water temp - straight off the boil (97-98c)
  • 45g bloom, stir vigorously.
  • Start second pour at 30 seconds. Slow circular pour, starting from the centre of cone, moving outwards. Ensure constant stream, pour until total brew weight is 250g.
  • Once finished pouring, lift the cone and gently tap on the top of the decanter/mug to flatten the brew bed.
  • Target brew time 2:45.

So what is next for the always moving and brewing ST. ALi Team?

Since featuring St Ali in July 2018, the local team has been repping the Melbourne coffee scene on a global tour - popping up in Singapore, LA, Sweden and London. And for our neighbours up in Sydney, Salvatore has confirmed some very exciting news - there will be a permanent Sydney ST. ALi launching in a top-secret location in late 2020.

Stay brewed, stay tuned, and Buon Natale to all our fellow coffee lovers!

St Ali Coffee