The wonderful power of consistency

If someone says they are a “coffee person” it’s easy to find yourself doing a bit of a mental eye roll these days – especially in Melbourne, where coffee “experts” are as thick on the ground as red wine experts in Adelaide, or style experts in Sydney.

Thankfully, I am sitting with Ange Augello of The Bean Alliance, who has a better claim than most in this area because this Melbourne roaster has been blending and roasting beans for 37 odd years and is the power behind Laurent’s Special Bar blend made under the Monte Coffee label.

Ange explains the background to their relationship with Laurent.

“The partnership with Laurent goes back some 25 years. We are very proud of this and the fact that this blend has stood the test of time with our customers” adding “Laurent knew exactly what he was looking for and together we put in the work to get it there”.

And the pedigree? The detail is a closely guarded secret, but like most of the world’s premium coffee blends, our Laurent Special Bar blend is predominantly Arabica beans, which are grown in sub-tropical regions at high altitude in places like Brazil, Guatemala and Ethiopia. The beans for our blend are selected for their rich aroma, pleasant acidity and rich, nutty, almost chocolate taste. “In the cup, we knew Laurent needed a strong coffee flavour to cut through the milk – the Australian market loves a Latte (“Au Lait” as Laurent would say). The result is a strong, pleasantly bitter, bright coffee featuring a big golden crema which is smooth on the finish” explains Ange.

“We know how important coffee is to Laurent customers” he continues, “and also how quickly a bad coffee or a different coffee that you don’t like can disconnect you from a place. Having worked so hard on the development of the Laurent Bar Blend, we work equally hard on consistency regularly up-skilling the expertise of the in-house barista teams via training devised uniquely for them. We regularly review, and bench mark the Laurent blend and truth is, there has been little need to adjust it over the years, it stacks up”.

Ange goes on to explain that this focus on excellence runs all the way from bean to the cup. “Our focus when training Laurent baristas is to skill them to prepare consistently great coffee every time. In our in-house barista school, we teach everything from preparing and serving coffee to grinder master class where we deconstruct the grinder to understand the skill in “getting it right” from the grind to the pour in the cup, customers keep coming back.”

That’s enough for me. I’m already imagining my next coffee. Perhaps with a little Rubis or Bora Bora to make the world even more beautiful.