When did the coffee culture make itself felt in regional and country towns? Twelve years ago, the question asked when visiting a country town was, “where can I get a coffee”. If it was available, more often than not it was some indistinguishable powder or facsimile of br
own pebbles in a jar, made with hot water from an urn. Woe betide any cafe that served up such a drink today. Now when asking about coffee, the question is invariably “where is the best coffee”. In those days, the word barista was only known to the elite, now it is a career path for many and good operators can make a healthy living with their skills in producing delectable lattes, flat whites, short blacks, cappuccinos, macchiatos and a growing list of caffeine hits.
Along with the cafe coffee culture there is a growing band of small producers roasting beans as a business, a growth business not quite so big as to rival the flush of craft breweries, but enough to have cafes and individuals sitting up and taking notice. The passion has moved into the humble home. Aficionados have become experts in coffee making, bean roasting and grinding and to match the passion is a plethora of grinders on the market. Hand held, battery powered, electric, made from a variety of materials from chrome, plastic domes to antique boxes. The art of grinding can take on epic proportions with the weighing of beans, placing them into the grinder gently by hand, one bean at a time. This writer was highly amused when a male member of the household approached grinding his beans in his new hand held machine by enthusiastically winding the handle to the point of exhaustion. Not quite satisfied with the results, he decided he would try again, this time using his power drill, inserted into the slot on the whizz bang new machine to achieve a finer texture – job done. So next time you set out to grind your coffee beans – just drill them.