Light Phone 2 | Indiegogo

Thanks Mike Elgan


New post coming soon: Sink-pours are killing your cafe business

Coming soon: How pouring 10% of your milk down the drain requires $250,000 in sales to earn back for a cafe doing 250 coffees per day…

Raw or Roast #raworroast

This is the secret to a foolproof simple (paleo, grain free, wholefood, complimentary, lifesaving) diet for the westerner.

I have been to kinesiologists, traditional chinese medecine doctors, homeopathic, naturopathic, preventative, eliminating, nutritionalists, electro magnetic field – you name it.

If you follow these two rules:

  • raw, or
  • roast

You will be super healthy. Elite healthy.

These rules imply no processed foods, no medications, no deli meats, no bacon, no ham, nothing processed, nothing deep fried, no restaurant food.

You will be eating whole fresh fruit and vegetables, some raw nuts and when you eat lean meat it will be a variety of meat (kangaroo, turkey, veal…not just chicken!) you will roast it (or poach it).  Try to drink filtered water, exercise and maintain a healthy spiritual, thought and environmental life.

There is no other almond milk for Melbourne cafes 

Milk Lab almond milk is by far the most popular almond milk and fast becoming more prolific than Bonsoy.

Busy inner CBD cafes will go through 20 boxes of Bonsoy per week, 10 boxes of milk Lab almond and 3 boxes of coconut milk per week.

Almond breeze and other brands such as Almond Milk CO do not satisfy the discerning coffee drinker.

When people come and ask “Which Almond Milk do you use?” 5 times a day it’s always Milk Lab.

This is not an advertisement for Milk Lab. I hate the stuff. It’s against my nature to consume milk with added sugar and corn starch, but it sells.

Cafe owners must respond to demand but this is more than demand it’s an epidemic, a social phenomena. Almond Milk Lab is like the 1920 Colgate or more recently, and more coffee centric analogy, like the rise of Bonsoy in the 90s.

Almond Breeze smells and tastes like Vanilla essence and Almond co simply doesn’t steam well.

The intersection of coffee, business and technology beckons us to move towards Milk Lab and be discerning cafe owners and coffee people.

Having milk Lab almond milk in the window is like a free Billboard that not only draws customers but rips them from your customers grasp. Do it. Because…..

Quality speak and…the customer has spoken.

Australia Cafe Market Situation 2018

Specialty Coffee Industry in Australia has reached peak maturity and saturation evident by an array of niche offerings exhibiting high end market fragmentation.
New innovative retail concepts, coupled with creative nuanced food and beverage offerings combine with social media to maintain growth in a highly competitive market.
Complimentary to this are end to end supply chain innovations where we are seeing milk producers, coffee producers and equipment producers also take chase and innovate.
We are at risk of confusing the customer with the plethora of offerings. However for the time beinh customers are benefiting the most.
Extreme competion virtically has afforded the consumer more choice than ever before at more locations and at lower prices. However upward pressure in the rental market coupled with downward pressure on retail spending is pushing the industry to a potential crisis point.
Wages are high in Australia and while interest rates are low and households are able to maintain their lifestyle spending retailers are able to break even with cost cutting and innovation, however a small interest rate rise may dry up the discretionary spending of most consumers in 2018-2020.
Email me for an industry SWOT analysis.

A moment of awe with – Blonde Food and Coffee 

Today I enjoyed my seventh consecutive sublime coffee at Blonde Food and Coffee. A new, pop-up style Cafe at the deserted end of Brunswick Street aims to please coffee aficionados and foodies alike.

The message is clear, a custom, beautiful Slayer espresso machine, two pots of ready-made batch brew, a Mahlkoenig EK grinder and choice cakes. All the trimmings of a European, Japanese or Melbourne espresso bar.

This is complete coffee.

I do not know where these two baristi came from however the work is masterful. As a coffee consultant, professional, career barista, Australian International Coffee Awards Judge, coffee roaster and former ST Ali trained and raised wholesale manager I know full well how many obstacles have to be overcome to win the favour of the bean. These guys are bringing the best beans in the word and bringing in they have to offer. There is no where else in Melbourne that can expose the heart and soul of a bean in the way that Blonde boys can do.



 “True hospitality is marked by an open response to the dignity of each and every person” Henri Nouwen

My first hospitality job was making fries at McDonalds. I was fortunate to work for Camberwell (Boroondara’s) Brian McMaster – a McDonalds franchise legend with AAA ratings coming out of his nose. We learned how to clean, be efficient and emulate hospitality like we were the original MacDonalds brothers from 1984. It was a privilege and an honour. And then I was fired.

The reality is that hospitality is an ugly business. Chefs can swear at you, not feed you to manipulate you. Employers can harass, not pay, and discriminate against you, and that all on a daily basis. Its not all the employers’ fault. It is a complex combination of the following:

  • The recent increase in service-based economics; from manufacturing. Australia is a service and ideas economy (Phillip Kingston)
  • There is less protection for workers
  • Hungry, caffeine lacking people can be mean.
  • Transient workers due to the above.

The reason I am honest about being fired from McDonalds is that it’s just not a big problem. I was fourteen years old and have since worked for scores of employers, been esteemed and valued in some workplaces where I have been promoted and equipped for years at a time, and been self employed.

If you maintain your focus on hospitality – serving others – you will do well.

The businesses I have worked for, mentored, trained and managed have done when, consistently, profitably well, when they look after their customers. Wait times need to be low, orders need to be remembered, regulars need to be rewarded and staff need to be happy.

Here a great article on “Becoming a Customer Again” by Jim Seven of UK

What’s wrong with coffee when everything is right.

In the 1990s everyone struggled to use their computer. We felt like we were stupid when we couldn’t get the PC to do what we wanted. Yet we were in an age where anything was possible with computing. 

Similarly the parallel in specialty coffee is we are at a time when anything is possible yet people don’t really know what they’re drinking. 

There is great confusion for the customer and like the computer manufacturers of the 90s the industry is happy to keep the consumer in the dark. The coffee drinker in Melbourne has access to an incredible array of choice and quality, yet they do not know how or why the coffee is good or when it’s not good, what to do. 

Like the useless paperclip 📎 in Microsoft, coffee companies and cafes offer little information or equipping for customers to discern or dicipher the vast array of coffee available. 

Mass produced coffee commodity suppliers like McDonald’s  and Nespress market their coffee as specialty, and send intentially misleading information marketing signals to confuse the client into believing a pod of 4 grams of  preground vacuum sealed coffee is a high end coffee. Cafes and roasters with terrible blended over developed robusta coffee buy machines and hire tattooed baristas who themselves are sending a message of quality that is in no way tied to reality. The presence of a LaMarzocco and a hipster barista is in no way a reflection of quality. 

I was at the Number 1 best cafe in Melbourne today with my wife, and the espresso was underdeveloped and overextracted, thin, powdery and intensely acrid and bitter. This coffee would be laughed at in a competition and the soy flat white was thick and chunky. 

But the $5.20 price wise happily paid by unassuming customers. 

One could argue that the customer is happy. But we were happy with asbestos too before we were educated. We were happy with total government surveillance before we knew it was standard practice. 

There is a need for customer service from the industry so that we can do what computing endeavors duo doing with the likes of  the iPad, and re-engineer a customer focused environment that is empowering for the end user. 
Coffee drinkers have never had so much choice and access to quality yet the do not know really what quality is or where to find it, or why it’s not in the other places they experience coffee. 

Why I quit Twitter and Facebook 

I’ve been raving Twit since it started. With over 1000 genuine followers and 8000 tweets over 7 years. I walked away from all those connections and Facebook. There is no more community, no more chronology. It’s like putting coins in a toy machine where only every now and then you win a prize. 

Twitter used  to be a community. It used to be chronological. How would you feel if your wife started texting you last week’s messages? That’s what Twitter is doing. 
You’ll  find me on google plus, email and cell. 

Coffee Training

Coffee Training

Promised Land Coffee

Espresso Training 101

Promised Land - High Res-11

Introductory Course to Espresso

Course Duration

2.5 Hours

by Jonathon Sciola Guest Frounder @promisedlandcoffee, coffee judge, barista trainer.


  • Basic Introduction to Espresso Equipment
    • Grinders
      • Electric Dosing Grinder
      • Manual Chamber Grinder
      • EK 43
    • Espresso Machines
      • Volumetrics vs non-Volumetrics
      • Heat Exchange vs Dual Boiler
    • Espresso Machine Parts
      • Works as a whole
      • Hot Clean and Dry
      • Portafilter, baskets, screens, groups.
      • Drip Tray, underneath drip tray.
      • Steam wand
    • Beverage Sizes (See Handout)

PART 2cropped-kef7828_hres.jpg

  • Setting a Coffee Recipe
    • Dialing in for taste
    • Dialing in for strength
    • Dialing in for extraction percentage


  • wp-1475352114813.jpgACTIVE COACHING
    • 30 minutes of COACHING making SHOTS of espresso
    • 30 minutes of COACHING steaming milk
    • Introduction to EXTRACTION
    • Strength cupping session
    • Pairing tickets
    • Workstation “reset”
    • Milk “dosing”
    • Multitasking / talking with customers
    • Cleaning and restocking


Read more about specialty coffee cafes…
    • An opportunity to make a complete beverage
    • Optional: Coffee Competency Audit
    • Advanced: Dialing in in 2 minutes.
  • Further reading will be given to take home

LATTE ART20130824-193611.jpg


Perception, quality, hireability

Milk quality



My preference




Milk Patterns (as opposed to latte art)

Practice in your own time.



1. WHAT – heat, stretch, mix, texture, split, pour.

2. HOW

a. Portion according to beverage                         

b. Position                       




c. MIX



1. Start with great milk of the required portion

2. Start medium distance

3. Maintain steady medium speed

4. When cup half full (stop)

5. Come in close with spout almost touching (wiggle optional)

6. Pour into the BULLSEYE of the cup at a high angle.

7. When just almost empty, raise the lip of the jug to thin out milk stream and SWIPE through FAST





● Practical:

⌧ 2 Lattes in 2 minutes

⌧ with equal head and good temperature (60-65C)


  • Optional:

⌧ Dial In coffee in 10 minutes with assistance

⌧ Program volumetrics

⌧ Program Grinder

⌧ Tasting shots

  • Milk Texturing

⌧ 3-stage Process

⌧ Splitting Technique

⌧ Temperature

  • Latte Art

⌧ Heart in centre

⌧ Crema intact

⌧ Integration

  • Cleanliness

⌧ Porta-filters

⌧ Backflushing

⌧ Grinders

  • Workflow and Efficiency

⌧ Dose Consistency (checking grinder)

⌧ Checking Volumetrics Setting for Coffee (according to espresso recipe)

⌧ Taste Espresso ( use spare shot)

⌧ Minimise milk wastage ( steaming from a small jug)

⌧ Clean workstation

Promised Land Coffee





  • Short Black / Single Shot
  • Single espresso as standard
  • (approximately 20 grams of coffee)
  • Served in a demitasse
  • Must be served quickly



Long black

  • Double espresso on a bed of hot water
  • Served in a 160ml cup
  • 50-60ml of hot water
  • Must be served quickly


Short Macchiato

  • Single espresso
  • Served in a demitasse
  • 20ml hot milk with contrast on centre


Long Macchiato

  • Double espresso
  • Served in a 160ml cup
  • 20-40ml of hot water
  • 20ml hot milk with contrast on centre



  • Single espresso
  • Served in a 160ml cup
  • Thickest milk texture achievable without visible bubbles
  • Slightly “domed” or convex dill level
  • No chocolate dusting OR light dusting of chocolate on the espresso base


Flat White

  • Single espresso
  • Served in a 160ml cup
  • Milk must still have reasonable texture


  • Single espresso
  • Served in a glass
  • 1 cm of head/foam depth (filled according to order)


An Intuitive Guide To Coffee Solubles,

Extraction And TDS