Café Republic of Australia by Scottie Callaghan
Ill say from the outset that this is a great book. Get a copy- you wont be disappointed. Youll want this on your coffee table or bookshelf - or under the Christmas tree!
Its about people and their specialty product, not about coffee. Those of you who enjoy the culture and romance behind coffee and tea will enjoy this book. I received my copy from Di Bartoli on Wednesday and after the initial flick through, I knew I wanted to read it cover to cover - several times. But, like a good espresso or cup of tea, it is best sipped slowly.
You will learn about many of the names and personalities behind the coffee and tea industry in Australia - not all of them of course, but those that the author is familar with (including himself). *Some are well-known and some you will want to know. The text is mainly interviews, preceded by brief introductions and rounded off with showcases of the products of each of the personalities covered. There are even recipes for unusual concoctions and Tips and Tricks (even controversial ones). It is superbly illustrated with interesting photos by Anna Smith.
There are many interesting facts that reveal *the subjects of the book to be not only ordinary Australians, but extraordinary ones. It may not make you a better maker of coffee or tea (it could), but you will certainly become a more informed one.
Im not going to mention any spoilers but, to tempt you, find the answers to these questions:
- What did Renzo (from Di Bartoli) give up doing in his home country to become a coffee specialist in Australia?
- What is a sparkling long black?
- Which company uses 100% robusta for their products?
- Which coffee does the author prefer to use in his barista competitions?
- What is the best water temperature for tea preparation?
- What is the link between Rob Forsyth, diamonds and a Maserati?
(NOTE: this isnt a quiz, if you know the answers, dont post them *:))
The book costs around $30 and will be available in major bookstores next year. Right now, you can get it now from Di Bartoli or online bookstores.
I wish I had taken up Ofras invitation for a signature but I think I will try to visit or meet as many of the people in the book as I can and maybe get them to sign my copy. I already have one from Gavin of Single Origin (hes the speak no evil one on the cover of the book)