The Perry family are so passionate about serving high quality coffee, they visited growers in Colombia to see the production process first hand.
Ross Perry and his son Harry have brought the grower’s story of sustainably harvested, fair trade coffee beans back to their customers at White Owl Coffee in Albury-Wodonga.
“There are so many steps along the way to getting that cup of coffee,’’ Harry said.
Some of those steps will be outlined in a cupping coffee class run by Harry’s brother, Joe, at Henty’s Farm Gate pavilion on the Tuesday and Thursday.
Joe also holds free fortnightly evening one-hour workshops on barista training at the family’s Barista Baker & Brewer café, Albury.
“We are selling retail packs of beans and stocking commercial grade Italian made coffee machines for people making café-quality coffee at home,’’ Harry said.
As a small batch roaster, Harry puts the beans through a 15kg Turkish made Has Garenti roaster at BBB.
The White Owl blend is a mix of Arabica beans sourced from Brazil, Colombia and Ethopia.
“The different sized beans react differently to the barrel temperatures so they are roasted separately according to size,’’ Mr Perry said.
“The raw beans come in hessian bags and are tipped into a pre-heated rotating barrel via a hopper.
“There are different temperatures and roasting times according to the bean size.
“Probes monitor the bean, drum and exhaust temperatures – roasting takes roughly 20-25 minutes.
“They are then dropped into the cooling bay – there is a fine line between perfectly roasted and burnt so I have to be attentive during the final stages.’’
Harry’s father Ross is a wine maker and helps with the cupping, or tasting process.
“We evaluate flavour profiles and keep tasting notes – the coffee tasting flavour wheel is similar to wine when talking about aromas and tastes,’’ Harry said.
The tasting wheel varies from soft and delicate through to smoke and ash.
The White Owl Coffee blend has been refined through customer feedback.
“The base for my coffee is the Brazilian and Colombian beans with their chocolate and caramel flavours,’’ Harry said.
“The Ethopian adds complexity to the blend – it’s more fruit driven.
“I have found the coffee preferences of the Albury market has changed over the last three years.
“Initially I was rather experimental and played with bitter flavours but have gone back to the traditional chocolate and caramel flavour profiles which most people are looking for.
“There are many stages along the way in making the cup which goes out to the consumer, from sourcing quality green beans to roasting, blending and barista.
“I believe there needs to be a bit of love in making a cup of coffee, including a decorative motif and piece of shortbread to cleanse the palate.’’
Harry said Australia led the world as coffee roasters, baristas and consumers.
“It is driven by Australian consumers who love coffee and are pushing roasters and baristas to new levels,’’ he said.
“Ten years ago I used to make a frothy cappuccino in my parent’s bakery and now we are silking the milk to create one creamy texture.
“Consumers are educated and demanding of their coffee, and there is more competition in the café culture these days.’’
The Perry family opened the Barista Baker & Brewer in Wodonga Place three years ago.
The second generation now runs the family’s Valentine Bakeries at Volt Lane, Albury, Centro Wodonga and Rutherglen, and Barista Baker & Brewer at White Box Rise.
“We have rebranded the business to represent the succession of the next generation, and we are increasing the artisan and sourdough concept, plus healthier options,’’ Harry said.
“Each loaf of bread will have more fermented culture and a longer resting time.
“New bread products include bianco, a long rested white sourdough, a nero rye, a dark rye, with each loaf is hand cut and moulded – we will have a full range of breads at Henty.’’