These days many caffeine-loving Melburnians go to a cafe wanting more than just coffee. They need to know where it’s come from and how ethically it was sourced, with questions about sustainability, who the farmer is and pretty much what he ate for breakfast. Welcome to the world of specialty coffee.
When assessed or ‘cupped’ by an accredited coffee or ‘Q’ Grader, the coffee must reach a score of at least 80/100, and the beans should be virtually defect free, with certain quality standards maintained throughout its production from crop to cup.
Sharing similar values is Owner of Balwyn cafe The Providore Clare Voitin, who also owns Swan Bay Farm in Geelong where they grow their own fruit and vegetables as well as producing beef, lamb and pork. In her world, “crop to cup” is known as “paddock to plate”, an ethos which revolves around the same quality procedures in production, processing, transportation and final sale of goods. It’s about knowing where the food comes from and how far it has travelled to get to you.
When Voitin rebranded her Balwyn cafe at the beginning of the year and it became The Providore, she wanted to use a coffee that fit in with her philosophy but also suited her patrons, who are mostly local and very much lovers of milk-based coffee.
What drew Voitin to Adore Estate’s Florito blend was its medium to dark roast, rich body and sweet chocolate character, which is balanced by the floral notes from the Guatemalan and Costa Rican beans. The addition of 10% Robusta gives this blend a bit of punch and the intensity it needs to cut through the milk. Adore Estate’s owner and roaster Nick Mastro started the business in Sydney seven years ago. A certified Q Grader himself, Mastro works closely with the farmers to ensure the coffees they’re roasting are the best they can be, with cupping scores and notes listed on each of the bags.
The relationship between The Providore and Adore Estate is a strong one. It’s very much about Clare’s connection with Vincenzo who represents the brand here in Melbourne and his understanding of what she is trying to achieve. The coffee is part of a bigger picture here, in a space where the customers are encouraged to be more aware of what they eat and drink, and how the quality of ingredients and what they put into their bodies really does matter.