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The Party That Never Ends (Gold Medal Edition)

Hello sweet folk,

Welcome to the party that never ends. The main ingredients in this party have included a huge amount of unseen and unpaid hours but seriously folks, who wants to be paid and seen when one is partying hard? 

I do see what I do as an extended party (which to some may see as a job and to others a business), but I love and embrace my addictions ,coffee and music, with such enthusiasm that the real job bit comes in trying to keep a balance of 'work' life and 'having' a life!!

As I said, the party never ends. Meeting some stunningly incredible souls along the journey has its pluses. It keeps the fire burning and coming home maintains nutrition for the soul. Balance being an integral key to life, sanity, general well being and family. 

Human Beans 4 Peace, our in-house non-denominational,non-discriminatory AOE charity, is testament to that. In November 2015, the HB4P team played their 'first live gig' at the very successful Breakfast Table Market in Grenfell, raising over $1200 for the Grenfell Lions Club and community. The team consisting of Mario, Luke, Brad, Brad #2 Kristy, Mikayla, Michael, Denise, Marnie, Xavier, Sienna, Giselle and Gabrielle.. and of course the talented musician Luke Smith – these wonderful peeps all donated their Sunday and hours towards this fundraiser and the AOE family extend warm thanks to you for the huge effort. The 'after party' was worth it alone! 

Our Side B Blend, the coffee created to represent the soul of HB4P, was so well received from the day it was released. In fact, Side B continues to raise funds and heartbeats to this day and we couldn't be prouder and more thankful for the response and support shown. 

Addy handing a cheque to Eris Addy handing a cheque to Eris Team HB4P


The AOE family want to thank all of our wholesale clients who participated and embraced the Side B concept by featuring it as a coffee of the month in their respected cafes. From Revolution @Como in Sydney, The Treehouse in Ulladulla, Peeches Coffee in Griffith, Hen And Bow in Bathurst, Thom, Dick and Harrys in West Wyalong and to all those who continue to enjoy the coffee at home or at the AOE espresso bar, massive thanks and good karma to each and all of you!! It is all you people that keep the creative spirit alive here at the electric church of beans. 

 

MEDALS, RIBBONS AND CHAMPIONS

Late last year I had the pleasure of participating at the annual Golden Bean coffee conference held this time in Newcastle.

It was very inspiring to see and meet some bright young coffee guns making inroads in this awesome industry. Some of these very uber cool cats weren't even born way back when I started which come to think of it, I think impressed them more than anything on offer at the conference!!

Addy, Gab and Sean at the Golden BeanThe whole concept of a bloke who began work in the industry last century and is still participating let alone still in it, blew their  very manicured beards and minds!! Let me tell you, I certainly enjoyed the light entertainment. It's these simple emotions which sometimes make the party so worthwhile. On the night of the 007 themed awards dinner, we all hammed it up and am certain I got the biggest cheer when one of my coffees scored a bronze medal. I seriously believe the tattooed and manicured bunch of my beloved young guns got a real buzz that the 'Ol' bloke' from last century could still pull a riff!! Haha...

All in all, good fun was had by all, new friendships made and the coffee industry I feel is certainly in safe hands because the passion, enthusiasm and love I was getting from these pups was electric and inspiring....and I loved it!! 

It was these uber cool up and comers that made the conference so worthwhile...well for me at least!!...and feeding off each other's one liner’s was a highlight all on its own. I mean seriously .....'Man, this coffee bangs!!',

'BOOM!I pulled the pin on the bomb!!', 'BAM!'....just some of the lines coming at me I believe explaining that a particular coffee was good, amazing or insane. I did get back at them with some classics such as 'Cool!' 'I like this one, it's a little beauty!' 'Check out this baby it ROCKS!'

It became apparent to me after my 'bronze applause' that my faux cool must've been semi cool after all...who knows??

Gab and I headed back home from Newcastle but the buzz was still in me. I just knew that the bronze medal stirred something in me. In fact, deep in me, I knew that this particular coffee, a 100% Australian grown coffee from the Skybury Plantation in Mareeba, North Queensland, was better than a bronze! It needed a little tuning. It needed 'Bang!'

Inspired by these groovy coffee kids, back I went to the old drawing board, tail between my legs, ego back in its box with a heart full of knowing but not knowing how. I knew this coffee had something special. Every time I roasted it, it seemed I missed a chord, a note...something! My classic line was always ...'Man, this coffee's gold!' I can hear me convincing myself that many times, but I'd say it as a way of explaining to people and anyone interested that this coffee basically 'Bangs!!!'

I knew the Sydney Royal Fine Foods national competition was coming up in February 2016, and I wanted it to be right. The only problem was, I had only one 20kg bag of Skybury left and the next crop would not be ready until sometime in May so essentially I had only one chance left to truly nail it.

I faced my self doubt and went with my instinct. Deep down I knew it was simply a matter of tuning the rhythm section and getting the end cup result to taste like the caramelised, dark chocolate tones and full body which I was after.

I tuned the profile from the previous 'bronze' version to the new 'face my fear' version.

Off the coffee went to be judged by a host of national and international judging panel of independent experts.

I received a call the day before the official judging day explaining that my coffee would be disqualified because I sent the wrong beans!! I was shocked. I wouldn't do that to something I place so much value in. I realised in all my nervous excitement and with self doubt hovering over me that I'd put the incorrect labels on the bags. As that was my last batch of Skybury coffee,I had the Skybury Sydney green bean agent send a sample of the green bean on my behalf at the very shortest of moments to arrive before midnight otherwise no judging for me!!!

In all those messy and heart racing moments I was in the throes of learning a very important lesson....the lesson to stay focused on the task at hand right up until the very end. One wrong label can throw everything out..literally...as the labels represent category and class of that particular entry. A very simple mistake can prove so costly!!! I thank Geraldine Abberton sincerely for helping me out there at such a short and nerve racking notice.

With the labelling finally sorted, here I was 3 days later, about to do my customer trips to Narrandera, Leeton, Griffith and West Wyalong when at 5.15 am my mobile rings. I was curious as to who'd be calling at this time of the morning. I didn't recognise the phone number but had to answer purely to satisfy my curiosity...

'Good morning Adrian speaking'
'Hi is this Adrian from Art of Espresso?'
'Yes, speaking, how may I help you?'
'Hi Adrian, it's Robbie Buck from ABC 702 Radio National. Would it be possible if we could do a live radio interview at 6.50 am regrading your coffee?'
'Sure. No drama Robbie. Anything in particular as I'm about to hit the road and reception could be dodgy.'
'Thank you. I’d like to ask you some questions regarding the Australian coffee you roasted and entered in the latest National coffee competition and how it won the Gold medal and overall coffee Champion.'
'Really?? Right! I had no idea. Wow really??Are you serious??'
'Oh sorry, you obviously aren't aware. The results were published and released last night. Congratulations mate.'
'Wow! Thank you so much...' 

Champion Skybury and Art of Espresso Gold


Anyway, you get the feel. That’s how I found out about a very prestigious award which to this day I need to pinch myself as it still doesn't feel real! Basically I had no idea at the time but as you can appreciate, I was buzzing and truly riding on a high wave of incredible emotion. The rest of the day became a blur of phone calls and well wishers and interviews. The Gold medal and Champion award was truly icing on a cake which has taken 20 years to make!! It was special in many ways first being the fact that an Australian coffee has at best scored a bronze medal and never a Gold, but to be up against some very big guns and being regionally based made it all the more sweeter I suppose.

I'll admit to say this award was inspired by the young pups in Newcastle. They may not have known it at the time, but it was their genuine enthusiasm that helped reconnect my love for what I do at a new level and at that same time made me realise that Gold can come from bronze when fear is faced and self doubt challenged!!

I personally want to dedicate this prestigious award first and foremost to the Australian farmer and to regional Australia and especially to my home town Young and Greenethorpe. It is an award which encompasses all things Australian... 100% Australian grown, roasted and family owned.

I feel incredibly privileged and proud to publicly announce that this one is for Australia!!

I thank the McLaughlan family at Skybury Palntation and their team for producing such a stunning natural product. I thank my team at AoE and my beautiful family for their continued faith and love. I thank Young and Greenethorpe for being my home and the beautiful people of Young and Greenethorpe for their support, well wishers, thanks and hugs. I love you all so much..

I thank the Hon.Katrina Hodgkinson, State Minister of Land and Environment for acknowledging this special award at a sitting in Parliament House. Robbie Buck and ABC 702 for the 5.15 am phone call and radio interview, the general online support from fellow cyber lovebirds and especially those who continue to support the AOE culture simply because they are part of this ongoing party!

Thank you and a massive hug to you all for the love.

YOU ALL WON THIS AWARD WITH ME. THIS GOLD MEDAL IS DEDICATED TO YOU!

Art of Espresso champions at Sydney Royal Fine Foods Art of Espresso Skybury Adrian and Katrina Hodgkinson


The Gold medal winning coffee is NOW AVAILABLE for you to enjoy. It is available in the espresso bar and online. The release is limited so I suggest to get in early.

  

LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL...

Ok music lovers. Let me tell you this. The following is a true story. It's nothing too heavy, but nonetheless I felt it necessary to share it with you. I heard on the grapevine within the music industry by a very, very reliable source... this...

'Adrian, let me say this, when artists hit the road to do gigs, they now plan to want to do a visit gig at AOE.'

My reply was simply... 'No way!!! I roast coffee man, gigs here at AOE for me is a night out with friends!' 

Whether that person was just being nice and appreciative, either way, I'm totally stoked by the calibre of artist gracing our humble little stage at 35 'Exile On' Main Street.

With our official patron Saint of Espresso Sessions, Mia Dyson leading the way, cheekily followed by our 'Patron Tequila' Saint, Abbe May and the likes of Adalita, Dan Kelly, The Audreys and Bill Chambers to name 'drop' a few, let me say the place keeps buzzing with tunes and riffs. Harry Hookey and brother Jack lit the place in a dancing frenzy December last year, closing the year with guns ablazing!!

As the Mississippi legendary Blues King and legend of legends, Robert Johnson wrote back in 1937, "I gotta keep movin', blues falling down like hail/And the day keeps remindin' me, There's a hellhound on my trail"

What I'm saying here is that I won't bother knockin' while this little joint is a rockin'!..and I'm feelin this need to keep this baby rollin otherwise I'll feel the "hellhound on my trail"!

Tim Rogers playing at Art of Espresso 12th May2016 kicked into gear with the beautiful Abbe May 'smooshing' riffs and confirmation that the hellhound ain't loose yet! Then we got the call everyone was waiting for. Tim Rogers will finally get to our house and keep them fires burning!

As the demand for this gig was going to be big, we felt that the only way to manage this was to give our regular electric church parishioners first choice tix. This was achieved via this newsletter and AOE subscribers.

We decided to sell this gig for the first time ever exclusively online. Man, what I didn't expect was a sellout within 24 hours. What's gonna happen when I get Elvis??

This gig will play host to our biggest in house audience with majority standing room.

Massive thanks for this incredible response music lovers.
Riff karma to you! 

This gig sees not only a strong local support but support from audience members coming from as far as Sydney, Canberra, Wagga Wagga, Blue Mountains and Bathurst! This truly highlights to us humble folk here at AOE/Espresso Sessions the importance and significance these gigs play in introducing and nurturing a much needed cultural movement which we are proud to be a part of. We feel very privileged to be in a position to share this love in our beautiful township of Young and beyond. Massive thanks you all all for making dreams come not only true but 'LIVE'

Adrian with Abbe May Addy and Mia Dyson


But with the "Hellhound on my trail", coming up and just literally confirmed:

  • ELLA HOOPER (Killing Heidi). Fri. 5th AUGUST (tix tba)
  • KIM SALMON (The Scientists/Beasts of Bourbon/Blackeyed Susans)
  • JOSH CUNNINGHAM (The Waifs)
  • RUBY BOOTS
  • FRASER A. GORMAN

Lots of tunes to look forward to in 2016 people so keep updated via our newsletter as we seriously feel it is a safe bet you won't miss a gig.

Okay, I must apologise as I got so much to share, say and write but till the next set of words......

Stay beautiful, stay tuned and keep loving!!

Om Shanti sweet souls
Adrian