ST. ALi // Specialty Coffee

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival – Wicked Sunday & Roasters Week

Posted in ST ALi. // Latest news by mattjohn on February 24, 2009

Wicked Sunday

The Melbourne Food & Wine festival starts on the 15th March with a one day event, Wicked Sunday. More details on there website Wicked Sunday

St Ali will have 3 sites.

Origin Cafe. Between 10 am – 12 pm you will have the opportunity to talk to our roasters and try our coffee. We will only be at this site for 2 hours.

Cafe Site. Between 10am – 4 pm we have shrunk St Ali and shipped it off to Federation Square in a container. This is our main site where you can sample all that is ST. ALi.

Syphon Filter marquee. Between 10 am – 4 pm. Here you can meet Toshi and try our syphon filter coffee and also buy single origin coffee and to take home.

Roasters Week

From the 16th – 22nd of March St Ali will be hosting a varietal of coffee events which is part of the Food & Wine Festival. See below for more details. To book please phone 9686 2990.

Hario Syphon Filter Demonstration by Toshi Ishiwata
11am Mon 16th and Weds 18th March

St Ali Single Origin Cupping Sessions by Justin Miles
11am Tues 17th and Thu 19th March

Probat Sample Roasting of Bolivian ‘Cup of Excellence’ Beans
11am Fri 20th March

“Coffee Duck” 8 Course Degustation Menu with Ben Cooper
7.00pm Sat 21st March

Cupping of Bolivian “Cup of Excellence” Coffee by Justin Miles
11am Sun 22nd March

Roasters Week


Posted in ST ALi. // Latest news by mattjohn on February 22, 2009

Due to popular demand by some and hesitant due course by others the ‘Wall of Coffee Sacks’ has been pulled down to make way for the 4 BARREL PROBAT SAMPLE ROASTER.

The view and ambience is expanded with the PROBAT being the centrepiece of the action….

Why 4 BARRELS you ask?…Well…why not!?

Now all can enjoy the experimental glory that this beauty will offer. The Sample Roaster should be up and running by mid March in time for the Melbourne Food Wine Festival…

See you all there:)

KWLuke's new squeeze

Beer on the menu!:)

Posted in ST ALi. // Latest news by mattjohn on February 22, 2009

The long awaited alcohol license has now arrived. Yippee says All:)

We can all enjoy a cold heady one or an elegant glass of your chilled fave…Beautiful as always Aya, delivering the first beer at St Ali


Australian Bushfires. Staff tips donated to CFA

Posted in ST ALi. // Latest news by mattjohn on February 12, 2009

Yesterday we raised  $170 from staff tips due to the courtesy of our customers and voluntary contributions from staff. We will keep this going, so any tips given this week & next will go directly to the Country Fire Authority.

To all the Ambos, Firey’s & Coppers – $2.50 Takeway coffees at St Ali as well. Easy to park out the front, so drop by.

Bec our chef is putting together a food hamper to be donated to those in need. There’s some tasty grub in that!

Our sympathies go out to all those affected & Our appreciation goes to all those working around the clock.

Hacienda La Esmeralda

Posted in ST ALi. // Latest news by mattjohn on February 12, 2009

An unusual cold front hit Panama in the highlands and produced what was to be a storm front very out of character for this time of year. It was only 2 months ago that Boquete had its worst flood in 30 years, hence this weather not well received. It was however another day on the farm at Hacienda La Esmeralda and this dampened parade still marched! tallbeansRachel Peterson collected me at the hotel and took me to the farm that produces their prize winning lots.The luscious settings of the Baru Mountainside completely covered the coffee trees in natural old growth forest, a real paradise. It was amazing to see just how giant these coffee Geussha´s were. The cherries themselves really were much longer that your average coffee cherry and were quite a treat to nibble on… just one or two. The new projects are really interesting. Rachel showed me a plantation of Geussha up to 1,800 meters high that is not producing yet, but is expected to cup up with even more character. And my favourite, the coffee library, including approximately 20 different varietals including heirloom Ethiopian varietals, Java and other believed strains of Geussha. A mini coffee Eden.newfarmsIt was then a plan to get my hands dirty with the coffee pickers but the weather was not on my side. It was in my face and in my ears, apparently the pickers weren´t heading up for fear of being attacked by a falling coffee tree.winddamage So heading back to the processing plant for a round of cupping seemed a much better idea. There were 5 Geusshas on the table and one other which I have to admit of having no idea what it was. Probally a good coffee but just didn´t interest me next to the Geusshas. Some started out with a lychee sweetness, other strong lemon zest and jasmine. Apparently the still need to rest so I can´t wait to see what they develop to. It was then lunch at the Peterson’s house were I had the pleasure of meeting Price, Susan and Daniel. I had such a lovely time there that I thought to myself must go back sometime… so I did two days later. A special thank you to the Peterson’s for their wonderful hospitality and time they took to show me their estate. It was a fantastic experience. Thanks again Rachel.cuppingplant

Tour of Ruiz Cafe

Posted in ST ALi. // Latest news by mattjohn on February 7, 2009


The day started off kind of slowly with a 13 hour sleep to help heal the bumps on my head from the day before. Had a quick brekky and head up the road 20 minutes to where I heard about a cafe / roastery that also was one of the major green bean produces on the Boquete area.
Cafe Ruiz runs two tours a day servicing up to twenty people a tour but on this fine afternoon I was the only one who signed up so I was in for a special trip.
Carlos was my tour guide and he introduced to his passionate world of coffee which included a wealth of information about sustainable farming practices, cherry picking and the correct spelling for the varietal Guess ha.  He also spoke of other supernatural stories of Arabic coffee houses, Sufi mystics and Indian coffee bean smugglers that were complete rubbish and should not be believed by anyone… even coffee geeks!
It was then down to the mill where he showed me (beyond the 5 or 6 years it takes for the coffee to fruit) the floating, pulping, fermentation, washing, pre-drying, drying, ageing, peeling, sorting by size, sorting by shape, sorting by density, sorting by colour,…then packing and shipping.  This is something every roaster should hear.
It was then back to the roastery where Carlos showed what he thought was the simpler part of the coffee process.  He showed me some of the faults in coffee including over fermentation and over roasting. A bit like a fish and chips shop, “lots of vinegar please”.
Then I got to meet up with Maria who is managing the quality control at Cafe Ruiz. She showed me their Berlina estate coffees and their strict quality control.  Any one coffee that doesn´t cup up to the level is not labeled as Berlina Estate.  There were some real crackers and it was very interesting to see how the individual micro lots would have very different cup profile. Maria also showed me a few tip in analysing fragrances which was fantastic to learn, a great teacher.
Then we busted out a few shots on the Pavoni and we got some good results from one of their lighter espresso roasts. Buy this time time we were well and truly caffeinated but a good time had buy all. It was time to go home and realise that Panama has sun rays too and that warm sensation wouldn´t just go away with a cold shower.


Posted in ST ALi. // Latest news by mattjohn on February 5, 2009
Syphon Master

Syphon Master

The Syphon filter had it’s ‘night of nights’ last night with the

2006 Japanese Syphon Champion, Mieko, putting on a world

class display of vac-pot brew style.

There were attendees from Melbournes fine establishments as well

as our neighbours to the north, Sydney.

The night kicked off with mingling over Mieko’s syphon brewed

Kenyan French Mission and Cup of Excellence El Salvador.

Parties were introduced and with the help of Mori (Japanese Interpretter)

Mieko wowed us with her smoothly tuned Syphon brewing skills. Like an

experienced barista working the Synesso she looked one with her tri-Syphon


Questions were fired from the crowd and related back via the interpretter.

Coffee industry folk who attended left with a greater understanding of a brewing

style that makes up 30- 40% of the coffee drank in Japan.

Hopefully, with a little time and good work us in Oz can put out some quality Syphon brews.


Big thankyous go out to Mieko, Toshi Ishiwata, Salvatore Malatesta, Luke Mutton and the few

who brought along some divine coffees to sample. Namely Brother Buba Budan, Ristretto from Perth, Auction Rooms and The Source from Sydney. 

Stay tuned for some pics of the night and a detailed Syphon how-to analyses.


Pulp Natural…

Posted in ST ALi. // Latest news by mattjohn on February 4, 2009
I asked Juzzie if I could post his previous emails on the blog and he replied with

“Cool dude
That should be fine as they(Intelli) are quite open, although I find the “going places” a bit patronising… do you? Yeh cause they’re not actually going anywhere… they’re already there, so I agree on the amendment Juzzie. 
How about… “those kids are off the f$#@ing chain!”
Anyway, panama city was a little hard to cope with due to lack of sleep….””

Justin on his way to Esmeralda

Posted in ST ALi. // Latest news by mattjohn on February 2, 2009

Justin left on the 1st Feb for a one month coffee trip around the world….. hmm …. we are all a little bit jealous. We’ll keep you up to date with his movements. First stop was Intelligentsia in LA then on his way to Esmeralda, then a one week Mercanta tour of Nicaraugua, then New York, London and so on..

Below is his first email back. We’ll keep all his reporting nice and raw… he would have wanted it that way,



Apart from being so tired that I fell asleep with my face against a bus window and proceeded to slip down and bash my forehead against the metal framing LA was f#@king awesome!

It took about 3 hours to get to intelligensia but when I got there they layed me on a fantastic cappucino and an awesome dbl risty. Hooked up with deaton and did some clover cupping and he showed me all over the store. Then we went to the roastery and saw the infamous Got Hot roaster. Then went back to kyal’s place and talked direct trade and watched the superbowl.

The most interesting thing is their new Venice store. 4 x 2 group snesso with two robur e’s a piece. Two clovers and some weird concept rework of a 4 group gb 2 la marzocco that was apparently the machine used in the first starbucks ever.

Those kids are going places”


Good Luck Juzzie. Take lots of pics and see you in a month!