Cuppa class with Gary Mehigan

By Our Reporter
Gary Mehigan

The chef partners with Veneziano to share an essential guide to the ultimate home-coffee

Long considered one of the day’s most sacred rituals, now more than ever, Australians are finding solace in their daily coffee routine; a soul-cleansing break from a socially distanced life where the home office and classroom has become the norm.

Encouraging caffeine fiends to channel the culinary creativity explored during the ‘banana bread’ days of lockdown, Veneziano Coffee Roasters and renowned Chef Gary Mehigan have joined forces—following the launch of their new specialty coffee range, Gary Mehigan Specialty Coffee—sharing their tips to mastering the perfect at-home coffee.

Featuring three unique and decadent blends, ‘The Dawn’, ‘The Everyday’ and ‘The Weekend’, each has been carefully crafted to turn the daily coffee experience into a special occasion no matter the time.

Combining the knowledge of Veneziano R&D Consultant and World Barista Champion, Pete Licata, with Gary’s culinary expertise, the insightful guide reveals tips for choosing the right milk alternative to complement coffee, how much coffee to use in particular devices, and even the best blends to accompany a dessert or savoury meal.

Veneziano’s new specialty coffee range, Gary Mehigan Specialty Coffee

“Coffee is a natural extension of our food culture here in Australia—especially for my fellow Melburnians—so with more time to get crafty in the kitchen it is only fitting that we share tricks of the trade with coffee drinkers looking to hone their skills,” said Gary.

Boasting 17 years of experience in the specialty coffee industry, published author Pete mentors up-and-coming coffee professionals and is well versed in world-class coffee preparation.

“We’ve definitely noticed an increase in the demand for at-home coffee devices since the first lockdown, and with that comes a thirst for knowledge around products and processes. We felt it was time to give the coffee drinkers of Australia what they deserve!” said Pete.

So, what do the professionals recommend in mastering the art of good coffee? Gary and Pete’s top tips include:

On what to look for when buying beans:

When deciding on beans, home baristas should consider the style of coffee they want. The intensity of roast, usually in the form of a dark roast, brings the bitter, smoky, or traditional “roast” flavours associated with coffee.

On the best milk alternatives to use in coffee:

The most important thing to look for is a “barista” version of an alternative milk. These will usually have some form of stabiliser added to prevent the milk from splitting, or becoming clumpy, in the relatively acidic coffee. As long as it is suitable for coffee, it then comes down to personal taste with most alternative milks bringing a specific flavour to the cup.

On the best equipment for making coffee:

Aspiring baristas can make coffee at home with minimal equipment, but personal taste determines just what is needed. For a full bodied coffee and for those who don’t mind a little sediment in the cup, a French Press or stovetop brewer works well. However, for those who prefer the cleanliness of a café filter option, a drip percolator or manual pour over will get you there.

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