The opportunities that blogging opens up never cease to amaze me. Having had a bad coffee at a particular cafe, and blogged about it, I received an email not from the cafe owner (this has happened before), but from the coffee distributor, asking me to come in to their warehouse and try the coffee.
At first, I was a bit wary: there’s something about meeting with people face to face when you’ve only heard about them via the internet that always gives me reason to hesitate, but after a bit of email dialogue, we agreed on a date and time, and so I found myself a guest of the house of Musetti: a couple who import the coffee directly from Italy, where it’s one of the most highly regarded coffee brands.
I learned a few things in my visit. Firstly, that a coffee distributor will have a number of different coffee blends in their range: though they advertise “Musetti coffee”, or “Vittoria” or “Lavazza”, there are actually a number of different blends, of varying qualities, that they will on-sell to cafes.
I should have realised this when I saw a “black label” Schibello coffee sometime last year, but for some reason, I thought that more fanfare would be made of the different blends. Clearly, I was mistaken: for the sake of a few dollars per kilo, a range of difference is to be had from one blend to the next.
It turns out that the coffee I had a bad experience with is the cheapest blend that Musetti import: combine this with someone who is inexperienced on a coffee machine, and you end up with a less than ideal cup of coffee. By going direct to the distributor, I had Tony making the coffees on his machine: he’s a man who knows the art of making coffee, and he was pouring some fantastic shots – I left buzzing, to say the least!
They even gave me some of their Grand Cru beans to try at home, and I certainly made the most of them.
As it turns out, it’s possible to get a good cup of coffee even though you may have a bad experience from time to time. A good lesson to learn. Thanks to Tony and Evonne for making the effort.