Phil St. Clare-Hobbs
• With a background in brewing and fine wines, Phil started the journey into specialty coffee in 1999.
• He operated a very successful café on Sydney’s upper North Shore for 7 years.
• Phil spent 3 years as production manager for a large national franchise where he learnt the fundamentals of coffee roasting.
• He then followed that with 18 months as roaster with a specialty coffee company on the Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
• Prior to coming on board with Expresso Coffee, Phil spent 5 years developing and honing his craft roasting skills and selling high end domestic coffee machines with another specialty coffee business in Newcastle.
With 17 years working in many facets of the Specialty Coffee industry, Phil has built up an extensive knowledge of café operation, logistics, warehousing, equipment repair and servicing as well as an extensive knowledge of the flavour characteristics of many coffee bean origins, their peculiarities and roasting habits.
What’s in a brand?
How much do you value your business as a brand name?
We can custom print coffee bags with your design and you can make it as simple or complex as possible. There are some limitations with colours depending on the type of bag you want to use but the possibilities are almost limitless.
This can be achieved for a surprisingly low cost per bag even for a complex, multi coloured design.
The bags we use are the traditional 3-layer bag as this offers the greatest protection for the coffee. With an outer layer of “Kraft” paper these bags are available in brown paper, matt white paper or matt black paper and come in 1kg or 500g box bottom gusset bags.
Custom Roasting and Blending
The essence of our operation is to create a quality coffee blend to suit your business. Whether it's based on budget, strength or taste profile, we can guide you through a cupping regime to help you make an educated decision.
We also have a range of 4 perfected coffee blends ready to go. All you have to do is taste it, approve it and put your own name to it.
Our roasting facility houses a range of tried and tested coffees from around the world that offer an amazing range of flavour profiles that will blend in many different configurations, several of which will perform superbly on its own as a single origin.
If you require a particular style or origin of coffee that’s not part of our inventory, then we can usually source that or similar coffees from our trusted range of suppliers*.
*Please note that as coffee is a seasonal agricultural product, its availability is not always guaranteed and flavour profiles may vary from season to season.
** Why Robusta, what is Robusta, isn’t Robusta a dirty word? You need to read this.
Arabica and Robusta
Arabica and Robusta coffee beans are the 2 prominent species grown for human consumption.
Arabica is the most commonly known of the two and has a far greater and more complex flavour structure than Robusta.
While Robusta shows a lot of unfavourable attributes such as low acidity and often a flavour akin to burning rubber which doesn’t lend itself to drinking on its own a quality Robusta can be a fantastic addition to a blend with Arabica beans.
Let’s look at the differences in detail.
Arabica is grown between 800 and 2200 m above sea level, Robusta usually at sea level.
|% Chlorogenic Acid*||5-8||7-10|
Robusta is easier to tend to on the farm, has a higher yield and is more resistant to insects and disease due to the extra caffeine and chlorogenic acid* (bittering compounds) that acts as a chemical defence for the coffee seed.
So why do we even consider using Robusta? Historically it has been a far cheaper bean to purchase commercially which is why it has been the mainstay of instant coffee for so long.
These days, with our more sophisticated palates we are striving for better quality and uniquely flavoured specialty coffees and this goes for Robusta just as much as Arabica. We are now able to source Robustas that are grown at a higher altitude and are processed on the farm in a way that will increase their sweetness and improve their flavour profile.
Robusta can be used in a blend with Arabica usually at a rate of between 5 and 30% to achieve several things. It will enhance the body, intensify the density and longevity of the crema and act a little like a flavour enhancer as well as intensifying the flavours at the end of the palate and aftertaste.
A good roaster will be aware of the attributes of specialty Robustas and can very cleverly craft a blend with Arabicas to achieve some outstanding results.