Coffee shops are ubiquitous these days in most cities of the world – most make OK expresso, but I am on the search for the ones that have risen to the top in Melbourne for providing the best coffee and service.
We are in the North of Melbourne and our friends suggest we try the roasting warehouse of Di Bella Coffee on the corner of Raglan St. I had seen the Di Bella brand around Melbourne, so here was a chance to see where it is made. It is an unassuming building, and half of it is actually a garage – the door gets opened on hot Melbourne days.
As we walked in I knew we were in the right place – the food cabinets were stacked with interesting goodies, including gloriously pink lamingtons – I choose a Turkish fruit slice. The coffee arrived hot and topped with crema and the fern leaf perfectly inscribed on the top made this kiwi feel right at home.
The Roasting Warehouse run coffee appreciation evenings, and postcards on display pass on the skills of how to make coffee in various ways. This coffee goes all over Melbourne and interstate as well and has won heaps of awards.
Just behind me is Luke who has been roasting beans here for over a year. He is surrounded by open bags of beans from Guatemala, Sumatra and organic fair trade beans from Bolivia and is stirring the beans as they cool, teaching roasting skills to another young man. It seems good coffee is not a dying art.
Plungers make an excellent subtle black coffee that allows you to taste the combination of flavours extracted due to the slight pressure exerted as the coffee is plunged
- Make sure the glass and filter are clean of dust and old extracted coffee oils
- ALWAYS preheat the plunger with hot water, then empty. Pre-warming the glass will keep the coffee warmer
- Scoop in the appropriate amount of ‘coarsely’ ground coffee for the number of coffees you are making. One heaped tablespoon per cup and one for the plunger pot.
- Pour in hotwater that has been brought to just under boiling point (90-94 degrees) Pour the water onto the coffee from a small height so that it stirs up and saturates all the coffee grounds allowing it to form a crust
- Remember to use the appropriate amount of water for the number of cups you are making
- Let the coffee ‘crust’ sit/steep for approximately 4 minutes to allow the coffee oils to dissolve into the hot water. For a weaker brew only allow to steep for 2 minutes; for a stronger brew allow to steep for 5 minutes
- Then, stir the coffee ground ‘crust’ and you will see a lovely crema form. Press/plunge the filter down gently but firmly. If you have used the right amount of coffee and water there should be not too much resistance. If the filter is hard to press down then you have used too much coffee or the grind was too fine.
- Serve and enjoy! Remember to put a mat or something non slip under the plunger to avoid slipping and causing heat damage to your bench or table.