Yes. Melbourne has the best coffee on the planet. But, reportedly, there are other cities that make a decent cup too. The Bureaux Collective, a co-op working with some of the city’s best roasters, is all about sharing the love. Its new series looks outside Melbourne and presents pioneer roasters and acclaimed coffee from around the globe.
“There was a time there when it was really tricky to get coffee from far-and-away places. People … want to be able to taste these coffees without having to travel to Oslo or New York or Tokyo,” explains Tim Varney, one of the founders of Bureaux Collective, who worked in the Norwegian capital for six years.
Bureaux Collective’s Taste Of series begins tonight with five examples of Oslo’s finest.
The city is home to “many real pioneers of specialty coffee,” says Varney. “They pioneered the light-roast style.”
On the night guests will sample batch-brews shipped from bean lords such as Tim Wendelboe, Kaffa AS and Solberg & Hansen, who practically invented the World Barista Championships. Later in the year there’ll be evenings devoted to Seoul, Portland and Tokyo.
Anyone who’s been to a formal cupping or Q-Grading event and was turned off by the formality needn’t worry: Taste Of is different. “Normally, cuppings can be pretty serious, stuffy affairs. They’re incredibly intimidating,” admits Varney. “We didn’t want to go down that route at all. We wanted to create an environment anybody would feel comfortable in [without] feeling pressure to have their slurping technique down.”
Instead, Bureaux will take its inspiration from informal and accessible wine-tasting gigs such as Soulfor or Rootstock. Varney promises good coffee and easy conversation accompanied by choice cuts from cosmic disco producers (such as Lindstrom and Todd Terje).
With about half a cup from each roaster, attendees will find themselves adequately caffeinated, if not capable of seeing through time. “It’s essentially a couple of mouthfuls, so you can get an impression of the coffee without having to drink a whole cup,” Varney says. “Which would be ‘kinda mad.”
Taste Of: Oslo runs from 6pm to 9pm Thursday March 8. Tickets are $5. All proceeds go to Melbourne not-for-profit FareShare. Buy tickets here.