Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Australian Rocks Aroma Festival for coffee-lovers

At the end of July, one of the biggest coffee events in the world is taking place Down Under at the Rocks Aroma Festival.

The Australians love a good party and they have put on lots of events to tantalise the tastebuds of visitors to the Festival. There will be many different blends and brews to sample, stalls to meander around and some completely free entertainment to attract the attention of visitors. There will also be goodies for children to take home.

If you want to learn a little more about coffee beans and its increasingly sophisticated complexities, why not go along to the Specialty Coffee Masterclasses which are to be run by Tobys Estate – the plan is to try delicious coffees from all over the globe and learn (using similar skills to wine-tasters) about the taste, acidity and after taste of different blends.

The Festival will also have four different regions to correspond to different areas of the globe and their specific culinary sensations. For example, the Middle Eastern Oasis will have Turkish coffee, spices from the Middle East and other treats plus typical entertainment from the regions such as belly-dancing, comedians and music. The other areas are the Orient, The Continent (meaning European treats) and the Latin Quarter, each with tastes, smells and sounds from their region.

For those interested in a little light-hearted fortune-telling, there are even tea-leaf readings in Nurses Lane to give you a playful glimpse into your possible future.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Glaswegian coffee factory has impressive output

Recently the owner of Matthew Algie, in Glasgow, opened his doors to show a reporter around his coffee factory - and the reports are that the findings were pretty impressive.

The exterior of the factory is an everyday site in an industrial park, but the interior holds many secrets. The coffee machines company has a heavyweight history – it was set up in the nineteenth century (1864) by the Glaswegian grocer and tea merchant, Matthew Algie. Eventually, however, following the market trends and tastes, the company transferred its business towards the coffee beverage instead. Matthew Algie stayed in the family for an impressive six generations until around 4 years ago, when a family death left a vacancy and Gary Nichol took the reins at the helm. It now has a workforce of some 215 employees.

This company is now a multi-million pound business and roasts coffee on a massive scale, enough, in fact, to brew a cool 500 million cups per annum. Customers who place orders with the company are also rather heavyweight and include Marks & Spencers, that British institution and also Sainsbury's and sandwich shop giant, Pret-a-Manger.

The factory impresses visitors – with its high-tech equipment, tasting rooms and whizzy control rooms to monitor quality.

The company is doing so well that it is currently in the process of extending its premises. There is a new vision here too: it is intended that baristas will be trained and café training courses made available. It is this pioneering spirit of innovation that has helped the company to develop and withstand the test of time.