“The powers of a man's mind are directly proportioned to the quantity of coffee he drinks.”
― James Mackintosh
Walking up Mark's driveway in Jan Juc, the smell was intoxicating. Oh to live next to someone who roasted and ground coffee as a passion turned business!
Mark is the man behind Ocean Grind, local coffee collector, roaster and grinder. His Ebb & Flow blend has saved my old coffee machine from winding up in land fill and stopped me in my tracks on the path to buying a pod coffee machine. These well designed and compostable bags come delivered to your door after one of Marks twice weekly roasting sessions.
I caught up with Mark for a flat white to ask some questions about his products.
Quality, sustainability and attention to detail. (sorry that's more than 3!)
What product are you most proud of and why?The Ebb and Flow blend - I spent many months refining that blend and tweaked it based on feedback from customers. This blend also won a bronze medal at the Sydney Royal Fine Food show which was great for us as it showed we were on the right track.
There's an Ocean Grind cafe-stall at the Torquay Farmers' Market every Saturday morning. Our coffee is also at Swell Cafe (Jan Juc), Bellbrae Harvest, Peachs (Torquay), Elvis Parsley (Ocean Grove) and home deliveries via our website (www.oceangrind.com.au).
Is there anything exciting on the horizon we should know about?
I'm working on some tasty new blends - one with a little bit more 'punch' to it. There will be some cool coffee-making devices and grinders on our online shop soon. There's also an exciting fresh food and coffee haven coming to the Surf Coast soon that we'll be involved with . . . keep an eye on those shipping containers at Freshwater Creek! *
Some fantastic local produce can be found at the Torquay Farmers' Market each Saturday morning. For eating out, some of my favourites are the authentic Italian pizzas at the underrated Locanda del Mare in Anglesea**, dinner by the fire at Bellbrae Harvest and it's hard to beat breakfasts at Swell Cafe in Jan Juc.
STORAGE - coffee should be stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dark place - down low in the kitchen pantry is a great spot (NOT the fridge or freezer!). When ordering coffee, opt for smaller quantities at regular intervals to ensure you're drinking coffee during it's peak time after roast date.
GRIND - aside from fresh, quality beans, the grind size is critical to a good coffee. If you don't want to invest in your own burr grinder, at least make sure your coffee is ground to the right coarseness for your coffee maker.
Don't be afraid to try something new. Experiment with different blends and single origins. Try drinking coffee as a pour-over or Aeropress and see how the flavour profile changes. Ask for a piccolo rather than a flat white to more easily taste the coffee flavours.
Give feedback to your cafe and the roaster - help them/us improve and we all end up with better coffee. And that's a good thing.
*I have been dying to know what that sign was all about!
** I did try Locanda del Mare's pizza's after getting this recommendation from Mark. He was not kidding. This is the closest I have come to authentic Italian pizza since, well, I ate pizza in Italy. Delish.