We’d love to say we sat down with Tom from Hawthorne Coffee this month, but with the art of technology we just emailed, which is significantly more boring, but you know Hawthorne Coffee is based in Havelock North and well, we’re not. Despite not being able to catch up face to face we still fired some questions Tom’s way to get a quick insight into the life of a Roaster.
Check out what he had to say in the lead up to Hawthorne's feature in our July On the Grind box...
Where did your love of coffee come from?
My parents and grandparents would always have a plunger coffee in the morning and again at morning tea ever since I can remember, so the ritual of brewing coffee has always been a part of my life.
It was the aroma that grabbed me first, then the taste when I was old enough.
What’s your go-to coffee on the daily?
A flat white when I get to work, a long black mid-morning and an espresso after lunch or another long black in the afternoon. Weekends I play around with soft brew and single-o’s.
Can you tell us a little about what a day in the life of a Roaster looks like?
Coffee first. Fire up the roaster and idle it with gas on to heat it up to operating temp. Enter the days orders into spreadsheets. Weigh out green coffee needed to complete days orders. Roast the coffee with the utmost precision and skill. Drink or cup some more coffee. Bag the coffee. Deliver the coffee. Repeat.
If you could share one tip about coffee or preparing it, what would it be?
Buy fresh coffee, use within 10 days and use a burr (not blade) grinder immediately before brewing. For soft brew or plunger, start with 55 grams of coffee per 1 liter of water.
What would your advice be to any novice coffee drinkers out there that want to expand their knowledge of coffee and brewing techniques?
Google ‘Barista Hustle’ and dive on in.
Everyone has either their pet peeve or little passion piece about coffee, do you have one and if so what is it?
It always amazes me when I see someone brewing coffee at home who has been doing it for decades but doing it so badly. No grinder, chlorinated boiling water, dirty equipment, stale beans. A few little adjustments to technique can make a world of difference.
How do you think coffee can change the world?
It probably can’t change the world, but it can change people’s lives. It certainly makes the world a better place and if it can bring people together, put some pep in your step and give you pleasure then that is a beautiful thing!