July 2021 - Secret Label a hazelnut delight, be careful about using coffee waste on your garden
Date Posted:7 July 2021
“If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm." - Frank Lane
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Melbourne gets hit by a storm and Sendle doubles the pain
We've been try our best to avoid talking about the ongoing problems and frustrations of dealing with Australia’s perennially incompetent parcel networks and perhaps it was delusional to think reaching almost 6 months without a war story was too good to be true.
Then June rolled along and yet another mega disaster inflicted upon our Melbourne customers by Sendle, right after the mother of all storms knocked out power in many parts of Melbourne for days.
Sendle’s partner Couriers Please played hide and seek with Melbourne customer parcels for weeks on end and we had no choice but to flick the big switch despite many of our Sydney and Adelaide customers enjoying stellar performance.
Unfortunately, with Sendle it’s either all on or all off, we can’t isolate problem areas.
Sendle eventually apologized after a few weeks (which helps nobody) and committed to preventing this sort of problem from repeating – but let’s not hold our breath.
Sendle is switched back on, but we have our trigger finger delicately hovering over the off button and we wish to point out that switching Sendle off is about protecting both you and us.
This month’s Secret Label assignment was to hunt for hazelnut.
It might sound like an easy task, but surprisingly it’s rather difficult and often the nuts in a coffee are more generic.
We have crafted a hazelnut, caramel, stone fruit compote with equal lashings of both milk and dark chocolate in the finish – so that's something for everyone and a change in direction from the dark chocolate themes of late.
Nuts and chocolate work so well in a coffee and hazelnut is an interesting flavor that seems to stand up with some mighty proud character in the cup – we love how it just slices through milk so easily without harsh or sharp edges.
Coffee waste in your garden
If you are like me and make a habit of emptying your coffee waste onto the garden in the hope it adds nutrients, then maybe you should be aware of a recent article by a Melbourne academic that proves too much caffeine is never a good thing for growing plants.
July 2021 Secret Label
Last month's Secret Label was a jammy sweet delight with strawberry and raspberry.
This month, we are focusing on adding some nuts, in fact hazelnut as it's often one of the more difficult flavors to generate in coffee.
We know how well nuts and chocolate go together and this blend does a brilliant job of combining both elements.
A coffee with an immediate front palate flavor, it stands up and makes you take notice with it's crisp acids that slice through milk beautifully.
There's some nice stone fruits, caramel, plum and raisins with both a milk and a dark chocolate note in the finish.
**** SOLD OUT ****
Coffee waste and gardens
Since the pandemic arrived, one of my good friends has been furiously developing a serious backyard garden and greenhouse environment capable of producing amazing fruits and vegetables, complete with carefully managed compost heaps.
He picks up coffee chaff and the used grounds (pucks) from our roastery espresso machine as these both work wonders in the compost heap to help add light texture and aerate the compost piles.
We had both believed, or assumed, this coffee waste was rich in nitrogen and trace nutrients as well as improving and normalizing pH levels.
Imagine the surprise of randomly discovering an article on the ABC website from an academic in Melbourne who completed a study on the effects of coffee waste and caffeine in your garden.
This study charted the effects of coffee waste (primarily used pucks from cafes) when mixed into the soil for plants compared to the same plants that had no contact with any coffee waste materials.
The difference was astounding.
Plants in direct contact with the coffee waste had experienced abnormally low levels of growth versus the coffee-free plants thriving under the same conditions.
Apparently, the intense levels of caffeine had retarded the growth and development of the plants.
Obviously, this came as a shock having religiously tipped coffee grounds and chaff onto my gardens for so long I can’t remember. However, first thoughts were my gardening-mad friend and last week we had a very quiet and silent moment after discussing the findings of the study, reaching for a glass of red wine to drown the sorrows.
He had no idea about this article and without even taking a moment to read it, he told me straight away that many of his vegetables in a recent crop had unexplained stunted growth which he had mistakenly suspected was caused by other factors such as excessive heat, humidity, fertilizers or any of the many other variables amplified in a greenhouse environment.
Apparently, the coffee waste is really only good at holding back the weeds – seems those pesky weeds don’t like the caffeine either. There is also another potential risk as the ground coffee particles can lock in clay and make the soil structure more difficult to allow water and oxygen to penetrate.
So there it is folks – please be careful where you tip your coffee grounds.