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Australian roaster launches virtual tasting experience with exclusive US$104 coffee

Veneziano Coffee Roasters has launched its Pinnacle Series, the first international release from the Australian specialty coffee roaster.

Only 50 packs of the ultra-premium coffees are available, priced at AU$40 (about US$26.15) each, which will be accompanied by a virtual coffee tasting experience open to customers across the globe.

“This is a chance to taste some of the best coffees available in the world,” Veneziano CEO Craig Dickson says.

“With everyone at home and looking for things to do, this is an opportunity for people who are really into coffee or who want to taste something off the charts to have that experience.”

Veneziano had intended to share these coffees in a one-on-one cellar door experience, but CEO Craig Dickson says the COVID-19 pandemic forced the roaster to evolve the way it thinks and how it gets coffee to its customers.

The pack includes two coffees from the Herrera brothers of Café Granja La Esperanza in Colombia: Cerro Azul Honey Geisha and Las Margaritas Anaerobic Natural Sidra. Veneziano Green Bean Buyer Jack Allisey says both of these coffees scored more than 90 points in cupping, which puts them in the top 1 per cent of coffee produced globally.

“The Granja coffee from Colombia have always been coffees we’ve enjoyed on cupping tables, but haven’t been able to purchase due to timing,” Veneziano Green Bean Buyer Jack Allisey says.

“When that opportunity came up for us to work with them, we purchased one of their lots for competition and were keen to source more coffees as well.”

Two coffees from Fazenda California – Honeymoon and Tropical Storm – in Brazil complete the pack. The farmer behind the coffees, Luiz Saldanha Rodriguez, used his ‘cold soul’ processing method, selecting cherries at a particular maturation level, then cold fermenting them under water and anaerobically in sealed tanks.

“For Tropical Storm, Luiz added selective yeasts to inoculate that fermentation and manipulate the flavour profile, which you can definitely taste in the final cup. It brings out a silky, lactic mouthfeel and refinement you don’t get elsewhere,” Allisey says. “Honeymoon goes through that same fermentation process, but it’s pulped and dried like a honey [processed coffee].

“We’ve been working closely with Luiz for the last four or five years. We visit him once a year if not more, and he travels to us too. Seeing the progressions of these coffees and how he’s dialled in that processing technique to achieve the flavour profile has blown us all away.”

These coffees are exclusive to Veneziano, and cost the roaster up to AU$350 per kilogram (about US$104 per pound). The packs will include 40 grams of each coffee, approximately two double espressos at 120 millilitres or two pour over brews at 640 millilitres total.

Pre-orders will open from 12pm on 25 May Australian time until 5pm 8 June, or until sold out.

All customers will receive a private link to a virtual cupping session led by Jack, competition barista Ben Cheong, and Research and Development Consultant and 2013 World Barista Champion Pete Licata. The coffees will include recipes and Veneziano is producing accompanying videos, with Allisey or Cheong discussing the coffee and how best to brew it.

Dickson says with this ultra-premium offering was the right time for Veneziano to make its coffee available for international purchase.

“We’re hoping that after this, we can activate international shipping for all of Veneziano’s coffees,” Dickson says.

“Our business is very focused on Australia and it’s likely to stay that way for a period of time. But this is an opportunity to share what we do as a business, the expertise we have with people like Pete and Jack in the building, and the cutting-edge work of the farmers we partner with.

“But ultimately, our goal is just to enable people around the world to experience these coffees.”

To purchase the coffees, visit www.venezianocoffee.com.au/shop

For more information, visit www.venezianocoffee.com.au

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