A GOOD cup of coffee can be hard to come by, but Darryl Stace and his wife Rachel have made it their business.
Altitude Coffee Roastery opened in Armidale nine years ago, after the pair found two coffee roasters that interested them in New Zealand.
“We wanted to have something a bit different – we thought roasting would be a good aspect for us to try and do,” Mr Stace said.
This year, the business is heading to the Eat, Drink, Live New England event in Inverell.
The festival showcases regional food and drink products produced in the New England.
Buying the raw products mainly from Sydney, the pair blend their own coffees with a mix of expertise and luck.
“We have a predetermined recipe which we do by trial and error to a certain degree and some educated guessing as well,” Mr Stace.
“It’s a bit like wine where some have certain characteristics, and coffee is exactly the same.
“We’ll look at several different coffees and see if they’ll complement each other to a better end result.”
The country a coffee comes from can have a profound effect on how distinctly sharp or soft its flavour is.
And, no matter how good the beans are – it all comes down to the barista, Mr Stace said.
“It definitely starts with the beans but the biggest influence is the barista to be honest,” he said.
“They deal with the coffee for the shortest amount of time but they have the biggest influence.
“You can have a fantastic brand or blend of coffee and still have a horrible cup of coffee because it was made wrong at the coffee machine.”
The reverse is also true, Mr Stace said a good barista can turn an average bean into a brilliant latte.
He feels his product has a point of different, as there aren’t many other cafe’s in the New England that roast their own coffee.
Customers know that what they’re getting is fresh, and sourced from countries all over the world.
A flat white drinker himself, he said he is looking forward to seeing what the region has to offer at Eat, Drink, Live New England in Inverell.