Matt Perger has a lot to say about coffee: He’s always getting into it on Twitter; musings on his personal site are essential and entertaining reading; and he’s now launched The Barista Hustle a free (free!) series in which he promises a “weekly email that details a concept, technique, product or otherwise that helps Baristas.”
To be clear, Perger knows whereof he speaks. He is the director of coffee at Melbourne’s renowned St. Ali and partner company Sensory Lab. He is a seasoned barista competitor, twice winning the Australian Barista Championship, twice medaling at the World Barista Championship, and winning the 2012 World Brewers Cup. He’s also an advanced equipment tinkerer, even creating his own tamper called the Pergtamp.
So why give weekly free advice? Writes Perger:
Almost every Barista and Coffee Professional I have ever met wants the same thing – To learn.
I am exactly the same. But unfortunately, so many businesses and individuals are unable to satisfy this hunger for growth and enrichment. Accessing a constantly evolving and advanced coffee education is obscenely expensive. Most resources are also out of date, out of touch and nowhere near deep enough. Does anyone really think they can learn how to be a proficient Barista during a 3 day course?
No one has all the answers to making great coffee. Not even close. Specialty Coffee is still very young and we have so much to learn. The cutting edge changes monthly and best-practise means a thousand different things to different people. To be brutally honest, we’re still really bad at serving consistently delicious and special coffees to our customers. This has to change faster.
The first essay in the series, “Coffee Extraction and How to Taste It,” launched February 1, with a second essay, “Surface Area and Time,” following on February 8. We’re looking forward to February 15 and and 48 more this year.
Perger says he intends to keep the content free, while maintaining transparency related to any outside funding for hosting and other operational fees.