Sub-Zero Top 50, 29-20

  • 29) Blend, Choc Banoffee Pie, CM Washed & CM Natural, Mixed Varietals, Ona Coffee, Canberra, Australia.


If you walk into a café in Australia chances are you will encounter a house blend that has tasting notes of chocolate and/or caramel, this is for good reason; give the people what they want!


Imagine those house blends have gone and injected themselves with steroids and this coffee is the result. Smooth delicious milk chocolate, jersey caramel and the flavour we subconsciously chase in a milky, banana!


This is another coffee where the flavours are just pinning you down and punching you in the face they’re so obvious (we also have a substantial amount frozen in the café incase you’re wondering).


Long live Ona Coffee’s special seasonal blends.


  • 28) Yemen, Abdul-Salam Al Lahaba, Natural, Udaini, Genovese, Melbourne, Australia.


Now I know I said that on this list there would be none of our coffees, however this one goes back to the beginning of the year (a much better time) when we had the Australian Roasting Champion of 2018, Ben Toovey, roast it for us.


Before we purchased some of our own to sell bought some from Ben for our pop ups, and it did not disappoint.


I view Yemen as a land of lost opportunity. A once great nation has been brought to its knees by war, disease and famine.


In western countries I suspect that most people are desensitised to the plight of the Yemeni people, few would know that the country produces some of the most exotic coffee on the planet.


This coffee was earthy, yet far more complex than I was expecting. Flavours of raspberry, banana, coconut and some interesting black sesame notes.


If you see Yemeni coffee on a menu in the near future, I encourage you to buy it.


  • 27) Blend, Jasmine & Peach, CM Washed & CM Natural, Ona Coffee, Canberra, Australia.


Didn’t take long to see another one of those seasonal blend things again did it?


If I had my time again I would buy 20kg’s of this coffee.

For the price it was it was pretty damn good value for money, and tasted exactly like Jasmine and Peach!


Texture, sweetness and perfect acidity are what define this coffee, it’s the kind of coffee I want to have everyday. Not too funky, not too passive. A banger one could say….


  • 26) Kenya, Kieni, Washed, SL28, Coffee, Collective, Copenhagen, Denmark.


I didn’t realise the significance of using Kieni until I told people that it would be on the menu at the first Sub-Zero.


Every time I told someone the good news their faces would just like up; ‘oh I love that coffee,’ they would exclaim.


Coffee Collective really are some of the best in the business when it comes to roasting coffee for filter. Their style just makes life easy as a Barista, the coffee is so good it makes itself.


This coffee tasted of blueberries, cranberry and a gobsmacking pineapple flavour on the finish.


  • 25) Kenya, Thageini, 101 ‘Diamond,’ CM Washed, SL28 $ 34, Ona Coffee, Canberra, Australia.


I was proud of the routine I put together to take on the Australian Barista Championship at the beginning of 2019.


I got absolutely smoked by Angus Mackie who used this coffee. I wasn’t aware the Carbonic Maceration process had been applied to coffee in Kenya until this competition.


This coffee was Angus ‘baby’ he told me, and he must be a proud daddy.


I’m a sucker for Kenyan coffee, most specialty coffee professionals are. The ‘Diamond’ profile that project origin have developed is certainly my favourite of the bunch for espresso. This profile is clean, textural and brings out the best of this particular coffee.


  • 24) El Salvador, Santa Rosa (COE#1), Red Honey, Pacamara, Rokumei Coffee, Nara, Japan.


How good is Pacamara? Like, how damn good is Pacamara? Very good.


This Pacamara took home the chocolates (another Australian colloquialism) in the 2019 El Salvador Cup of Excellence. Raul Rivera of the famed Finca Santa Rosa produced a masterpiece with this coffee.


The roasters of this coffee, Rokumei, are based in the humble Japanese town of Nara. I visited Nara last year and I will warn you all that the deer aren’t always friendly (just ask the many Japanese families who watched me get repeatedly get bitten on the ass for not feeding the deer).


Rokumei is home to the Japanese Roasting Champion Koji, and that title is well earned if you ask me. Though the coffee was more developed than we are used to in Australia, it absolutely pops when we brew it using a lower temperature. Think passionfruit, strawberry, milk chocolate with a orange like finish. A truly brilliant coffee worthy of its position on top of the Cup of Excellence rankings.


  • 23) Ethiopia, Gesha Village, Natural, Gesha, April Coffee, Copenhagen, Denmark.


For anyone new to coffee, Gesha Village is certainly considered one of the premier coffee farms on the planet.


Rachel and Adam Overton have done a fantastic job establishing such a great farm in the birthplace of coffee. If you’re interested in learning more about the farm I suggest you read about it on their website.


This coffee was roasted by the crew at April Coffee, and as usual they absolutely nailed it!


Plum, Oolong and Jasmine define this coffee, and we hope we can use so many more coffees from this farm in the future!


  • 22) Colombia, Monte Verde, Natural, Wush Wush, Momos Coffee, Busan, South Korea


When I first read the words ‘wush wush’ I thought I was back in year nine poetry learning about onomatopoeia.


Fear not, wush wush is an exotic coffee varietal, and someone at Momos Coffee has roasted this coffee so well it ascended to Super Saiyan status.


Berries, sour cherry and a prune like sweetness were enough to make my head nearly explode, this coffee was ridiculous.


Monte Verde is an incredible farm from which I have had some excellent wush wush before. The only criticism I have of this coffee is that I can’t find any more to buy!


  • 21) Panama, Finca Janson Lot 119, Natural, Gesha, Genovese, Melbourne, Australia.


Back to the topic of premier coffee farms, Finca Janson are firmly placing themselves in that category and this coffee is but a smattering of their unbelievable offering.


Passionfruit, jasmine with a mixed berry finish are what you can expect from this coffee.


I take the good news where I can this year, perhaps you will all feel comforted knowing we have some frozen at Sub-Zero. Spoiler alert, it is outrageously tasty!



  • 20) Colombia, Cerro Azul, Anaerobic Natural, Gesha, Newav Coffee, Melbourne, Australia.


And here we are, the last coffee we are discussing for this week and it was roasted by someone I poured my heart out for last week: Gabrel Tan of Newav Coffee.


Firstly, I have a lot of affection for this farm and its producers (Café Granja La Esperenza), I used a very similar lot in my first ever barista competition. Coffee from the same farm was used to place second in the 2018 WBC by Lex Wenneker and Gabrel also used this very lot in his Brewers Cup routine last year.


I tasted quince, rose, cherry with some pleasant malic acidity.


All I have left of this coffee is the memory of drinking it. Sometimes I just wish I could have more, but you can’t always have what you want.


Cerro Azul I would put in my top five farms that I have tried coffee from, you only have to drink the coffee to know why.



Oh, and while you’re on the website perhaps consider buying some coffee? We have some very tasty options available at the moment!

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