Phil Di Bella talks 2017 Reserve Blend
Phillip Di Bella has travelled around the world to sample the best quality coffee beans available. He has used his expert coffee knowledge to hand choose the cream of the crop. These beans have been brought back to his roasting warehouse in Brisbane so he can deliver the ultimate coffee experience to his customers.
The Di Bella Coffee 2017 Reserve Blend is set to launch to the public in early July. This blend will consist of the beans sourced by Phil from premier coffee growing regions all over the world. The flavour achieved with this blend will be completely unique and unable to be replicated by any other coffee roasting company.
For this blog we spoke to Phil about the art of creating the 2017 Reserve Blend and the journey he has taken to create it.
Where do you start when creating new coffee blend like the reserve? Does it start with the characteristics of the beans or do you work towards a certain desired profile?PD: We often decide in advance what we want to achieve with a blend in relation to its taste profile, whether it be a dark chocolate aroma or a spicy acidity. Then we go searching the world’s best coffee regions to find those taste profiles.
We will then either select an existing crop that provides the flavours we are looking for, or liaise with the farmer to create a crop that fulfills the profile.
Where do you search for these coffee beans?PD: Most of our coffee is sourced from growers in Brazil, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Columbia, Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea.
Different countries produce different flavoured coffees due to soil and climate conditions. A coffee crop from Nicaragua will have a sweet cocoa flavour, whilst a crop from Tanzania will have sweet berry notes.
Why do you put so much effort in creating a coffee that’s only available for one year?PD: Because it allows our roasters to experiment with unique flavours that would otherwise not be able to be released as a mainstream coffee. This way we are able to create a truly one-of-a-kind coffee experience that our customers can enjoy. Each year the Reserve Blend gives us the opportunity to share the world’s best coffee with coffee lovers all over Australia.
Why is so important to you to select the coffee beans yourself when visiting the farms?PD: I do this to completely ensure that the quality of our coffee is always consistent as well as being farmed under sustainable conditions. It’s also important for me to foster the relationships we have built with farmers who have become our long term partners. Having these relationship also allows me to source a more diverse and exclusive range of crops.
What can you reveal about the Di Bella Coffee 2017 Reserve?PD: The 2017 Reserve will be a real flavour experience. There will be strong cocoa flavours, but that’s all I can reveal for now!
Is there a way for the public to experience the skill and effort that goes into creating the perfect coffee blend?PD: Absolutely. My vision has always been to educate the public about the processes involved in sourcing, roasting and serving coffee. That’s why our Brisbane roasting warehouse is open to the public for tours and training courses. We can show you what happens all the way from Crop to Cup.
What is your favourite moment from your last trip?PD: We arrived on plantation in Guatemala and where greeted by over 30 kids excited to see us. They knew that we bought coffee from their farm and that meant their parents made money to feed, dress, educate and entertain them. So they were super excited, warm, friendly and appreciative!!!
As we were chatting a person from a nearby village was passing with a cart full of popcorn, chips and ice creams. So myself and the team bought all of the treats from the cart and shared them amongst all the children. You can imagine the big smiles and hugs that came with such excitement of receiving these treats. It truly was an amazing feeling being part of this community and seeing the impact our crop to cup program has on families and children. I wouldn't have wanted to be the parents however later dealing with the sugar high!!!
Stay tuned for more updates about the 2017 Reserve Blend as we get closer to the release date!