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Five Quick Questions with Simon Maguire

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13 December 2016

Rachel Healy

Simon Maguire has been with Emporio for eight years, he seems to like it here. Described as our 2IC, he’s somewhat of an expert on coffee. We had a gas about de-gassing…                                          

1. I’d never heard of 'de-gassing' until you mentioned it recently. What is it? And how come fresh isn’t necessarily best?

The coffee roasting process produces a lot of CO2 gas, which continues to release from the beans after roasting (a lot of coffee bags have a release valve,  not so you can smell the coffee but to stop it blowing up). While most of the gas will have been released after 24 hours, it's good to let the beans relax for a while before using them.

2. So do we wait a while before sending freshly roasted beans to our cafe clients?

Our beans are roasted and bagged on the same day then sent to our cafe clients on the following day. With rotation of stock, most cafes would not be using the new beans until around three days after roasting. Personally, I think our coffee starts to taste best five days after roasting. Really fresh coffee can also be hard for baristas to work with, producing bubbly pale crema on your espresso.

3. Eight years is a good stretch, what do you love most about about working at Emporio, and the coffee process?

The final stage before consumption, there are so many cool methods for brewing coffee and each one brings something different to the final result.  I love coffee because people still see it as something special despite having one or more every day. It’s a socially acceptable addiction!

I really enjoy the diverse nature of my job, one week I will be in Wanaka servicing a coffee machine the next roasting coffee in Wellington. There's a good bunch of people at Emporio who can have a laugh.

4. Why can’t we grow coffee in NZ?

Altitude is important for growing good coffee but in New Zealand altitude equals cold temperatures.

5. Speaking of temperature, where will you be drinking coffee this summer?

Usual camping trip up North with the family, no power for the Rocket so looks like the Chemex.