Welcome to thebeanstalker.com. Here I’ll be charting my travels (mostly around Brisbane) as I look for the tastiest coffees going around.
The bean stalker, and the beans talker, is Nathan Campbell. Nathan roasts coffee, which he sells from his other website – St. Eutychus. He buys ex-commercial machines and tinkers with them (he currently has four), he’s an amateur barista (with a machine and grinder he’s happy to take to events and functions) and he likes cafes. He’s a trained journalist, a former PR hack, and currently a student at bible college (seminary for the American audience). He drinks a lot of coffee – preferring espresso based drinks, but enjoying a dalliance with brewed coffee (and a home brew bar featuring an Areopress, V60, Chemex, and a Hario Syphon) that may go places.
He likes coffee gadgets, and keeps a keen eye on news and experiments going on in the professional specialty coffee industry. But that’s not him. He’s not a groupie hanging out at barista jams and competitions (though he’ll get along if he can). He likes to think that he’s a well educated consumer of coffee at a popular level – and that’s where this site is pitched. Hopefully it’ll be a jargon free look at what makes a good coffee, and where you can find one.
He is happy to review your coffee product or cafe. If you’d like that – drop an email to nm . campbell at gmail . com (removing the spaces).
Maintaining the third person thing is difficult. So I’ll stop.
I like cafes. I love coffee. I’ll be putting my tastebuds through their paces at the cafes I visit (with a particular emphasis on specialist coffee). Often I’ll be accompanied by my wife. She drinks Piccolo Lattes (where they’re available), my standard fare is a double shot flat white. I’ll often, if the coffee is good, follow that up with a second, and occasionally a third. I’ll comment a little on the atmosphere, the vibe, the fit out, the music – the ephemeral stuff. But my main concern is the coffee. Does it make the taste buds pop? Does it taste like dirty dishwater?
I will sometimes introduce myself – but mostly I won’t. I don’t want special reviews – and I want to provide an honest assessment of the experience of visiting a cafe for the first time, as a paying customer.
I’m not claiming to have a highly developed palate – but I do home roast, and I have tried all sorts of coffees from around the world and from a bunch of cafes. And I’m a pretty committed amateur barista. I don’t believe in most fancy tasting notes – because you have to have a superpowered tongue, or sensory training, inaccessible to the average punter – so I steer clear, as much as possible, of being too detailed in my descriptors. I’ll mostly stick to easily recognisable segments of the typical tasting wheel – fruity, nutty, chocolatey, earthy, rich, sweet, or sharp.
I will always put my name to a review. Will always contact, when possible, the cafe I have reviewed upon publication, and always update posts if they contain factual inaccuracies. I will not post reviews of cafes that I can only say bad things about. And will be constructive, where possible, rather than destructive, in my criticism.
I don’t do coffee for comment deals – I don’t promise positive reviews of anything ahead of the fact. But I love coffee, and cafes, and I review beans from time to time, so drop me a line if you want me to check you out.