This could get a little long winded I guess but it all started in my Nans kitchen as a 6 year old drinking weak International Roast (OMG I know) with milk and two sugars. It was a treat then as great coffee still is today for me over 40 years later.
Better coffee came in the form of a Melita Pourover and supermarket fresh ground beans back when Woolworths still had deli grinders in the aisles. Growing up in country Victoria this was about as good as it got unless you call the scalded milk cappuccino made with Instant Coffee at the Blue Orchid Cafe in Warragul 'coffee'.
Melbourne Life and some Overseas Coffees
After studying Electrical Engineering and working in Melbourne with a job on the road the obsession started in earnest. I found myself on the road 4 out of 5 days in the inner Northern Suburbs and the CBD drinking 3-4 cups a day of Espresso based Lattes some terrible and some better than average still on the two sugars (blame Nan). This led to finding some favourites I would return to and some that while maybe had good food coffee was off my list.
During this time I got to go overseas on a bunch of occasions including the US for work before the Starbucks revolutionary idea of 'Espresso based coffee'. The waitresses call of would you like 'regular or decaff' with a pot of brewed coffee in each hand was the norm and I don't recall seeing an Espresso machine anywhere. Not that the coffee was bad in fact when fresh ground and freshly brewed the pourover coffees offered were great, just interesting that Australia and in particular Melbourne was an Espresso culture long before the USA.
Drinking coffee on an extended trip into Turkey was interesting one as it varied from the horror that was 'Turkish Nescafe Instant' either burnt to third crack or the sweepings from the chaff tray of the Robusta roaster to a few sublime moments in the Old market sitting on cushions drinking Ibrik or Briki short coffees surrounded by spice aromas and piles of carpets. We did find one Espresso machine in the market run by a local couple returned from working in Europe making a nice range of coffees and sweet treats.
Back to the Country
Having an early mid life crisis at 32 and running away from Melbourne to Port Fairy to sell kites and play with toys for a 'living' was a return back to poor to average coffee at best so out came the pourover or plunger and supermarket preground beans as all the deli grinders had being removed from most supermarkets. Most of the Espresso based coffees were in the area at the time average to poor due to a lack of knowledge and little to no staff training. This led eventually to finding some dedicated coffee forums and other websites crammed with discussion, information and reading on the subject.
Enter the Hobby and the Obsession
Perfection is unobtainable but striving for that goal goes on..........