We were lucky to slip in to Paramount Coffee Project this weekend for the last couple of days of their exhibition of Square Mile Coffee. Square Mile are a renowned company out of London, formed in 2008 by Anette Moldvaer (World Cupping Champion 2007) and James Hoffmann (World Barista Champion 2007), who we recently met at the Black Eagle Launch at Pablo & Rustys.
Throughout the week Paramount have also hosted various cuppings, talks and workshops covering all things coffee. Completely rebranding the store for the week not only gives great coverage for an overseas roaster like Square Mile, but also gets the regular crowd a bit more involved with what goes on behind their everyday cup.
To get a wholesome experience of what Square Mile had to offer, we went for the brew flight featuring three different coffees through a Hario V60. First up was a natural processed Ethiopian Wonago, which was very creamy and juicy with a fair bit of body for a pourover. Next was a delicious washed Colombian Los Monjes, with notes of brown sugar and dried apricots that we thouroughly enjoyed. Last was another natural: a Brazilian Santa Lucia that had a very interesting apple flavour up front but was a tad too earthy for our personal preference.
Sitting at the brew bar at Paramount allowed us to watch the barista closely and converse with him upon receiving our coffees. He was more than happy to inform us that Square Mile had the aim to reinstate people's trust in ordering a natural processed coffee, as generally they are hit and miss, hence two of three coffees on the menu being naturals. It is also mostly the case that a specialty coffee cafe will have a lineup dominated by washed coffees regardless of their roaster, however a great natural coffee can be mind blowing for the taste buds (think anything in the Ninety Plus range). Our coffees were all brewed in about 2 minutes each, bringing out what we thought were more fruity and juicy flavours and less light and floral notes that can be very striking in a natural.
Regardless of our own coffee inclinations, the whole concept behind the 'March Residency' is nothing but fabulous. Exposing the Sydney market to something new not only promotes Square Mile but makes people think more about what they're drinking. To see more large international roasters get into a system like this would be not only entertaining but informative, and beneficial for all involved.