Last week we sat down for a chat about all things coffee with Corie Sutherland, ahead of his participation in the NSW Barista Championships at The Coffee Experience. If you've frequented Edition Coffee Roasters in Darlinghurst, you've probably either met Corie or experienced the quality of his roasting in your cup. You've probably also enjoyed the mix of Japanese and Scandanavian influences throughout the styling of the cafe and menu. If you haven't, read on, and learn what all the hype is about.
Before opening Edition about eight months ago along with brother Daniel, Corie has had an extensive history in the coffee industry. His entry came when seven years ago, he found some part time work as a barista at Toby's Estate in Chippendale. "I would sample the coffee I was serving and wonder, "What makes this coffee taste good?"" From there, it escalated to a pursuit of excellence, leading to working at Coffee Alchemy under Hazel de Los Reyes, to other jobs such as helping run Clipper Cafe in Glebe. After that, Corie decided to pack his bags and spend six months in South America, "I just wanted to get away from everything for a while". The Japanese theme at Edition is no coincidence, as six months after arriving back in Sydney, he flew off once again, this time to Tokyo for two years. Upon arriving home, Corie settled on starting something of his own, which admittedly he has "been envisioning for a long time... I had lots of ideas running through my head as to how things would look". Edition is the end result of all the brainstorming, with simple but elegant touches. Hexagonal tiling on the main counter seems to add dimension to the simple layout, and well weighted cutlery along with cushioned wooden chairs lend to a feeling of quality throughout.
The coffee setup is straightforward for the most part, with rotating single origins on both filter and espresso. Interestingly enough however, Edition has opted for the use of single origins for their milk based coffees as well. Following in the footsteps of industry pioneers such as Tim Wendelboe, Corie recounts one particular experience that influenced this decision. "I was at MICE (Melbourne International Coffee Expo) in 2013, and Gwylim Davies [the 2009 World Barista Champion] was behind a machine making coffees. He was serving your standard washed Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, and the espresso he made me smelled of roses. Roses! Amazing. I then asked to try his milk coffee, and so he took the other shot from the espresso he had just made, and filled the cup up with milk. It tasted like strawberry liqueur... How do you do that? Ever since then, I've wondered about going through all the work of making a blend if alternatively I can create something like that [from a single origin]." Corie also names James Hoffman as another inspiration within the industry, for his vast amounts of knowledge and ability to keep talking and presenting in a captivating fashion just about endlessly.
In terms of his own preparation for competing in the NSW Barista Champs, going through a huge checklist and ticking off parts day by day is his approach to being ready. With a bit of help from the owner of Elixir Specialty Coffee, Corie hopes to nail the presentation side of things, which can be a bit different in front of a crowd and judges compared to a cafe environment. Getting his signature drink absolutely bang on is another factor which he hopes to execute, that according to him is the result of a lot of late nights experimenting. Lastly, we ask a bit about what his aspirations are with with Edition. Along with the possibility of expanding and opening a pure coffee bar, Corie has a pause before saying: "I want it to be beloved. I want people to be able to hold it dear, and know that they can come in and have a consistently delicious cup of coffee."
Edition Coffee Roasters
265 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst