Irish coffee legend Colin Harmon gave an inspiring talk on innovation in coffee last Friday night. Hosted by Pablo & Rustys as part of Colin's tour of Australia and New Zealand, Harmon presented to coffee professionals from Sydney wide.
The importance of innovation was the main message, not only in coffee, but business in general. It is a challenge for established coffee companies to continually improve. "Empathy for the customer", he said, was the most important thing in staying innovative, which allows the business to focus on what the customer wants. "People don't want four inch drills, they want four inch holes."
Harmon has a background in finance, and after deciding his real passion was coffee, he quit his job to become a barista. "I had everything set out in front of me", he said, but instead decided to take up a job at a coffee cart in front of his former bank. After just 6 months he was crowned Irish Barista Champion, and the following year placed fourth at the World Barista Champs in Atlanta. As part of his training, Harmon sold his car to purchase the full set-up that would be used at the World Champs. "I didn't want to make a fool of myself", he says was his main aim.
These days Harmon owns 3fe, a specialty coffee roastery and espresso bar, in Dublin, as well as contracting to Nuevo Simonelli and Victoria Arduino. He was part of the design team for the Mythos One grinder, as well as being one of the first testers for the Black Eagle gravimetric espresso machine.
For more information, head to https://colinharmon.wordpress.com/.
3fe espresso: https://www.3fe.com/