Sunday, 25 August 2013

From bean to cup @ Coffee MIO

Location: 811 High Street, Thornbury
Phone: 03 9484 0776

Frank Berra, Co-Managing Director of Coffee MIO

Over forty years ago, long before the days of cult coffee culture, Coffee MIO founders Mario Berra and his brother Frank had the simple idea of creating the perfect cup of Italian Espresso coffee. Gastrology bloggers were privileged to be invited by Coffee MIO to trace the delicious journey of the Coffee MIO coffee bean.
Upon arriving at the Coffee MIO factory in Thornbury, we were warmly greeted by Lorraine Berra, “Coffee MIO means 'my coffee' in Italian. And that is how we produce our coffee – the Italian way,” she says. 

Gaggia - original 1950s model
We then met with Frank Berra, Co-Managing Director of Coffee MIO (holder of the prestigious official ʻEspresso Coffee Tastersʼ accreditation with the Istituto Internazionale Assaggiatori Caffe) who took us on a behind the scenes tour of the factory, where beans sourced from the world's best growing regions are blended and roasted. 
Despite supplying over 1200 clients with coffee Australia wide and servicing a rapidly expanding overseas market, Coffee MIO remains a brand that has upheld its Italian essence. Frank explained that Coffee MIO use at least 5 varieties of beans to produce their Italian style coffee blends. Paying homage to Italian coffee heritage, the use of robusta beans is imperative in producing a traditional Italian espresso blend as it provides a full-bodied taste and a better crema. 
We started right at the beginning, where quality green coffee beans from locations such as Brazil, Kenya, Colombia, Costa Rica, Jamaica and the Ivory Coast are measured and prepared to precisely blended. Finely calibrated machinery is used to ensure consistency in every coffee blend. The next step in the process is the roasting of the green coffee beans. 

During roasting, the coffee beans change both physically and chemically. The green beans expand and change colour as aromatic oils and acids develop. The roasting process plays a dramatic role in determining the coffee's eventual aroma and flavour. The roasted beans are then graded using a process known as spectroscopy to accurately measure the coffee's degree of roast and ensure excellent flavour development. 
The A grade quality espresso coffee blends are then ready to be packaged. During the roasting process some of the natural sugars in the bean are transformed into CO2 gas. After roasting, the coffee continues to “degas”, emitting CO2 which helps to protect the delicate flavour and aroma of the coffee. 

As fresh roasted coffee reaches its peak flavour and aroma approximately 24 hours after resting, Coffee MIO rests it’s freshly roasted beans in large containers that only allow air to flow out but not in, thereby preventing any deterioration in the flavour of the beans. This resting period allows excess CO2 to dissipate and permits the coffee bean chemistry to stabilise. 

Once roasted, coffee beans must be stored properly to preserve the fresh taste of the bean - air, moisture, heat, and light are all damaging to coffee beans. 
Coffee MIO’s roasted coffee is vacuum packed in packaging which contains a one-way valve. This valve allows gases to escape the packaging but prevents air from entering, thereby preserving the freshness of the bean. 
As a result of manufacturing and producing true Italian espresso coffee, Coffee MIO are the sole Australasian agents for the famous Gaggia Professional Line espresso machines which run in harmony with GAGGIA Espresso machines and, of course, create superb cups of coffee. 

original Coffee MIO logo

Nearly fifty years on, Coffee MIO continues to freshly roast blends of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans for Italian espresso machines. The resulting Coffee MIO cup is beautifully nuanced, perfectly balance, powerful and has a rich crema. 
Speaking with Frank and Lorraine, their commitment, passion and knowledge about coffee is obvious. They explain that their style of roasting is ʻin simpatiaʼ with ʻmade-in-Italyʼ espresso coffee machines. The result is Italian espresso coffee that has stood the tests of time, fashions, trends and fads.

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