Success is brewing
By LEONIE BRANN
WINNING three bronze medals at the Royal Easter Show's Sydney Fine Food Fair is the cream on the coffee for Robyn and Neil Cousins.
The former Sydney-siders who bought Caldera Coffee at Dulguigan, near Murwillumbah, 14 months ago, are bubbling over with excitement after their beans won the praise of judges of the top food contest.
"It's a great thrill to win such an award after the enjoyment of nurturing the coffee trees for our first harvest," Mrs Cousins said.
The boutique coffee company that sends its beans to the Gold Coast for roasting, won bronze medals with its Arabica coffee in the three classes entered.
These included cappuccino - classic international style; plunger coffee - 100 per cent single origin coffee, from a small commercial operation; and plunger coffee 100 per cent single origin coffee from either imported or Australian bean.
Winning the accolades is even more satisfying for Mr and Mrs Cousins, because no gold medals were awarded in any of the coffee categories.
The 2000 tree, seven acre estate, has previously won many medals at other food shows, including a silver medal at the Sydney Fine Food Fair.
It takes a lot of hard work, coupled with an idyllic environment and the rich volanic soils near Mount Warning, to create such a fine "full-bodied and full-flavoured coffee", Mrs Cousins said.
"We love the coffee we grow here which is naturally low in caffeine due to the nature of the soils," she said.
"You could say it's virtually organic with no chemicals or sprays used, just rain - lots of rain."
The Cousins sell their whole roasted, plunger and espresso style coffee at the twice-monthly Murwillumbah Cottage Market at Knox Park.
"We are starting to get a regular following because people want to support local produce, and they recognise what we are selling is of better quality than what you can get at the supermarket."