“Press Check” is a DXD Original Series which takes a deeper look behind the scenes of the publishing industry by focusing on the creative process of authors, illustrators & photographers and how they create magic for the page before it hits the printing press.
Publication: The Specialty Coffee Book Victoria Publisher: Smudge, Culinary Travel Publishers Writers: Jonette George & Ethan Jenkins Photography: Bianca White & Kaitlyn Wilton Illustration & Graphic Design: Daniele Wilton, Grace West, Jennifer Mullins, Susan Hardjono Smudge Team Shown Above: Joanna, Susan, Olivia and Penny & Daniele. Location: Melbourne, AU Smudge Head Office is tucked down a narrow backstreet of Melbourne’s Prahran. We’re flanked on all sides by some of the city’s best cafes, trendy people walking pugs, amazing coffee, and more than one open-all-weekend nightclub. All things combined make for a super-lively neighbourhood teeming with unique characters and colourful goings-on.
WRITERS SPOTLIGHT Jonette Wilton
This is no ordinary city guide! What an in-depth discovery of the Victorian coffee scene, what was your process like while selecting what would be included in the completion? We were very particular about the grade of coffee that each café was serving. We made sure they were serving specialty coffee before we went to meet with them. Specialty coffee is a high quality bean that under strict guidelines “cup” (tastes) at =>82% Once we established that they met that criteria, we visited and tried their coffee and chatted with lots of owners and baristas. WE wanted to present cafes that cared about their coffee, and were passionate in the way they produced it.
What was the greatest challenge and what did you learn from it while working on this particular book? The challenge for us is trying to educate the general public what specialty coffee is all about. I think we have established this subliminally by presenting only cafes that provide it. We really want the public to understand that coffee is like wine. Why drink low quality, when you can walk a few steps further and find a better product. Of course, the fact that a café uses specialty coffee doesn’t mean their coffee is always great! Other factors come into play like the ability of the barista, the milk they might add, and even how clean the machine is. If there was just one place to start with from The Specialty Coffee Book Victoria – where should we go and what do we order? I would have to say one of our most passionate Melbourne Roasters is Nolan Hirte at Proud Mary in Colingwood. A visit to his café will open your eyes to some of the best coffee sourced directly at origin. You can ask for a single origin espresso – but single origin must be black to fully appreciate the beautiful flavours in your cup. Milk is usually added to a blend of beans so the flavour can cut through the milk and produce flavours (not just a milky cup of froth). You will also discover a large filter coffee menu – another great way to taste the full flavours of single origin coffee.
What was the most exciting part of creating this book? Have you recovered from what could only be an insane caffeine high? The most exciting part of creating this book was moving into NSW to discover another world of passionate coffee owners and baristas to go into our Specialty Coffee Book NSW! We’re still on a high, and the way coffee is trending in Australia, I think we will stay up for a long while.
What’s next? The culinary scene in Australia is on fire – what content are you focusing on now, or do you have a dream book that you’d love to get the green light for publishing? We have just finished two books on Sydney’s dining scene – Flavours of Sydney and Flavours of Urban Sydney. We are completing Flavours of Queensland, and about to start researching Flavours of South Australia. We have also written a sequel to our Coffee Encounters book, where we travelled to 18 different countries to discover the farms that grow coffee. This book has been so successful, we are also producing a Chinese version of it – translated into Mandarin! Later this year we are moving onto Flavours of Bali – tough I know! But someone has to do it. And by the end of the year, we are planning to write the pinnacle of culinary destination books – Flavours of New York!
PHOTOGRAPHY SPOTLIGHT Bianca White
DESIGN SPOTLIGHT Susan Hardjono
We’ve been craving a proper flat white and this caffeinated collection is not helping! Insightful, well edited and chock full of foamy warm cupped dreams…Let’s just say the need to book another ticket to Melbourne for a self-guided caffeine tour is on the top of our to-do list.
Take a look at all of incredible books in Smudge Publishing’s deliciously inspiring catalog and get a behind the scenes look and their latest happenings over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook! You’ll come down with a case of Australian Culinary Travel Fever too…guaranteed.