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At home with our co-founder Jessica Sullivan

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As the latest coffee box delivery is the Home Baristas Awarded Collection, it makes total sense that we would venture to Jessica Sullivan’s home in Newcastle to talk to her about Coffee Selectors and the recently announced winners!

Welcoming us into her space, Jessica’s home really is true to what you’d expect from the Creator of this home baristas-inspired brand. Effortless style meets rustic wood, copper, Italian earth-brown marble, powdery Moroccan tiles and clay pendants, greenery and a neutral palette in this gorgeous interior that is also home to her teenage son (Harry) plus (very) handsome boxer cross red cattle, Ned.

Follow us into Jessica’s home as we chat about her business journey, and her favourite brewing style for each coffee in the Home Baristas Awarded Collection.

How did Coffee Selectors start?

I worked in tourism and wine for years and years, so I have a passion for travel with a curious palate. All through high school to earn money, I was a barista in popular restaurants on the northern beaches, so my love for coffee goes way back. I’ve always enjoyed exploring cafes with friends where I have lived for the past twelve years in Newcastle, and knowing the best coffee stops around town. All my friends either love coffee out or making coffee at home but it was clear to me that people are less knowledgeable about who and what is behind their favourite brew in contrast to wine. I quit everything else I was doing and created Coffee Selectors in 2020 without much thought at all. There have been so many challenging and exciting pathways to navigate on this journey, but I think the secret to going the distance is passion. I’ll always love what Coffee Selectors is all about; coffee, connection, and community.

What are your favourite ways to brew at home?

I love espresso but enjoy experimenting with new brewing methods as a treat when there’s time. My teenage son (Harry) enjoys cold brew.

What are your favourite ways to brew on holidays?

Last year, my son sailed me around Port Stephens for a few days and I opted for the Aussie made Delter Coffee Press the first coffee maker to use a process called Injection Brewing. It’s a really quick and easy way on the go to brew a pure gentle flavourful cup. This holiday, I’d say I’ll be using a good old-fashioned plunger (French Press) at my parents plus, some of Stitch’s amazing Japanese style parachutes which our customers have been receiving in this month’s boxes as a complimentary gift we offer subscribers for scoring and creating this collection.

Where would you like to travel soon?

I enjoy new frontier destinations and beans from Timor-Leste origin so dreaming of combining these loves one day soon.

Tell us about your favourite ways to brew the coffees in the latest Home Baristas Awarded Collection?

First up of course is the Home Barista’s Gold Medal winner, Dawn roast by Perth-based roastery, Daylight Coffee Roasters that was featured in September’s collection from Western Australia. It was selected by local coffee lover James Tischhauser from Margaret River Roastery. I love this coffee as an espresso and this coffee works perfectly as a latte and with Oat milk every time. Dawn is a single origin from washed beans grown in the Kaw Kaw Mountain region of Papua New Guinea and air roasted to perfection on the magnificent Loring S15 Falcon to deliver a consistent and balanced bold taste with notes of milk chocolate, hazelnut, and local honey.

Baristas turned roasters (and good mates), Jake Chapman and Alex Lowes, established the roastery in March this year with a vision to bring great coffee to the masses! Because why should great coffee be reserved for the elite or coffee nerds? In only a few short months, the duo is already making headway and are about to send me a taste of their up incoming instant coffee product.

Next is the Home Baristas’ Silver Medal winner, Ro Sham Bo which was featured in our November Christmas Collection from Melbourne brand Cool Hand Coffee roasters. Ro Sham Bo is the first blend created by new kids on the block, Melbournite Jack Vicars and Colombian Sebastian Farias who launched their Cool Hand Coffee roastery last May, with a mission to play up the playful and cheekier side of our great Aussie coffee culture. This natural bean from Brazil results in unique a subtle fruity flavour with hints of cherries combined with the boldness of sweeter chocolate, crème brûlée, and caramel notes and is my son Harry’s favourite in the box as a cold brew.

Okay next one…I usually never even hint at my personal favourite but the Bronze Medal winner for this round of the Home Barista Awarded Collection Reserve Blend by Tasmania’s Ritual Coffee Roasters, I’ve been really enjoying using my newest coffee equipment the Chemex. This innovative new brewing style really supports the creamy chocolate notes and brings out the apricot both in terms of taste and aroma. Some rituals come and go. But as coffee lovers, our first morning brew is always the most important ritual of all. This aptly named roaster has played a pioneering and vibrant part of Launceston’s coffee scene since they launched 12-years ago and was selected by local coffee lover and blogger Chrissie Ng. The Ritual Blend can be found in numerous cafes, wineries, and even restaurants all over Tasmania, and like all the other roasters in this box they have been a dream to work with these past few months.

Finally, there’s Stitch Coffee Roastery a Sydney-based roaster who will always be our perfect Christmas collection partner not only cause of their Chrissy red branding but innovative offerings they create exclusively for Coffee Selectors customers. Last year this Sydney roaster introduced us to their popular Jaffa flavour, so this year, they have come up with yet another iconic Aussie flavour Lamington!

A trio blend of washed and natural beans produces a medium espresso with notes of milk chocolate, berries, and macadamia that makes the perfect espresso. Add some creamy milk and you’ll have the coffee version of the lamington! It’s been a delight, so I am so happy to be brewing this through the festive holiday. The accuracy of the Lamington notes makes me smile every time.

What is your favourite coffee quote?

This house runs on love, laughter and a whole lot of coffee – Jessica Sullivan, Creator Home Baristas Club Coffee Plan
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