Redback Online Store

It has been a lot of fun building our online shop, learning what terms like SEO and HTML mean, well we had an idea what they were, now (after building our online shop) we know a little more.

We suspect there will be a few glitches that we need to iron our over the coming weeks but please jump on, take a look and buy what you need to make great coffee at home.

And please write a review or send us some feedback.

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Fresh roasted Redback Specialty Coffee

Rocket Espresso domestic and commercial machines

Barista tools

A wide range of brewing gear

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Coffee + Tales

Scottie Callaghan is no stranger to the coffee scene having been in the industry for 20 years with a trophy collection that includes the World Latte Art Champion, twice the Barista Champion of Australia and third in the World Barista Championship. “It all started when I was 19 years old working part-time at the Coffee Club in Sydney and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life” he says. “Out of curiosity, I asked the coffee supplier for a tour of their facilities and he agreed to bring me back to the roaster where, for the first time, I saw all these things that I didn’t know existed: green beans, roasting machines, and a cupping lab where I was amazed that the job of someone wearing a white lab coat was to test coffee all day. That marked the very beginning of this crazy coffee journey.”

Read more at Coffee + Tales a great coffee subscription website.

MBA (Mixed Barista Arts), what is it?

As I write this, we are in the third and final day of the heats of MBA (Mixed Barista Arts), next week will be the semi finals and finals. I thought it might be a good idea to write a series of blogs explaining what MBA is and why we created it.

MBA (Mixed Barista Arts) is a brand new style of barista competition. The initial vision, intellectual property and conceptual ideas come from myself.

The fleshing out of the competition over many meetings and hours, asking what will work and what won’t work, the scoring system and the final Rules and Regulations, and creating what is now the MBA. Has been a collaboration between Hofex (UBM HKES) event management staff, Karina Yu, Derek Lau and Arosia Tong. And some Hong Kong Coffee industry professionals, Ivy Iky, Felix Wong, Janice So, Lena Tsang and Dennis Cheung.

The Rules and Regulation can be found here http://hofex.com/public/MBA_Rules_Regulations.pdf

The Score sheets can be found here http://hofex.com/public/MBA_Score_Sheets.pdf

MBA is a series of barista battles; one on one latte art smackdown. A grinder challenge, 3 at the same time racing to assemble a grinder pull a shot and be the fastest to do so. Single origin skill and knowledge test (like a school exam) and a team work challenge. One comparison might be the Iron Chef of the barista world.

Am I the best person to create a new style of barista competition? I do not claim to be so, but I do love barista competitions and I have been involvd in barista competitions for many years, I competed in barista competitions from 2002 – 2010, during that time I won the World Latte Art Championship, won the Australian Barista Championship twice and came 3rd in The World Barista Championship. Since then I have judged in the World Latte Art Championship, the Australian Barista Championship and I have trained numerous baristas to compete.

Although, that is just me and this competition would certainly not be half the competition it has become without the diverse expertise, commitment and hard work group of the people mentioned above.

Together we are the MBA committee and together we created the MBA

The vision of MBA

“Challenge baristas, entertain the crowd”

Some key aspects/strengths of MBA

  • Low to zero cost, the only cost to competitors is the entry fee
  • Baristas do not have to speak to the judges, this is a barista competition not a public speaking competition
  • It engages anyone in the audience, you do not need to know a thing about coffee to understand what is going on
  • It challenges a wide range of real life barista skills

MBA is four different barista battle style challenges

  1. Mixed Barista Arts (MBA) Skill not Swagger
  2. Mixed Barista Arts (MBA) Bump and Grind
  3. Mixed Barista Arts (MBA) Latte Art Smackdown
  4. Mixed Barista Arts (MBA) Team Work = Dream Work

Over the four challenges baristas earn points, the points accumulate and are shown live as the competition and narrative evolves.

Skill Not Swagger

Many baristas like to have swagger (look good/cool, coffee tats etc) we love this about baristas but do you also have the skill? 4 separate single origin beans labeled 1 – 4, can you tell us the origin, variety, processing method etc? plus some general knowledge questions.

Bump and Grind

Assemble a grinder pull a shot within given parameters. 20 grams +/- 0.5, 30 seconds extraction +/- 5, 20 – 24 gram espresso, safe sensory balance. It is a race with a maximum 15-minute time limit.

Latte Art Smackdown

Nothing too new here, 2 baristas, 3 minutes, 1 latte art pattern each, 3 judges are given 30 seconds to assess and then after a 1.2.3 count down the judges must simultaneously point at the pattern they think is the best. No knock out, how many fingers pointed at your pour = how many points you receive.

Team Work = Dream Work

Two teams of 3. two parts to the challenge. Part 1. 5 minutes, it is a race to make the most lattes, each competitor in the team that makes the most lattes wins points. Part 2. 5 VIP judges or members of the audience order their coffee of choice from both teams and choose their favourite team.

We hope the MBA is entertaining for the audience and people following online. We hope the barista competitors have fun. We hope they find the challenges hard but rewarding and we hope they learn from the experience.

Over the next few days I will post more blogs explaining the finer details of the four MBA challenges. And I hope you follow along over the next few days as we take the points live. And follow along next week as the narrative of the first ever MBA evolves.

The seven meals to try in Hong Kong

Australian’s love Hong Kong, well a lot of us live here, I did not realise how many Australian’s live in Hong Kong until we opened Fineprint, it wasn’t long until all the Australian’s around Soho, Central HK found us and loved us.

And we are totally stoked to come across this write up by Ninemsn, 3rd down the page and absolutely wrapped to be included amongst the likes of all the others in this write up.

not coffee – bagels ?

I am Australian, in Australia bagels are not a thing. If you are from many other countries same thing, bagels? Boring. Unless you are from New York, if you are from New York bagels are a thing, a big thing. They are probably a thing in other places I am not aware of :-).

When we opened Fineprint to serve awesome Redback Specialty Coffee we needed great food to match. And we found out how good a good bagel is, so we put them on the menu and haven’t looked back.

Thanks Lifestyle Asia for the 5 best bagels in Hong Kong mention!

Hong Kong’s best coffee for the early riser

I always believed opening a cafe in Hong Kong that opened in the early hours of the morning would be a great idea. So when we decided to open Peel Street Espresso Bar, now Fineprint (same business different name) the choice to open at 6am was a no brainer.

When we made that decision we had no idea how happy the market would be that we chose to do so.

And the guys at The Loop HK agree, thanks guys!

Pepper Passport

We love making coffee and we love it even more when our customer love our coffee. That is why we were totally wrapped on this write up on Pepper Passport. We struggle with the idea of being the best coffee in Hong Kong because we do have a great deal of respect for our competitors and the coffee they produce.

But we are super chuffed that so many people in HK appreciate all our hard work to produce the best damn coffee can.