For Alice Zaslavsky, there are no ends to discussing fresh food and produce. Recently awarded Illustrated Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the 2021 ABIA Awards for her bestselling book, ‘In Praise of Veg’, Alice’s 488 page culinary guide is testament to her keen interest in cooking and enjoying honest and rewarding dishes.
Throughout Alice’s journey into the coffee scene, she has ensured that the inquisitive nature she shares with food and produce was applied to her understanding of coffee.
“If you’ve ever taken an interest in paddock to plate, you should also be aware of the bean to cup process.”
A strong advocate for sourcing sustainable and local produce where possible, Alice shares that there is no difference between the path for food from paddock to plate to the journey coffee takes from bean to cup.
While learning about the bean to cup process can be overwhelming for many, the solution is as simple as striking up a conversation with your local barista. When purchasing your next cup of coffee, ask a question as simple as ‘where are these beans from?’ or ‘I noticed that this cup of coffee tastes different to my previous cup. What type of blend are you currently using?’.
“By the time coffee hits your cup, it’s gone through multiple pairs of hands from one side of the world to the other.”
When asking Alice about how she came to know so much about her favourite coffee, she shared that it was all thanks to friendly discussions with local baristas. By asking them a simple question of ‘Where the coffee is from?’, Alice was able to understand not only where the coffee was sourced from, but why the barista has consciously chosen it to feature in their café. Alice adds that if a barista is able to tell you where the coffee is sourced from and a bit about the producer, it’s most likely that the coffee is sourced ethically compared to a barista who may not know anything about the coffee’s origin and producer’s story.
“By drinking coffee, we have the capacity to make a sustainable impact to people’s lives and the environment.”
While making a sea change to live on the Mornington Peninsula with her husband, Nick and daughter, Hazel, Alice still keeps close contact with her favourite barista, Zak from South Yarra’s Bayano the Rebel and collects a batch of fresh beans from their café when making a regular trip back to Melbourne.
Having knowledge of where her beans are sourced and how they should be brewed (thanks to her barista) Alice passes this knowledge on to her guests when making them a coffee on her Linea Mini. Confident she is brewing the best beans on a reliable machine, the added storytelling behind the cup is considered to be a touch of magic to the perfect brew.
“I can honestly say that I make some of the best coffee on the peninsula”
To know more about Alice and her culinary tips, be sure to follow her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter as @aliceinframes.