Back in May, Lance Witham – founder of Witham’s Coffee – appeared on the Taking Lifestyle’s ‘Living Fresh’ podcast.
Lance talked about all things coffee. Including how he got started in the industry, the latest trends (some good, some downright crazy), the world’s most expensive coffee, non-diary milks, and creating the perfect blend.
Here, Lance expands on a few of the topics he covered in the podcast.
A lifetime of coffee
Born on a coffee farm in Zimbabwe’s Eastern Highlands, you could say that coffee is in my blood. Certainly, it’s been the family business long before I was born.
When I came to Australia, I worked on a coffee farm in Queensland – learning the ropes in a whole new country. Coffee is coffee the world over, but there’s always something to be learned! And it wasn’t long before I discovered that roasting coffee was my future.
In 1994, my wife and I started the first Witham’s coffee shop in Waverton. Cut to 2017, and we now roast our coffee in Hornsby and supply to cafes, restaurants and homes all over Australia.
Making a fantastic cup of coffee
We believe a good coffee should be within everyone’s reach. And people are starting to expect at least a halfway decent cup from anywhere and everywhere.
One of our latest initiatives is grassroots training. We’re going to places like the local club and training the staff to make a great brew – so you can get a good cup of coffee in places you wouldn’t previously have expected it.
Current coffee trends
First, I believe you should drink your coffee however you want. If you like lattes, drink your lattes. Don’t get swept up being “on-trend”.
One trend we’re excited to see is the focus on the actual coffee beans – not just the barista or which type of coffee (like a latte!) you drink. Stronger seems to be the preferred style lately. Double shots, triple shots, the coffee is certainly amped up! And we’re noticing the move to less milky coffees; this is partly dietary and partly due to the desire for such strong coffee.
Achieving the right coffee blend
Because we supply coffee to cafes and restaurants all over Australia, we’re often asked to create a signature blend for an establishment.
When creating a blend, we always work backwards. We work with the restauranteurs, we look at what they’re trying to achieve, and of course, we look at what the coffee needs to be matched with (the cuisine, the key flavours). Then we tweak the blend until we get it just right.
This is where the craft of coffee roasting – and blending – can be likened to the art of making wine!
Here at Witham’s, we don’t just create blends for cafes and restaurants. We have many Witham’s Coffee blends you can buy online and in-store. Try them for yourself!