Tuesday, March 7, 2017

o-CNN: Love Affair With All Things Coffee at the Auckland Coffee Festival 2017, New Zealand

The Little Bean

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New Zealanders love their coffee.

On average, Kiwis are spending $13.67 a week on coffee from coffee shops. This adds up to just over $710 a year per person. New Zealanders work themselves through a per capita annual consumption of 3.7kg of beans (Wikipedia). We are talking about a Billion Dollar industry in a relatively small country, dedicated to maximising the benefits of the little bean from the genus Coffea.


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A survey by consumer satisfaction company Canstar Blue showed in 2015 that Kiwis are fairly dedicated to getting the best coffee possible with 52% going out of their way for a good cup. Coffee is a staple of the Kiwi diet. Kiwi's don't drink just any coffee. This country is called Aotearoa ("Land of the Long White Cloud"), but it might as well be called the "Country of the Strong Flat White" considering the sophistication and dedication that goes into every cup.

There is an espresso machine in every corner store, and most of these locations actually know how to use them. Legend has it that the early coffee roasters in New Zealand struggled with adoption and sponsored espresso machines for businesses as an incentive to stock and serve their beans. It fostered coffee adoption, and Kiwi's became as sophisticated and discerning about their coffee as any Italian. Caffeine is a drug after all, best served up strong.

The Auckland Coffee Festival, which is in its second year, is another opportunity for expressing the Kiwi love affair with coffee. According to Luke Jackison, the organiser, it is all about celebrating the "latte" lifestyle. It is also about showcasing talent, creativity and new ideas of what can be done with coffee within the Auckland coffee market.

Observations


We received an invitation from Luke and our good friends, Miles and Sandra from Weta Coffee, to attend and cover the festival. If you follow our journey, you will know that we cannot pass up any invitation to a food and beverage related festival, showcase or expose.

What we found was different from what we've seen elsewhere. Luke and his team of exhibitors indeed succeeded in engaging the audience with great products and coffee. They also impressed attendees with engaging coffee experiences. La Marzocco gave barista lessons on their new premium prosumer machines. There was coffee stout, jelly shots, espresso gelato, and affogato. You could scrub with coffee, bath with coffee, drink coffee, smell the coffee, grind coffee, pour coffee, press coffee, roast coffee, have your hair cut with coffee, or simply do it cold with nitrogen.

What truly stood out for us was the number of smaller operators that we found at the festival. The smaller roaster, bakery, cold brewer and even the creme brulee maker that served it from his trike.

Hipsterism dictates authenticity, value, independent thinking, counter-culture, an appreciation of art, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. Men in beards and flannel were everywhere, but it didn't detract from the sheer quality of the products that was on offer, and the obvious fun people were having at every stall. The Auckland Coffee Festival comes highly recommended as a truly authentic experience. It is not only for hipsters. It is something not to be missed for anyone that shares in the love affair with all things coffee.

Set a reminder for late summer 2018.

Hendrik van Wyk
Flat White Cowboy

We are a content company. We earn our livelihood from producing great content about inspiring people and their stories. We use Patreon to help us earn from our work. It allows us to have a closer relationship with our collaborators and grow our audience. 

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Photos


Gold Leaf Coffee Jelly Shots 

Creme Brulee

Weta Coffee

La Marzocco

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Two Cowboys: Creating and Sharing Wild Adventures at Wild Life Distillery in Canmore, Alberta, Canada

The Wild Life

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Owning a business teaches you the hard facts of personal liberation and self-discovery. To travel is another way to do it. You quickly discover your limitations and learn to extend your boundaries. Both are expensive in commitment and cost, yet incredibly rewarding personal endeavours.

We are not talking about the "comfortable-all-expenses-paid-fake-margarita" kind of travel you do through the window of a car, coach or plane. Rather, the kind of travel that forces you to let go of your comforts, expectations, biases and requires you to actually interact with local people. The same applies to starting a real business where you are making something.



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There are similarities in the adventure of both travel and entrepreneurship. It requires a special kind of outlook in life that aligns with values such as self-respect, appreciation for originality, authenticity and anticipation.

Both cases require an unwavering commitment and a substantial effort to succeed. That is why it is easier to do it with a partner and a friend. When times are tough, which they inevitably are, it helps to have someone with similar values for support. Nothing tests the commitment in a relationship more than travel or being in business together. Both are life journeys that are better when shared.

To succeed in a partnership, it is crucial to have trust in each others’ abilities. There must be a shared understanding of each other's roles, responsibilities, and what each brings to the opportunity.

Successful partnerships are above all, guided by a shared vision and purpose. Partners have to work towards a common set of objectives. It builds trust and recognises the value and contribution each other makes. Partners must respect each other’s contributions and regard one another as equals. It promotes an atmosphere of learning and an open mindset and desire to invest in each other's skills and knowledge. If a partnership is going to succeed, there must be effective communication and constructive honesty in feedback.

It is such a partnership that we recognised when we met Matt Widmer and Keith Robinson at Wild Life Distillery in Canmore, Alberta. Both are world travellers that already shared a journey through South America. Both signed up for the wild life of entrepreneurship and making something.

Observations


According to them, everyone has an ideal life they would like to lead.  It can be an overwhelming notion to commit oneself to a process that will eventually result in this dream. However, with the knowledge that there is no right or wrong way to get there, and no guarantee that one will ever achieve it, they are at least certain that doing a little bit each day will move them closer to their ideal life goal.

At Wild Life Distillery they have made this approach to lifestyle and craft distilling their personal commitment. They are in constant pursuit of personal betterment on a path of continuous learning and growth. They are passionate about what they do in their life and in their newly founded business and don't waiver in any opportunity to share it with others.

We are encouraged by the energy of Matt and Keith, and really like their first Vodka that launched the business this past winter. We are sure to see a lot more come from these two makers as they explore the wonder of a wild life as they lubricate the journey with their beverage creations.

Hendrik van Wyk
Wild Cowboy

We are a content company. We earn our livelihood from producing great content about inspiring people and their stories. We use Patreon to help us earn from our work. It allows us to have a closer relationship with our collaborators and grow our audience. 

If you Sponsor us on Patreon: http://www.travelingcowboys.com or Donate to our cause on GoFundMe: http://www.forwardthefavour.com we can do a lot more for you, your business, event or community.

Photos


Portal

Fine Tuning

Branding

Hand-Made

My Vodka!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

o-CNN: Getting New Zealand Lamb at One of Auckland's Original Family Owned Butcheries in Swanson, NZ

Family

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There are not many companies around after a hundred years. There are even fewer small businesses that make it to generation three and four.

Destination butchers are struggling, and those surviving are doing so because of their hard-earned reputation.


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We've found one in West Auckland that is our go-to place for the best New Zealand lamb when we are in that part of the world. Part of their story is that nothing much has changed for the last century except that it is passed on from one generation to the next.

Calvert's Butchery has been in the same spot and the same building since 1924 (70 Swanson Rd, Swanson, Auckland 0612). The business is older than the building. Brad Calvert is generation four that took over from his father, John. John himself spent more than fifty years at the company's well-worn butcher's block.

Young Matt knows his way around deboning and butterflying a lamb shoulder. He has done it for the last fifteen years, and he is not a Calvert. He just looks like he is family.

Observations


You are greeted by name when you step in the door. The Calverts remember the names of the Two Cowboys from Canada and is always inquiring about the welfare of Henry (our Camera).

There is surprisingly little on display except for their sharp wit and dry Kiwi humour. You have to ask for what you want. Brad or Matt will cut rump steak, lamb shoulder, pork roast right there for you. It is the way it used to be done, and how they still do it today. You are getting your meat from the best produce New Zealand has on offer. Every carcass is personally selected for their customers. It is not supermarket quality meat. Much, much better.

There is no make-believe in this business. It is as authentic as it comes. If you are out of place, it is probably because it feels like you have stepped into the twilight zone at Calvert's Butchery. You have. Places like these don't exist anymore. Calvert's is in a timeless spot that hasn't changed in a hundred years, while the world around it moved on.

I will bet that they will be there in another one hundred years doing the same thing, in the same way. Why mess with it when it works? If we are around, it will be our preferred stop for our New Zealand lamb fix.

Hendrik van Wyk
Kiwi Cowboy

We are a content company. We earn our livelihood from producing great content about inspiring people and their stories. We use Patreon to help us earn from our work. It allows us to have a closer relationship with our collaborators and grow our audience. 

If you Sponsor us on Patreon: http://www.travelingcowboys.com or Donate to our cause on GoFundMe: http://www.forwardthefavour.com we can do a lot more for you, your business, event or community.

Photos


Concentration

Old-School

Lamb!

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