Heath Dalziel is no stranger to the producing great coffee, head into Third Time Lucky on Henley Beach Road (Lockleys) just about any day of the week and it’s a given that you’ll leave having enjoyed what will probably be one of the best coffee’s you could ask for.
Heaths coffee experience has been relatively short considering his wealth of coffee knowledge. His first specialty coffee experience was with Coffee Baron 5-6 years ago, but it wasn’t until more recently when Heath and his business partner Quang Nguyen opened Devour in Richmond that Heath started to get develop a greater interest in filter coffee which is now arguably his specialty.
This specialty saw him win the 2017 brewers cup at the Western Regional Competition and as a result will compete in the National Brewers Cup at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo.
Quick sidebar, for ASCA (Australian Specialty Coffee Association) competitions, Australia is divided up into North, East, South and West regions.
“There wasn’t too much of an expectation coming into the Western Region competition, the competition was last November, and I only decided to compete in September.” Heath said. Nationals however is a different story.
In getting ready for the National Brewers Cup, “.. I figured I would just stick with what I’ve done from regionals and try and improve on that. So, I guess what I’m doing now is looking at the method more in depth, what are some of the more subtle things I can change..” When Heath say’s subtle, he really does mean subtle, from changing things like the way he pours, to the minerals which subside in the water he uses for his brewing. Before you chuckle to yourself, different minerals have a massive effect on the overall outcome of coffee flavour and using the wrong balance when being judged at nationals, could be the difference between a great result and flaking out completely.
Despite what might sound like small changes in preparing for nationals, at the time of the interview Heath had been through at least 2.5 kg of coffee just for filters, litres and litres of water and spent countless hours getting his overall performance and presentation perfect to his liking.
“Considering how long I’ve been brewing quite well for, I feel like a complete novice when it comes to some of the people who are over there but at the same time, I feel that working diligently, really getting to know your coffee, how can you go wrong with that? Regardless of your experience, if you take the time to look at the details you can do quite well.”
For Heath, apart from his own hard work and dedication, he’s also had a great support team for preparation leading up to Nationals, this has included help from the coffee company ONA which includes the likes of Sasa Sestic the 2015 World Barista Champion.
Regardless of the result this weekend, it’s been the last 12 months which have been really important to Heath: “Over the last 12 months I’ve gone from someone who liked coffee to being quite a coffee nerd. It’s become about chasing flavour. I get excited when wait for my weekly email about what coffees are coming next. Even though I’ve tried so many amazing coffees it’s fun to see what’s coming next and how high the bar can be pushed.”
Header image: supplied