Why would the owner of a caf try to convince people to start making coffees at home? Because he believes that true coffee enthusiasts should be able to enjoy the pleasure of a beautiful coffee in their own space.
Common Ground owner and coffee roaster Sasha Krivitsky says, You make it at home because you love the drink. You like to go out and eat, but you still cook at home. When you go out to a caf, its to be social. But sometimes youre watching TV at home, and you want to have a cup of coffee.
Sasha and his Common Ground team would love to have you visit the caf for a scrumptious brekkie with a Russian spin go by anytime! But right now, hes on a mission to help people make beautiful coffee at home without compromising on quality.
Common Ground has a warehouse feel with tables in the front, a retail shelf stocked with bags of freshly-roasted coffee beans running along the wall and roasting equipment tucked in the back. Most of the beans Sasha roasts have come a long way, but once theyre here, they only travel a few metres from the roaster to the retail shelf, where they wait to be snapped up by Common Ground coffee devotees.
Beans are sourced from all over the world. Before committing to a batch, Sasha receives samples of raw, green coffee beans to test independently. He measures their moisture levels and markers of quality to ensure theyre meeting the classification that the growers promised. Sasha only works with Grade A (sometimes called Grade 1) beans because, well, theyre the very best grade available.
If the beans pass the test, Sasha goes ahead with the full order. Common Ground has a comprehensive storage system to keep their raw beans fresh while small 12kg batches are prepped and roasted.
These small batches mean that the selection of beans and bean blends will change regularly, giving customers the opportunity to develop their coffee knowledge. Because Common Ground likes to emphasise that coffee isnt just one type of drink there are so many varieties, tastes and even textures. Sasha likens it to the palate development people associate with wine.
Its like with wine, he says. You can drink the wine and doesnt matter what you drink until you start to actually learn about wine and tasting. Then you become more elaborate in your drinking maybe not drinking more, but drinking better. We dont want people to necessarily drink more coffee, but we want them to learn what good coffee is about.
Sascha really does want people to learn. Common Ground is close to launching a series of classes specifically designed to teach coffee lovers how to get the most out of the beans that they buy and take home. When someone pops into the caf to get a bag of beans, Sasha or one of his staff members will help them choose beans based on their taste and instruct them how fine or coarse to grind those particular beans.
The grind, Sasha says, is crucial. You need to have good beans, but youve got that covered if youre working with Common Ground coffee. The grind, however, is the part of the process that home baristas may underrate.
He explains, Its the grind and not so much the coffee-making equipment. Because any equipment is just an apparatus that extracts coffee oils by heated water and pressure, but its the right grind that defines the quality in the cup.’
Throughout our conversation, Sasha showed us not only how skilled he is when it comes to roasting, but also how much he appreciates the experience of drinking a perfectly prepared coffee. Our advice to you? Visit Common Ground, pick the mans brain and use his advice to start making the home-brewed beverages you should be drinking.
All products from Common Ground are available online here.
Common Ground Coffee Roasters
750 North Rd, Ormond VIC 3204 |(03) 9578 6973
Hours: 7am – 5 pm Monday to Friday | 8am – 4pm Saturday to Sunday