Blog of Ian Callahan and exciting new specialty espresso and brewed coffee bar, Bar 9


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A quick update on the SA barista comp

It's all very confusing but the competition to crown the 2010 state barista champion of South Australia is set to take place mid september (yes, in 2009). Here's some info taken straight from the minutes of the last meeting:

"The SA state Barista Competition will be held at the RHAS Adelaide Show on Thursday the 10th of September with the Latte Art and Cupping being held on the 11th of September. We have been bumped from the Goyder Pavilion. The new location will be between the Goyder and Wayville Pavilions in the food court. This may not be ideal but is undercover and will get us maximum exposure and gives us 2 full days with no interruption."

Now a lot of things are yet to be confirmed but to get the rumour file cracking here's some 'too early to be released information'.


Brian Raslan

Brian Lewis

Bill Comley

Craig Dickson

Remo Russo

Mario Macri

Ben Rosenthal

Richard Carman

Cameron Ballard

Alan Holroyd

Ian Callahan (That's me!)

Brad Nixon (still yet to confirm, but I'm badgering him!)

Prizes: Confirmed 2nd and 3rd place getters for the barista and latte art comp will something from the lovely greg pullman (at a guess I'd say one of his fantastic Tamps) and 2nd and 3rd in cupping will get something from Rio (at a guess I'd say some ACF cups). Also, expobar is rumoured to be supplying the 1st place prize so it's probably one of their prosumers but this is still yet to be confirmed.

So if there are any budding baristi out there who wanna step up, or if you want to come lend a hand, send me an email or better yet, contact Bill Comley direct on 0407 714 560.

I'll let you know as more developments occur

Monday, July 20, 2009

Well we're finally open!


Our doors officially opened at 7am Monday the 13th July. We had opened a few sporadic days over the previous two weeks earlier and were pleased that a small group of loyal customers eagerly awaited our full launch and five day trade.
We were super excited about the fact that we had (*touch wood*) no power issues (which for those of you who aren't in the know, has been our primary issue/concern for the past couple of months). Hot water, the fridges, dishwasher, grinders and Synesso have all been firing without a hiccup and I couldn't be happier.
Of course our pastry chef came down with swine flu, and any and all of Adelaide's decent cake suppliers are all terrible at following up on potential new clients (aka 'me') which meant that we needed to bake a hell of a lot of cakes and pastries to go along with all of the coffee that was heading out the door. Many long hours (2am finish) followed by many early starts (back up at 5.30am) meant a fair amount of coffee was in order - luckily we knew just the place! I can honestly say I haven't consumed as much coffee as I did over the past week. So we are eternally grateful to our expert roaster, 5 Senses and the other roasters whose guest blends kept us going!
We were a lot busier than I anticipated, which is always great, but it did cause quite a few stress related headaches. Luckily we had some of the best Barista's in the state pop in to lend a hand and pull some shots. We also had a few special guests including the owners of Auction Rooms (one of Melbourne premier destination cafe/roastery's), Ash and Libbey of Crema Magazine and
Instaurator ('Inny'), author of the Espresso Quest, Chairman of AASCA and all round coffee guru.
We've actually been overwhelmingly surprised by the amount of interstate visitors, especially Melbournites, who have popped their heads into Bar 9. We've had an army of caffeine veterans from the likes of St Ali, Brother Bubba Budan and Seven Seeds. I'm not sure what these people were doing in SA, or how they heard of Bar 9, but thanks! Having such educated palates coming though has been nerve-wracking but in lieu of the tons of positive feedback we've been getting it has also been very comforting.
We have also had our first online review so thank goodness it was positive! And a big thank you to Beanhunter for making us the featured cafe (at the time of this writing). We are also being profiled in the next issue of Bean Scene so keep an eye out for that.
All in all the response has been very positive, and we welcome any further feedback graciously. A great big thank you to everyone who has popped through the doors and to everyone who has helped make the opening on bar 9 a reality. I've said it to many of my friends, if ever there was a cafe destined to never get opened it was Bar 9 - but perseverance, a pinch of luck, and a tonne of help and support has helped get us over the line. So thank you once again to everyone, and to those of you who haven't been in yet please pop in and say hi!