What I Love – Michael Munroe Edition

A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a news article on my morning commute to work. Something about a new coffee shop opening in the Perth CBD, with a super fancy machine? My regular café was closed and I was desperate for coffee, so the finer details were a little lost on me.

One foot inside Standing Room Only, and I realised I wasn’t in Kansas any more. These guys take their Third Wave coffee very seriously.

Syphons, cold drips, pour-overs and filters all become very easy to understand because Michael and his team take the time to make things very, very simple. Nothing is too much trouble for these guys – trust me, I rocked up prior to their lunch rush with 6 food bloggers, their cameras and a million questions during Eat Drink Blog last year, and not a eyelid was batted. The girls came away with a heart full of caffeine-induced palpitations and a brain full of knowledge.

And if all of these things still isn’t your jam – they’re not going to scoff at you should you order a latte with 2 sugars – they’re all about the love.

Putting it as simply as I know how – I’d get behind anything Michael puts his name to. It’s all good.

What I Love with Michael Munroe

 

Who are you/what do you do?
I am Michael Munroe and I am the Head of Coffee for Addison & Steele Specialty Coffee (North Perth) and Standing Room Only (CBD).
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Image: Michael Munroe Twitter

Why Perth?
While most may look to Melbourne in search for delicious coffee (and they maybe somewhat right) what I love about Perth is that it is up and coming. There is so much potential for this city and it’s hospitality industry. It is truly exciting to be part of that.
Addison & Steele

Addison & Steele

Where did your love of coffee come from? 
Throughout my last couple years of school I worked a Sunday job at my parents café (now ex-café). Here I got a taste of cafe work and began to be exposed to making coffee. It got pretty exciting and I found myself searching the city for delicious coffee to experience and interesting people to learn from. After school I moved to Melbourne and scored a job with Sensory Lab and was exposed to a whole new world of coffee I had never seen. I tasted my first incredible coffee (Syphon with Panama Don Pachi Geisha) and fell in love at that moment. If I could wake up everyday and make something that tasted this delicious, then life was going to pretty sweet…. pun intended.
 
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You just placed 3rd in the Australian Brewers Championship (high five!) –  How do you feel about Perth’s growing coffee scene? 
During this competition I spent a solid week working with and learning from the incredible team at Small Batch Coffee Company. They exposed me to what they were doing and how they were thinking (coffee wise) in Melbourne. What I loved was how involved the public were interested and involved.
Right now Perth has some great baristas, managers and coffee institutions and I feel they are all somewhat taken for granted. We are producing some great coffee in some beautiful cafes, and as soon as we get the involvement with more of the public and they accept they don’t need to go all the way to Melbourne for good coffee we are going to have a thriving scene just like Melbourne. (I would like to note that this is a generalisation and I want to send shout outs to all our awesome customers at both shops who continue to support our business and ideas!)
I also believe that as soon as mainstream media decides to support its own city and all that it has to offer rather than focusing on dramatised pricing figures and other related negatives, the growth of our industry will be unstoppable!
Overall Perth is showing great potential to become the next coffee destination, I am excited for more people to get involved with our industry resulting in a flourishing caffeinated scene!
Your dream food day?
A day in Mexico. Eating delicious, raw food, drinking tequila and taking siestas. Couldn’t ask for a better day.
What’s the best thing you ate recently?
Probably the Beef Short Rib or Duck Bao I had at Melbourne’s new restaurant ‘Supernormal’. It was delicious, and Heston Blumenthal who was sitting next to us seemed happy with it!
 
Where do you love to go to eat?
El Publico I believe is doing some of the best Mexican food in Australia right now and I never turn down an outing there. The food is delicious, the tequila list is stella and service is top notch. Oh and it’s a 2 minute walk from me. Winning.
Where do you love to hang out?
You’ll find me slinging shots at Addison & Steele most days of the week, we also do a lot of staff training and public tastings so I am there a lot. And I love it. Coffee, beautiful fit out, great staff and customers – the ultimate hangout.
 
What’s your favourite thing right now?
My VST Refractometer. It’s a coffee nerds most useful tool. Basically it reads a sample of my brewed coffee and helps me work how much I am extracting from the coffee. I can then adjust my recipe to make sure and I am not over or under extracting and instead hitting the desired sweet spot.
What inspires you?
The idea of being the best I can be. Obviously there are people and events in the coffee industry (and outside of it) that inspire me but in the end this is all channeled to being the best I can be. This is applied both in career and personal life.
What are you looking forward to in 2014? 
I the beginning of the year I declared this was going to be a huge year. Already at nearly the halfway point it has been hectic and so much has happened. Some of the things I am looking forward to now include roasting our own coffee at Addison & Steele (happening soon!), competitions in November and new hospitality institutes opening!
Want to know more? Check out this post from Juji Chews and these beautiful photos from DineWhitMe and Wildest of Dreams.
 Addison and Steele also debuted a new menu last week well worth checking out!
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