This July, our La Marzocco Roaster in Residence is Switch Espresso from New Brighton, Christchurch. They’ve been roasting since 2006 and have 3 cafés in Christchurch, Bunsen  on Madras St, Black Betty on Worcester Boulevard, and Industrie Espresso Bar which adjoins to the roastery.

 

La Marzocco at Switch

 

Switch roasts nothing but beans from fair trade and organic cooperatives from around the world and their coffee blends offer a distinct flavour profile. This month they’ll be sharing one of their favourite espresso blends with us. For the entire month of July, we’ll be pouring the Rev in our showroom and we’ll even be giving a complimentary bag with every Linea Mini and GS3 sold this month.

Our Roaster in Residence 12 month coffee subscription promotion is also continuing through the month of July.  When you purchase a home espresso machine it comes with 12 month of coffee so you can discover more New Zealand roasters with coffee delivered to your door at the beginning of every month.

To get to know the story behind Switch Espresso, we caught up with their Managing Director, Hamish Evans.

Hamish from Switch Espresso
Hamish Evans

 

What coffee will you feature for the month of July?

We chose our popular blend – The Rev’ which our team drink at our roastery. It’s a versatile medium bodied coffee. Well balanced, sweet aroma of almonds and vibrant notes of mandarin with a floral tea finish. Great served as a black or white.

What’s the recommended recipe?

 19 grams, 28 – 30 second extraction time, 29 Grams yield weight

 

Switch Espresso The Rev

 

Can you tell us about the journey this coffee has taken to reach the cup?

We thoughtfully use 3 different partners to import numerous single origins to create this blend. We individually roast each origin. The coffees used are a mix of natural and washed processed originating from Brazilian, Congo, Mexico and Ethiopia.

 

switch coffee roaster

 

How did you get started working in coffee?

My twin brother applied for a job at a café. I think they rang home to get him to come in for a trial and my mum said, “He’s taken another job, but he has a twin brother!” So, I went in for an interview and got the job. My brother ended up applying for another position and we worked together for a few years. We had a great time.

Hamish working in his first cafe job at Le Cafe"
Hamish working in his first cafe job at Le Cafe

 

Do you think your time working in hospitality as a barista has made you a better coffee roaster or influenced you in any way?

Abso-bloody-lutely!! Understanding the end customer gives you a better appreciation and context in preparing the product. Everything from freshness right to the flavour itself.

Who has been the biggest inspiration or mentor for you in your coffee career?

I’ve had many mentors, but James Jameson from Le Café in Christchurch was my first café boss and he taught me how to be a boss and how to develop a culture and direction for the staff to buy into. I’m not sure if he knows this but he was inspirational in his leadership. And the funny thing is I now have my own cafe in that same site in the Arts Centre called Bunsen. So I’ve gone full circle.

 

Young Hamish Switch Espresso
Hamish roasting as a young buck

 

How did Switch get started?

After finishing a Degree in Outdoor Education, I still didn’t want to turn my back on all the experience from my coffee years. So I imported a coffee roaster and signed a lease in New Brighton. And from there the journey so Switch Espresso grew and now we have 3 cafes, a coffee roastery and 40 staff. I am also very interested in sustainability, so the name ‘Switch’ represents going in another direction to traditional traded and organic coffee.

Describe your roasting style in just 3 words.

EXPLORE – REFINE – REPEAT

Black Betty
Black Betty

 

Tell us about your cafes, Bunsen, Black Betty and Industrie Espresso Bar.

Other than my passion for coffee and food, I love creating ‘space and place’ for people to hangout. I love creating café concepts and doing the fitouts. Each one of our places is incredibly unique and we don’t like ‘off the shelf’ products. 

Bunsen is a Chemistry lab concept based on the old use of the Canterbury University lecture buildings.  

Black Betty is an old warehouse with open rafters and fitted out in an industrial style. We do 5 different brew types and an awesome ‘coffee adventure’ where you can choose 3 different brew methods to experience. 

Industrie espresso bar is attached to our roastery and pumps out the meanest brews where you can catch a view of where it’s all roasted.

Switch Cafe
Bunsen

 

 

What’s your at home coffee ritual?

I have got a simple setup at home to be honest. I am running a mocca-master brewing a 1.2lt filter of single origin every morning. But I have to be quick because my 2 kids have taken a liking to it and there’s a race to the bottom.