Angus got in touch with Beyond Coffee in early 2022, with the goal of growing his filter coffee range. He and the team at Project Black wanted a new single-origin filter coffee selection that boasts something new and interesting. Voila! Project Black is now stocking Beyond Coffee.
Chances are if you’re a Mitcham local then you already know about Project Black, and you’ve already had your coffee fix and a chat with the team. For those of you who don’t, it’s situated near Mitcham’s shopping mall, in a high foot traffic area. This quaint little joy of caffeinated goodness is beaming with knowledge awesome coffee brews. So why not head down to Project black for your next coffee.
Project Black – Specialty Coffee cafe – 3a/26b Enterprise Way, Mitcham VIC 3132
Q & A – Get To Know Angus Shen, Owner of Project Black.
Tell us about you, what makes you tick Angus?
I used to be an employee in the IT industry, facing computers all day and customers with worried faces. After 8 years, I started to think, “I have to change, I want to be someone who faces humans instead of computers.” So ten years ago I started my coffee business.
It is conceivable that the coffee industry is so much different to IT, I faced the first failure in my life, but after a few years, I decided to make a comeback and turned my previous failure experience into a good reference for me.
I started to use this to fuel my growth and the coffee shop, and I worked in some well-renowned Melbourne Specialty Coffee cafes for three years (namely ST Ali). After getting more knowledge, I put all I had learned and all the money I had left to invest into Project Black. Fortunately, with the help of friends and the support from the local people, we have grown rapidly.
How did your love for coffee all begin? What had you first interested in coffee?
Before I started in this industry, I was completely new to coffee, but when I faced it every day I gradually discovered its variability and found it very interesting. I was fascinated with how much a little change to a variable can make a huge difference in coffee. As a logic-based computer person, I became deeply attracted to these nuances in coffee.
My first unforgettable cup of coffee was at ST Ali, it was a Colombian single-origin magic made by their head barista Leon, and it was the first time I thought, “Wow, coffee can taste SO good!” And that’s why I later chose to join the ST Ali team.
What is your favourite way to brew specialty coffee? Why?
I have different brewing preferences for each different type of coffee, its processing and its origin. However, I have to say my favourite is Filter.
Actually, I once had a cup of Honduras that I roasted myself, it’s one of my most memorable cups of coffee…. and it blew me away, it tasted like sugar cane! Learning how to roast coffee sparked a deep fascination with filter coffee because I was amazed at the beautiful flavours that can come out of the cup.
What drew you to working with Beyond Coffee?
I’ve been looking for a roaster that specializes in roasting for filter. The majority of Melbourne roasters specialise in espresso. Beyond really focuses on filter roasted coffees and it fills our gaps. Plus between running the cafe and looking after three kids, I don’t have time to roast my own.
What has been your favourite single-origin so far? Why?
ONA’s pour-over master 2016 & 2014 Australian Brewers Cup Champion Davin Loong’s Competition Coffee Ethiopia. As for why… it just tasted really good.
Do you have a preference for processing? What is it about this processing that you like?
I love the natural processing and also black honey process too 🙂 I like the rich flavours that the black honey processing brings out in the coffee. It tends to be a more tropical fruity flavour.
At Project Black you brew coffee slightly different to many others, using less pressure. What is the reason for this? What does it do to the final cup?
This is true, many other cafes brew coffee at nine bars of pressure. At Project Black, we have chosen to reduce this. I find that reducing the pressure of espresso really improves the flavour of the coffee, and it produces richer coffee flavours more consistently. It also highlights less of the coffee’s defects that can usually be found in coffee that has been extracted with higher pressure. This is because the lower pressure allows for a more even saturation, while also reducing the errors for coffee channelling. In addition, to help reduce an over-extracted pull of coffee, we complement the low pressure by using a coarser grind. The end result is a full-bodied coffee that I find to have more sweetness.
Well, there you have it! Project Black Specialty Coffee cafe in Mitcham. Head down and show them some love!