April 22, 2018

Our new production roaster, the Diedrich IR 24!

We would like to introduce our newest addition to the roasting team. The IR24 Roaster from Diedrich. The fine, yet powerful burners, amazing build quality and the variable air control makes the IR24 roaster the one to have (and we have always had a hankering for). Unfortunately, the IR24 roaster was discontinued many years ago and replaced by the CR25. You can imagine how excited we would have been a few months back when we managed to get hold of this amazing IR24 roaster. We jumped to it and before you can say "matchy matchy", we had the IR24 roaster sitting next to our original IR3 roaster that we started out with back in 2006!

Our new IR24 roaster is equipped with full Automation, it can also be controlled manually, while we work on our roasting profiles. The repeatability of roasts and the accurate cross-referencing between both IR series roasters has all of us at Be Specialty very excited indeed. We have just started full production roasts on the IR24 and could not be happier, we will be adding a few bits and pieces over the next six months but do feel free to drop us a line if you are interested on having a peek at our new roasting set up.


The IR- 24 in all its glory!

2nd Place at the New Zealand Brewers Cup 2014

The New Zealand Brewers Cup was held in Wellington last weekend. It may of been a competition of four people, but these were four highly motivated, skilled individuals that had one common goal, and that goal was to go to Italy to represent New Zealand in the World Brewers Cup.

Some may say, it was not a real competition with four people, but the amount of skill and application that went into each competitor’s routine, I doubt there would have been any difference in the finals placing.


The competition consisted of two parts, a compulsory round and an‘open bar’ section.

For the compulsory round, the competitors were given 500gms of the sponsorship coffee to use. The coffee was Guatemala la Soledad, roasted by Coffee Supreme. The purpose of this round was to get the competitors out of their comfort zone, and use a coffee that we have never used.

We were given 30 minutes of practice time to dial in our grinders and find a grind setting that we were happy with.

The compulsory round itself, consisted of five minutes setup time, followed by seven minutes of competition time to prepare and serve their beverages, without any presentation or demonstration. Working in dead silence, but still have spectators watching you, was still nerve racking, compared to last year, where we did it backstage away from googly eyed people.

For the open bar, we were given five minutes of setup time and ten minutes of competition time to present, prepare and serve three cups of coffee, each brewed individually to three judges. In this section we were using our own coffee that we trained for. These beverages had to be accompanied by a presentation that enhanced the coffee experience for the judges.



Aymon McQuade, past New Zealand Barista Champion, World Barista Champion competitor and runner up in last years Brewers Cup.

Who was the biggest draw name, and more times than not, Aymon usually brings home the goods with faultless performances, but he was undone, buy a couple of ‘young guns’ in the eventual winner, Nic Rapp of Flight Coffee and myself.



Using the same coffee as mine, but an older harvest. Aymon believed his post crop coffee had ‘gotten’ better with age. Stored in GrainPro bags and kept out of direct sunlight at room temperature, he believed the sweet aroma of the coffee had improved over time, an ambitious statement, but after trying his coffee through the brew pot I was really impressed! His taste notes were very accurate and the cup really did shine.



Sam Boarchers, from Coffee Lab used a washed Kenyan coffee from the Nyeri region sourced through Nordic Approach, which had bright raspberry acidity and sweetness. Brewing the Kenyan coffee through the clever dripper, Sam used two different types of water at different stages of the brew to bring out those amazing characteristics she was after.


My brew method was a brainchild idea, which was born from the frustration of setting the “right grind” that would match the water volume.


Most people over look it, but when we brew small amounts of coffee, the water will pass through the coffee faster than if you are brewing large amounts, as there is less resistance for the water. Therefore our grind setting has to be finer, also espresso like, so there is enough contact time between the water and coffee bed. If you want to brew a much large volume and hit the same extraction and taste, you would need to grind coarser.


How I showcased this methodology, was in the form of a dripper brewer, which I appropriated from other brew methods. Using a tea strainer, paper filter and adjustable water flow taps. My concept of using restriction of water flow helps increase the body of the coffee, if we’re using a small coffee to water ratio.




The eventual winner, Nic Rapp of Flight Coffee used a 100% Red Caturra from the Huila region in Colombia. This was the same coffee Nick Clark used at the New Zealand Barista Champs this year. From what I remembered of Nic’s rationale, his roast profile was extremely light, almost to Scandinavian levels of light, it had lime acidity and orange sweetness. These notes were matched with grapefruit bitterness in the aftertaste.



Using his trusty AeroPress, Nic knocked out a winning brew!



1st Place: Nic Rapp 139 points

2nd Place Matt Hing 137 points

3rd Pace:  Aymon Mcquade

4th Place: Sam Boarchers


The NEW wheat, thats wild for summer!

Wild wheat has opened a new quick stop bakery hot spot in Mt Eden. The space is divided into 2 distinct zones. One for artisan and specialty breads and the second for coffee; where you can casually wait for your delish coffee from bespecialty and be tempted by the pastries and savory items on display. The coffee setup has a refurbished 3group La San Marco 94, with a Mazzer timer grinder. All the coffees are served in takeway cups, but thats not really an issue, since you're there for a quick bread pickup.

The environment is designed to be light and fresh with a strong natural element; expressed through the use of plywood paneling throughout, and complimented by the textured concrete effect wallpaper and powdery blue walls. Simple black pendants create contrast within the space and emit a warm glow to each of the sales areas. Cane baskets and simple plywood shelves that ‘float’ off the wall are filled with varying loaves of artisan breads; the product remaining the main focus for the store and shopfront window display.




Conceptual interior design by Spaceworks  

Overview of the Super Caimano 'on demand doser'

Out of the box, the Super-Caimano 'on demand doser' fit and finish are impressive. It ships with a factory-installed cooling fan and dose timer, and its construction is reassuringly solid. Setup is a snap: simply install the hopper and waste tray, plug the grinder in and go.

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July 21, 2013

brand › makeover ›

New and improved

Welcome to bespecialty, formally known as barista empire coffee!

After eight years we've decided to give the brand a full make over. Our purpose is to educate Joe average on the finer things of life, more specifically, specialty coffee.

The new logo is more sleak, contemporary and pays homage to the orginal Ben cafe street sign.