Darlington Blend Is Yarrabilba’s Own Coffee
Each season Baristas at Stellarossa have the chance to be nominated to create their own blend of coffee for their store.
Out of the 22 Stellarossa stores across Queensland, Kate Stratton, Head Barista of the Yarrabilba store was selected for the challenge. Owner and manager, Aaron Riding, nominated Kate who has been working with him since the cafe opened in January 2018. At the time, from 100’s of applicants, Aaron noted Kate, very keen and experienced, stood out from the crowd. Kate was very excited to be selected as the one to create the blend for ‘Spring’ which would take place over a two day period at the main Head Quarters of Stellarossa.
On the first day, both Aaron and Kate undertook a ‘cupping session’ which involved instruction guided by the World Coffee Association on ‘how you taste the beans’ and ‘how you smell the aroma’. From the seven different selections of origins of beans, on the second day, Kate was able to choose ratios for her blend. During the process she learned how to roast the beans and then to pack them. Kate said “It was fun, I got to jump onto a roaster and roast everything!”
To establish the flavour profile, after roasting, seven days are needed for the beans to settle before they are packed. Quite a complicated process, Kate acknowledged “People don’t realise how much goes into a cup of coffee!” Kate and Aaron called her blend ‘The Darlington Blend’ named for Yarrabilba to honour the local community.
“The community, during Covid, were amazing and supportive, we were very thankful and wanted to show our appreciation through the name,” Kate said, “The regulars are enjoying the blend which is described as relatively mild, really fruity finish, nice and sweet with a slight nutty and citrus aroma.” Kate loves working at Stellarossa Yarrabilba saying “If I’m not working, I’m here drinking coffee!
As part of Kate’s dream to inspire younger baristas – a video on Kate’s creation can be found on qrco.de/bbdzE7