We first featured Birds of Unusual Vitality back in October, and the blog’s author, Eileen P Kenny, has continued to produce gorgeous, engaging content in the months since. Ms. Kenny’s work follows a kind of signature style: gorgeous portrait photography, accompanied by insightful, in-depth personal interviews. We follow this blog closely, and you should too!
Recent highlights include a profile of the legendary M’Lissa Muckerman, now a Melbourne resident herself:
Like many in specialty coffee, being a world-class barista was not the focus when M’Lissa first began, “Cafes were a cool place to work, and I got a job because I really wanted these sweet doc martens. My mum was like ‘I’m not buying those for you, you have to get a job’ and I went oh, fine, I’ll work at the coffee shop so I can buy the Doc Martens – and that is why I got into coffee – so I could buy some shoes.”
And we really dig Ms. Kenny’s interview with the founder of Mecca Espresso, Paul Geshos:
After his time with Campos, he took his first trip to the SCAA show in the USA, and was able to spend some time with Stumptown in Portland afterwards, “They basically took me through their whole operation: we were cupping every day and these guys were really involved in buying coffee direct from the farm at the time, and that was a big eye-opener for me, because there wasn’t really anything like that here. Not only did the coffee come direct from the farm, but Stumptown were also really involved with development of relationships – creating a feedback loop between the roaster and producer which meant that they could understand processing to the point where they were able to improve quality.”
In comparison, at that time in Australia, “Coffee was more about the front end rather than the back. It was more about buzz, and the barista being the centerpiece of the coffee exchange.”
With all of this in mind, Paul was even more inspired by what Stumptown was doing, and took that into the ethos for his new project, Mecca Espresso. In the beginning, “… getting access to coffee was the biggest hurdle. When we started out we were a small company, and it didn’t make sense to just hop on a plane and start buying coffee, so we had to go through the process of dealing with the local supply chain, and it was really hard – we didn’t really like anything they had to offer. There was the occasional coffee that slipped through the cracks, like a nice Sidamo, but the brokers probably had no idea what it was.”
BirdsOfUV recently marked its one year anniversary:
Over the past year I’ve met so many lovely people and had amazing experiences working on this project. I’m so incredibly appreciative of the response I’ve received both from within the coffee industry and the rest of the world.
Words can’t really describe just how much Birds of Unusual Vitality means to me, or how I’m in awe of how supportive everyone has been of it…. so I’m hoping some outtakes of the last year will speak on my behalf.
Make yourself a big pot of coffee and sit down with Birds of Unusual Vitality.