THE North Coast continues to be a mecca for growing fine coffee, with local coffee labels Mackellar Range and Coffee Lush awarded silver at the annual Golden Bean coffee roasting competition, held in Caloundra late last year.
The Golden Bean is the world's largest coffee roasting competition, with 1100 entries in 2012. Both labels took out a silver award in the prestigious "Australian Milk" category, building on the success of 2011 where they were awarded gold and two silvers.
Coffee Lush and Mackellar Range are single-origin coffees, sourced from coffee beans grown at Haywards Ridge in the Hogarth Range in the upper Richmond Valley.
"It's genuinely rewarding to be acknowledged as a standout coffee producer at the Golden Bean awards, which are our version of the coffee Olympics," coffee grower and roaster Craig Hayward said.
"There are many things that set our pesticide-free beans apart from the competition.
"One of the major distinctions is our use of a traditional sun-drying process, which helps ensure a rich dark chocolate aroma, and a smooth and distinctly sweet flavour.
"As a family business, we are directly involved in all aspects of coffee growing, from planting, harvest, processing, drying, roasting and packaging to marketing. Awards of this nature also help to reinforce the fact that the North Coast of New South Wales is an ideal environment to grow world-class coffee.
"Our temperate climate, coupled with an absence of pests and diseases, means that our coffee plants can be grown using sustainable farming practices."
Visit coffeelush.com.au and mackellarcoffee.com.au.
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