Gino’s Café on Fremantle’s ‘cappuccino strip’ is an institution, holding its place in the heart of Freo’s South Terrace for over 30 years; as they say, Gino’s is Freo.
Anyone who has ever called Fremantle home knows that Gino’s is the place to go for the best coffee. From a morning wake-up caffeine hit, mid-afternoon meeting place for young and old, late night uni students, and post-gig musos, everyone is welcome at Gino’s.
So as an ex-Fremantle resident, I was beyond thrilled to learn that Paul Saccone of the Gino’s dynasty now calls Bali home, bringing his coffee talents with him to create a new coffee culture.
After spending time living in Bali, getting to know the island and how to live here, Paul decided it was time to use his knowledge of good coffee and roasting techniques to start Dimattina Coffee Asia. He was inspired by an old coffee bean roasting machine, originally wood fired, that had been converted to gas in Australia. After shipping it to Singapore and then Surabaya, the roaster finally made it to Bali, and so started the next adventure and life in Sanur, Bali.
Dimattina Coffee has many varieties of beans, and supply cafés, bars and restaurants all over Bali. They also create bespoke blends for anyone who wants a different flavour and style on their menus. While visiting Paul at his headquarters in Saba, he did his best to teach me about the differences between blends, roasts and beans, but to be honest, I was just enjoying all the deliciously rich, creamy coffees. He explained about the coffee varieties and how you can smell and taste various flavours such as spicy, woody, grassy or even ginger notes. Often coffee beans grown in Bali taste like produce grown nearby, like jackfruit, giving them an extra dimension. Paul informed me that I was drinking the Easy Street blend, a mix of Brazil, Ethiopia and Costa Rica honey process beans, and believe me, it was as delicious and exotic as it sounds!
Coffee education is important to Paul, and a comprehensive barista course is offered to any business that buys their coffee from Dimattina. Even if you don’t have a business, you can still sign up for one of their courses. The course will teach you about the roasting process, adjusting the grinder, and even how the room temperature can alter the taste of coffee. And of course they’ll teach you the all important coffee latte art!
While we were at Dimattina, I learnt about a blend that I was particularly interested in, as it uses a bean sourced from Flores. It’s called Juria and it’s from the plant variety typica arabica that originally comes from Ethiopia. A friend of Paul’s introduced him to Juria House in Ubud, owned by a wonderful Japanese man who told Paul about the origins of Juria. The coffee trees are grown in a mountainous village called Colol in the Manggarai region of Flores, can survive up to 200 years and in the past grew throughout Indonesia. However growers found that they were easily diseased and so to prevent the spread of disease and destruction of other coffee crops, the Juria were destroyed and fell out of favour, except in the small village in Flores.
Paul wants to resurrect the Juria coffee tree and bean, as given the right conditions and if possible, careful, organic farming methods, they are actually incredibly hardy and resistant to pests. Working with the village in Flores, Paul has brought seeds back to Bali and is growing his own crop in Bedugal, hopeful that this will provide a new, exciting coffee crop.
Paul invites coffee lovers to visit his office and store in Saba to learn more and stock up on their favourite coffee blend. Make sure you follow them at @dimattinacoffeebali