10 Questions with Daniel Vergnano + win a coffee essentials pack

10 Questions With..., Competitions, Drink, Sydney / 11 September 2013

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Daniel Vergnano
Originally hailing from Argentina, Daniel Vergnano has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to coffee.  As Coffee Specialist for D.E Coffee & Tea Australia, he knows about every type of coffee, the best ways to drink them and how to make the perfect cup. Daniel works alongside Wayne Archer, D.E Coffee & Tea Australia’s Master Blender on selecting beans, roasting, tasting and testing formulations each day.
We caught of with Harris Coffee Master Roaster Daniel Vergnano to celebrate the coffee brand’s 130th Birthday! That’s a lot of years to perfect the art of good coffee. We’ve got his inside tips on the tell-tale signs of the perfect coffee and how to make the best cup at home. 
1. What started your passion for coffee?
My passion for coffee was ignited when I began my career working at Nestle Argentina where I remained for seven years. When I moved to Australia in 1999, I wanted to pursue my career in the coffee industry in which I lived and breathed coffee (literally) for 12 years whilst working at a boutique coffee roaster. In 2011, I moved into my current role as D.E Coffee & Tea Australia’s Coffee Specialist and Trainer. I currently work to roast, develop and blend coffee beans for Harris to ensure we produce the best cup of coffee!
2. Can you remember and describe the experience of trying your first cup?
Even though I taste up to 80 different coffee blends each day in order to create the perfect cup for Harris customers, I’ll never forget my first cup was when I was five years old and I was at my Grandparents home, they gave me a little bit of diluted coffee with lots of sugar! It was love at first taste.
3. What food goes down best with a cup of coffee?
I personally can’t go past eating a banana with my coffee – I know it may seem strange but to me it’s the perfect match!
4. What are some of the tell-tale signs of the perfect coffee?
Bitterness is a dead giveaway of a bad coffee – if you taste bitterness when you drink coffee it is often because the brewing is incorrect and it has been prepared in the wrong way. Once brewed, coffee should have a dark gold, creamy look. If you drink milk in your coffee then it should look silky smooth – not bubbly and foamy.
5. Top tips for making the perfect brew at home?
Don’t refrigerate your coffee beans because it will affect the coffee’s oils and absorb flavours from other foodsThe best way to keep coffee is in an opaque, airtight container in a dark, cool and dry place – like a pantry. Try and keep it away from moisture – especially wet spoons! Try and always buy fresh coffee and preferably beans if you have a grinder at home. This will ensure you have the freshest coffee. Always keep your equipment clean.Use full cream milk, as there’s not enough protein in light or low-fat milk but make sure you don’t over heat it. The ideal temperature is 60 – 70 degrees. Once too hot, it gets a “cooked” flavour. 
6. What’s your favourite way to drink coffee?
I like my Harris coffee strong and bold – I drink a Double Ristretto.
7. Harris Coffee is celebrating its 130th Birthday this year – what makes Harris Coffee so special?
Harris is a pioneer in the retailer coffee market and has been bringing the world’s finest coffee beans to Australia since 1883. This year we’re celebrating 130 years of dedication to coffee and we continue to strive to create the perfect cup of coffee for Australians. The Harris range consists of six roast and ground coffee blends – Espresso, Premium, Black Label, Reserve Colombian, Reserve Brazilian and Decaffeinated.
8. Best place to EAT in Sydney?
At the moment I love the pizza at Vacanza in Bronte.
9. Greatest place to DRINK coffee or otherwise in Sydney?
Aside from drinking Harris coffee from the comfort of my own home using my own espresso machine, I think one of the greatest coffees I’ve had in Sydney was at QV Bar Cafe in the QVB Building. They serve single origin Two Seasons Coffee.
10. Favourite place to PLAY in Sydney?
I have a young family so on the weekends I spend a lot of my time at Maroubra beach or Heffron Park.
In honour of Harris Coffee’s 130th Birthday, we’re giving away an “at home” coffee essentials pack including a Bodum travel mug, engraved ‘Coffee obsessed’ antique spoon, coffee candle, 500g Harris Premium coffee beans, 200g Harris Black label ground coffee, 200g Harris Reserve Colombian coffee, and 200g Harris Espresso ground coffee.
To enter, tell us (in 25 words or less) if you could have a cup of coffee with anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why? Most creative answer wins.
Winner notified Monday 16th September.