In our search to conquer Instagram and establish ‘brewstr’ as THE place to find great coffee, we came across Prodigal Coffee Roasters, located in the Mornington Peninsular region of Victoria, Australia. We were quickly approached by founder Caleb Podhaczky, the spectacularly bearded gent behind this business.

We got to know Caleb through the exchange of many messages over Instagram to begin with after listing his business here on brewstr, and he was quick to send us a few bags of his finest roasts.

A bit of quick internet research and we find that Caleb isn’t just a hipster wannabe roaster, no, he’s quite well known, having been a barista and roaster for some impressive brands you may have heard of like Five Senses Coffee, Ceremony Coffee in the USA and Commonfolk Coffee in Victoria.

Caleb started Prodigal after battling some personal issues, teaming up with family and friends to build his own roasting business. He’s now smashing out kilos of beans from a Geisen W15A roaster, a beautiful piece of machinery in its own right.

We knew we were in for some fine ass coffee…

Prodigal's Giesen W15A

He’s now smashing out kilos of beans from a Geisen W15A roaster, a beautiful piece of machinery in its own right.

Ethiopia Arsosala

RegionArsosala Village, Uraga, Guji
Farm1200 smallholder farmers delivering to Arsosala Washing Station
CultivarBourbon, Typica
Elevation1800m ASL

It was Saturday morning and we had traveled up to our family’s property on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland; a 45 acre block of land surrounded by thick bush and a creek; cows roaming and everything looking greener than jealousy itself. The rain had been kind, but it left the valley in which we were located quite humid, leaving us hot and sticky by mid morning. It seemed counter intuitive to be putting on a brew of coffee in this weather.

Pulling out a recently purchased AeroPress, we ground up the beans, and with the AeroPress inverted, started the bloom for about 25-30 seconds. We’re not coffee geniuses, but we read this on the internet so it had to be ‘the way’. Topping up the water, we then pressed for around 75 seconds, producing a fruity fragrance from these beans.

One obligatory Instagram photo later, it was down the hatch. On the initial tasting, we marvelled at our AeroPress skills, first and foremost, before noticing the rich flavors of this bean. We realised quite quickly, partially due to the heat, but also due to the flavor, that this was not a bean best enjoyed hot; this is definitely a cold brewers dream.

Alas, it was still enjoyed hot and black. We were quick to comment back to Caleb that this was a great bean for cold brew, and bang on the money, he noted that many of his customers use it for just that. Cool, we know things!

We moved on to the other beans supplied by Caleb for a week, and then came back to the Arsosala after they had run out. We smashed them through our espresso machine, a Breville Barista Express, with a relatively fine grind suitable to our machine. Dialed in just right, we still agreed this bean to be better served as a cold brew, not to our tasting style, but certainly still enjoyable with a touch of milk. We certainly got a bigger punch with this bean used with an espresso machine, with its tasting notes quite similar, and very punchy.

We definitely recommend this one as a cold brew in our hot, humid conditions; but try it out your way! Let us know in the comments how you enjoyed it best!

Guatemala Rio Ocho

RegionRio Ocho, Santiago, Chimaltenango, Huehuetenango
FarmLa Ceiba
Elevation1750m ASL

Another go with the AeroPress. And we hated it; the AeroPress was not doing this bean justice. It was super strong and a touch bitter; partially due to our amateur process and partially to it’s flavors. A touch of milk was added to balance it and we were back on track. We headed home from our weekend to an empty Barista Express, ready to take these beans on properly!

Suffice to say, we were quickly overwhelmed. This was by far the best bean I’ve ever used at home. Throwing it in our Barista Express, our 250g bag lasted just two days. Per Caleb’s recommendation, we enjoyed it as a ‘magic’, the Melbourne ‘secret blend’ of double ristretto, filled to 6oz with steamed milk.

PUNCH. This one slapped me in the face. It’s tasting notes of ‘caramel, baked apple and pancakes’ had me wondering what the hell Caleb was doing; until the flavors hit my pallet. Magic. Literally.

Trust us on this one, this is an espresso lover’s bean, roasted with love, and delivering the moment you crack the bag and smell its magnificent aroma, through to that mouse’s tail flowing into your cup producing a rich crema.

Let us know in the comments how you enjoyed it best!

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