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From bar back to cocktail master in just five years – tips from James Irvine

Posted by Michael McKay on Nov 3, 2016 9:05:00 AM

At this year’s Australian Bar Awards, Swillhouse absolutely cleaned up and their creative drink consultant James Irvine took home Bartender of the Year.

The Swillhouse team runs four very successful venues in Sydney - Shady Pines Saloon, The Baxter Inn, Frankie’s Pizza and Restaurant Hubert. James works across all four as a highly skilled bartender and consultant. He was the national winner of 2015’s Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge and is the Australian ambassador for Angostura.

We caught up with James recently to talk about bartending, competing and working for the powerhouse of creativity and hustle that is Swillhouse.

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Categories: Hospitality interview, Tips for bartenders

But first, coffee – tips from Eden-Marie Abramowicz

Posted by Michael McKay on Oct 27, 2016 9:05:00 AM

Eden-Marie Abramowicz is a Los Angeles-based competitive barista who recently started her own coffee consulting company, Bastet – named after the fierce Egyptian goddess. Eden-Marie is an advocate for approachable coffee education. She believes that quality coffee should be enjoyed by everyone, without exclusion and intimidation. Through consultancy and teaching, she is spreading the word of specialty coffee. You may recognize her face from the 2015 film Barista which followed her journey to the National Barista Championship in the US, along with four other competitors. 

We caught up with Eden-Marie to talk about coffee education, competitions, and her ideas on making specialty coffee accessible for everyone to enjoy.

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Categories: Hospitality interview, Tips for baristas

Investigating how water impacts coffee, with Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood

Posted by Dani Leever on Oct 20, 2016 7:37:00 AM

In the year since his ground-breaking manual Water for Coffee was published, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood has really noticed radical shifts in the coffee industry and how it is talking about the chemistry behind water.

“People in coffee have recognised that water’s an important element for a long time,” he says. “But the problem with water is it all looks the same. It’s all empty clear liquid. It unnerves a lot of people in the industry. If it has such a big impact on how the coffee tastes, then what is the real character of any coffee? How should any coffee really taste?” 

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Categories: Hospitality interview, Tips for baristas

Talking events planning, with Georgie Kay

Posted by Michael McKay on Oct 13, 2016 9:05:00 AM

Georgie Kay is the founder and creative director of Melbourne-based Georgeous and George, styling and events companies that specialize in weddings, private functions and corporate events. We talked to Georgie about her journey from studying and working in hospitality management, to offering fresh perspectives on special occasions with her events team.

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Categories: Hospitality interview

Talking all things booze, with Dustin Haarstad

Posted by Michael McKay on Oct 7, 2016 8:14:00 AM

Dustin Haarstad is a bartender and founder of the consulting business Blind Tiger Cocktail Company. Alongside menu and bar design consulting, the team of professionals at Blind Tiger host educational seminars about beer, wine, spirits and cocktails, conduct staff training in service and technique, and customize private and corporate events. 

We had a chat with Dustin about all things booze.

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Categories: Hospitality interview, Tips for owners, Tips for bartenders

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