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By Natalie Mell, Digital & Social Media EditorISSUE #027 WHEN COFFEE MEETS WHISKY | Education

ST. ALi’s Lucy Ward On Pairing Coffee & Whisky

What makes ST. ALi coffee so damn good? Lucy Ward has something to do with it. As Green Buyer for the business, it’s her job to source the best specialty coffee from around the world - coffee that makes it into your mugs in the morning, and now, thanks to Blasphemy, into your cocktails at night. Here, Lucy tells us about the two ST. ALi. coffee blends she chose for our collaborative new Blasphemy Coffee Whisky.


“Orthodox and Wide Awake were chosen because these coffees were something I could imagine matching with an Archie Rose whisky,” explains Lucy, who just so happens to be a whisky lover herself. “I used my understanding of the elements of Australian whisky, Apera cask and Archie Rose in general to select coffee that would pair with the whisky profile.”


Orthodox is our new-age rendition of the traditional Espresso Blend,” says Lucy. “It’s chocolatey, sweet, rich and super friendly. You can serve it to anyone.” Wide Awake on the other hand, “celebrates the rich, syrupy body achieved through the darker side of artful roasting - with an extra kick for those times you really need to stay wide awake.”


Both ST. ALi’s Orthodox and Wide Awake blends are made up of components sourced from various regions in Colombia and Brazil, says Lucy, who has travelled the world seeking the very best. “We love using Colombian coffees, as they produce a broad spectrum of flavours from heavy chocolate and fudge through to jammy, sweet fruity notes. We tend to stick to specific regions rather than farms, as the small-lot farmers produce tiny amounts on their own.”

Over to Brazil, which Lucy describes as “A massive coffee-producing region, responsible for over one-third of the world's coffee production. Brazil is also one of the most advanced and industrialised countries in the coffee-producing world, so we look to our Brazilian partners not just for quality (of course!) but also consistency with supply year-round.”

ST. ALi's Green Buyer, Lucy Ward


Before they starred in Blasphemy, these ST. ALi blends made a name for themselves in a hot cup of coffee. So, how do they taste in their natural element? First up; Orthodox: “The natural process coffee from Brazil lends itself to a rich, sweet fudge-like character, while the washed process coffee from Colombia brings a bright acidity to the blend and presents the end cup as an apple forward beverage with a fresh juiciness and a super satisfying mouthfeel.”

What about Wide Awake? “Wide Awake is approachable, rich and comforting like a big warm hug,” says Lucy. Sounds good to us. “This blend is driven by chocolate and sweet brown sugar notes in the cup coming from a Brazillian coffee roasted to an artful deep umber. Colombia also plays a role in this blend with a sprinkle to brighten the pallet and bring balance to the cup.”


“Blasphemy is weighted toward Orthodox as this blend complements the salted caramel, chocolate and vanilla notes found in the Single Malt Whisky. Its bright acids complement the young characters of the Single Malt and brighten the sticky heavy notes left behind by the sweet barrels it was aged in,” explains Lucy. “Wide Awake makes up a small percentage of Blasphemy, but ensures it remains grounded. It acts as a support for the deeper chocolate and sugar browning notes.”


“Coffee and whisky have worked together forever, with the recipe for Irish Coffee being written way back in 1943,” notes Lucy. “As a great way to warm up in winter, rum and whisky have been added to hot cups of coffee with various toppings since the beginning of, well, coffee. We are here for it!”