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18. September 2015 Nina Enter

A life with and for coffee

A life with and for coffee

The passionate barista has collected over 5,000 coffee machines and coffee accessories in his life, some of which can be admired in the Coffee Competence Center in the Austrian Social and Economic Museum in Vienna’s 5th district whilst enjoying a perfectly prepared cup of coffee.

“Coffee flows in my veins.”

The passion for coffee felt by Edmund Mayr, Austria’s best and most well-known coffee expert, began early on. And although at the age of three or four years, his grandmother’s lap coffee grinder was still more of a toy than a functional object, he was immediately mesmerized by the aroma of the freshly ground coffee, and remains under its spell to this day. He indulged in his first sip of the beverage when he was only four years old, but even though his parents managed their own coffeehouse and confectionery, it was the technique of the first classic espresso machine that ended up fascinating the young Mayr more than the espresso itself.

“Coffee is a science.”

In the last 40 to 50 years, Edmund Mayr has acquired a profound knowledge of coffee and the preparation of coffee. Motivated by the desire to pass on this know-how to as many people as possible, eventually, the Coffee Competence Center in the Vogelsanggasse 36 in Vienna was developed in 2003. Throughout his professional life, the number 1 amongst baristi has by now trained over 100,000 restaurateurs and more than 10,000 consumers in the perfect preparation of coffee. Not without reason did the Association of Viennese Coffeehouses award Edmund Mayr with the Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the institution of the Viennese coffeehouse. In his seminars and workshops, the participants are not only informed of the journey from the plant to the cup, but also enlightened as to all sources of error in preparation, ranging from insufficient water hardness, to the wrong degree of grinding, through to inadequate cleaning.

“Every coffee is a work of art.”

Within his métier, Edmund Mayr is particularly fascinated by the natural product itself: “Coffee can best be compared to wine; no year is the same as another.” And while all other drinks come ready-prepared for the consumer and usually taste the same whether in a submarine, in an airplane or in the kitchen, it is exactly the opposite with coffee: “I can prepare 435 billion different coffees simply based on the millions of settings options alone, but each coffee is unique and tastes different when I make 10 mistakes.”

“Seven out of nine coffee drinkers drink their coffee with milk and sugar.”

Edmund Mayr accounts for his competence in the connection between history, tradition and modernity. Alongside the preparation of his elixir of life in Beethoven’s vacuum coffee maker – the musician was, by the way, the first coffee gourmet in the world; he insisted on exactly 60 coffee beans, which is equivalent to the 7 grams recommended today – the barista also loves to experiment. In order to guide the seven out of nine people to an even more pleasurable experience, he serves an espresso with pumpkin seed oil, and in his home coffee roaster he plays around not only with coffee beans, but also with historical surrogates such as nuts, seeds or rinds, and the coffee veteran has also mastered the creative craft of latte art.

“Coffee is a miracle cure.”

The “coffeenator” himself, as he is also called, has stated that he drinks only coffee, 2 – 2 ½ liters a day. Edmund Mayr is passionately convinced of the great powers of the brew and its medicinal effect. And with today’s coffee machines, his decade-long desire for machines that can think for themselves and are so elaborately conceived down to the smallest detail that the water temperature can be set from the next room, and the beans can be ground in portions, has finally been fulfilled: “The way it is now, it can hardly be topped. That’s perfect.”

The barista’s wish for the future is that people become more courageous and speak out when they are served bad coffee for an expensive price. By means of his seminars and workshops, Edmund Mayr is paving the way for the arrival of better coffee quality.

Try two iSi coffee creations by Edmund Mayr right now!

Marzipan cream topping
Cardamom spiced milk