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Vuelta a Coffee with Mitch Docker

Just like last year we are fuelling pro rider Mitchell Docker with high quality coffee beans for the Vuelta a Espana. We met up with Mitch before the time trial start in Puerto Banus last weekend. He rides for the team Orica Greenedge together with other coffee lovers like Christian Meier and the Yates brothers. We have already gotten reports that he is very happy with the coffee. The coffee is the natural Kochere, roasted by Slöinge and the washed Kenyan Kiriani, from Supreme Roastworks.

We interviewed Mitch one year ago and in case you missed it we include it below. Mission is pretty much the same this year, and they have started off with a blast by securing the red leader´s jersey with Esteban Chaves. This means a lot of work at the front, but Mitch was given the opportunity to sprint fro the victory on the 3rd stage going into Malaga.

Mitchell Docker raw and uncut part 1! Dated 25th August 2014.

We are lucky to have gotten an interview with Mitchell Docker and will release it in parts over the coming week. It includes a fair mix of serious and trivia questions regarding both coffee and cycling, and some very entertaining answers! Enjoy!

PK: Hi Mitch, cool to see that you are into quality coffee, and that we can help you out with some fresh beans during the 2014 edition of the Vuelta. As we all know, coffee and cycling are a match made in heaven. Anywho, please tell us a bit about you're fashion for coffee and how it all started?

MD: How did it start…Im thinking it really began with my father. He is a coffee drinker, a late night drinker, as well as your normal cappuccinos in the morning too. But what I think set me on the right line was that he always made coffee right. He used to grind the beans up fresh, and use a mocha percolator to make his black coffee after dinner. That coffee smell would fill the kitchen, and we, my brother and sister learnt how coffee was meant to be, it took time to be done right. After this I guess I started drinking cappuccino’s when I was heading into University in the city. Going to Uni in Melbourne city allowed me to suss out the cafe scene, and got me hooked a bit. Along the way I did a little barista training course at Lavazza and picked up a Rancilio Silvia machine for home. From there it has just continued to grow, a trip to the United States a few years ago really opened my eyes to the pour over scene, and since then it has exploded in Melbourne just at the right time for me to enjoy drinking it out. The rancilio at home has been great to muck around on try things out. But I do love it when I occasionally get the chance to get behind a multable group head commercial size machine and feel the full power of a big boy, get the feeling of what it would be like to make coffee for a living… well for some time anyway could be fun.

PK: Coming from Melbourne, having a blooming and reputable coffee scene, do you miss that travelling around Europe? (Thinking that even though there is a culture for coffee around in S-Europe, the quality is sub-par).

MD: Yes I would have to agree, the scene isn’t just quite there. The italian scene is different to what I am used to back home, but obviously thats where it all started, I do love it there because it doesn’t have all the snobby-ness that it can have back home a bit. But in saying that i do love where the Melbourne coffee scene has gone, I like the way we make coffee and also the vibe at the various cafe’s. Thats properly the thing I do miss the most, is going out for coffee. Sure over here I can make a nice brew at home to cure that crave but to enjoy a well made coffee at a cool place…thats the combination I’m missing.

PK: What is you're favorite brewing method, and what do you bring along to the Vuelta?

MD: I have to say espresso is still my favourite brewing method, but in recent times I have been using pour over quite a bit more and enjoy the differences it provides. As for the Vuelta it comes down to logistics and what is going to be easy to travel with. I have bought the pour over along before but it requires a few extra pieces of equipment, which has now lead me to bringing a little stainless steal French press. Stainless steel because your traditional glass French press just doesn’t last the bumps travel, learnt that the hard way.

Mitchell Docker raw and uncut part 2!

We continue with part two of our interview with Mitch. Read how much coffee he drinks before the stages and where we can find his favourite café!

PK: How much coffee do you drink before or after the race, any restrictions from the team managers or nutritionists?

MD: The days leading into the race is coffee mania for myself. There is plenty of time back in the hotel room to relax and rest and to brew up a pot. So at the moment I am above average on the cups a day ratio. But I guess my daily coffee routine on a race follows..If possible a Cappuccino / Cafe con Leche at breakfast to start things off, then the pot of French Press with breaky or back up in the room post breaky. On the bus on the way to the race, pop a couple of espresso’s off. At the race start, maybe a final espresso in the bus, or if the race village permits. After the race depending how long the bus transfer is to the hotel, I may have a espresso, and then after dinner I will generally close the day off with a little ristretto.

PK: Where can we find you're favorite coffee shop and what do we ask for? Do you get the time to seek for the best coffee when at races or do you just make it better yourself?

MD: Wow what a hard question, too many good ones out there. My favourite coffee shop is back in Melbourne is a place called Brother Baba Budan. Its right in the Melbourne city, Little Bourke st. Great little coffee bar, but only big enough for 10 or so people, great coffee. They do just espresso based coffee, so your typical Cappuccino, Cafe Latte, espresso etc. Its a place to drink a coffee grab a pastry and move on. Its not your full sit down breakfast cafe with coffee, which don’t get me wrong i do like, but this is a bit more my style. But since I spend a lot of time over seas now, and things in Melbourne are going crazy with coffee and new spots. I feel I am a bit out of the loop and some great new places are around now. So then I guess my favourite place over here is a cool little spot in Sant Antoni in Barcelona called Tarannà. Tough to find good coffee in Spain, so the hunt began once I arrived here, and it lead me to come good roasters, but finding the combination of good coffee and atmosphere to drink it in was still hard to find. Until Tarannà. They serve El Magnifico coffee there, with fresh milk, no UHT, which is rare, and they do a well textured milk caffe con leche. Good little place to sit back and enjoy a brew in a quitter part of Barcelona as well as some nice food to go with it too. I have also found when I am up staying in Gent, in Belgium for the cobble stone classics, there is a good little coffee scene there too, and I found myself going to a great place called Clouds in My Coffee on my recovery rides between classic races.

PK: Being a coffee connoisseur, do you drink the coffee offered to you in the riders area before the start?

MD: Like I was saying before sometimes I risk it. Well you really can’t be too snobby about it, after all. You have to weigh up where you are, for instance the Giro village is a goer, where as I probably just hang back in the bus and suck back a capsule coffees here at the Vuelta.

Last part tomorrow evening, stay tuned!

Mitchell Docker raw and uncut part 3 of 3!

Our filters are red hot, just like the Vuelta;) Tonight we post the final part of the interview with Mitch. Find out if he talks coffee with Edvald Boasson Hagen during races and what is his target for the Vuelta.

PK: Our own Edvald Boasson Hagen is also a coffee geek, have you guys ever gotten the chance to talk about it during races?

MD: No I didn’t know he was a big coffee man. I will no doubt get many chances to have a yarn to him in the near future about grinds, beans and what have you. But we have our very own coffee geek here in Greenedge, in Christian Meier who answers all my quires and more.

PK: Moving over to cycling, this will be the 4th grand tour for you, do you find it easier in the group now compared to the first one you did 2 years ago?

MD: For sure, I think the way I am able to approach the race mentally. 2 years ago i really didnt know what to expect, how tired I was actually going to get come the third week. It was such a experience. The difference now is that its not like it becomes easier to get though, only you are aware about how hard it will become, so when you get a chance to take it easy you do!

PK: What is your goal and main objectives for the Vuelta? Do you think you will be able to top the 9th place you managed in 2012?

MD: I am here to help Michael Mathews in the sprints, which I enjoy doing, getting in there and helping to deliver him to the line. When thats not going on I will be looking for my own chance in a stage for sure!

PK: Leaving the seriousness for a while, any obsessive compulsive disorders when it comes to cycling? Thinking before the start, after the race etc.?

MD: I have picked up one the last few years, where I like to send a message or speak to the fiancé last thing before the stage start, just to say, "righto, time to go, and speak to you later" type thing.. oh and maybe "love you" too. Just feels right and also wrong when i don’t do so.

Hope you all have enjoyed the interview. Many thanks to Mitch for his time and good luck for the remainder of the Vuelta!