Who is Ben William Essex Morrow?
Flexible, adaptable, reactive. That would be my mantra, if I had one. I play every situation as it is, and work with what I have. Coffee is my passion and is very much a part of me, my entire adult life I’ve spent researching, brewing and understanding the stuff. That said I do have other passions, food is in my top two priorities.
What is your best childhood memory?
Spending a weekend away in Sorento. A good friend of mine’s grand parents had a really lovely holiday house down there. It’s a beautiful place, and has an abundance of native foliage along the eastern coast line near Melbourne. It’s a memory I’ve become extremely fond of because I feel like I only recently have come to appreciate those situations. I remember running to the beach under a pine canopy, where the ground would transition from dry pine needles to sand and the air was briny, vibrant and fresh. I really loved that place.
If you had a chance for a “do-over” in life, what would you do differently?
I’ve made a lot of personal choices in my life that have lead to me to where I am. Some of them I’m less proud of than others. I feel like they make me who I am though, so although I may have slipped up as younger human it’s still lead me here. And that’s something I’m more than comfortable with. No do-overs required.
What do you feel most proud of?
For a long time I was really well known for making latte art. And that’s great but I feel like it was also a crutch, latte art was a passion but not my focus. I was lucky enough to get entry into the Coffee Masters competition, which is a multi faceted coffee competition, in which latte art actually scored less than every category bar one. Winning that was one of the best feelings, and a recognition that I’m more than a ‘latte artist.’ I’m extremely proud of that moment.
If you could only keep three possessions, what would they be and why?
Wow, that’s a tough one. I actually just relocated to Holland so I had to make decisions like this a few times.
My favourite cook book, from the Mozza Osteria group in LA would definitely be one of them, my mouth is watering thinking about the recipes I haven’t had a chance to make just yet.
My commandant grinder. I’ve taken it on every single trip since I bought it. It’s a tank and never ceases to amaze me with the level of quality coffee it makes for a hand grinder.
Lastly my guitar, I don’t play it as much as I used to but I feel like music was a really big part of my life as well. I’ve had it since I was a teenager and it was actually constructed the same year I was born. It’s funny I pick it up now and then and think we’re ageing gracefully together.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
Go hard or go home.
What is your passion project?
Actually I’ve been doing a fair bit of gardening at the moment. Moving into a new place has been really great. It’s therapeutic getting my hands into the soil and pruning back this overgrown space out the back.
What’s your favorite kind of coffee?
Coffee – anything tasty
Method – whichever is the tastiest
Origin – This one is tricky, I like coffee from anywhere as long is the processing is clear.
Some people say I don’t like naturals, that’s not entirely true. I don’t like coffee that tastes like fermentation taints, sadly I feel ‘natural’ coffee is hard to get processed well.
In which coffee shops are we likely to bump into you?
At the moment you would probably see me sitting at Man Met Bril in Rotterdam most mornings. I love the space and vibe, wooden tables in a white room paired up with some industrial lighting. The building is in the old underpass of an overground railway line. Now it sounds like it would be kind of sterile but it’s lovely and warm and the people are sweet.
What does a perfect day look like?