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How we experienced the irresistible aromas of Victoria Central’s Specialty Coffee

Updated: Nov 15, 2023

Victoria Central | Experience Irresistible Aromas & Flavors of Specialty Coffee – Gozo’s trendy coffee shop and roastery.


Are you a coffee lover who enjoys savouring every sip of your morning brew? Speciality coffee has, in recent years, been slowly taking over the Maltese Islands. A new wave of cafeterias dedicated to serving premium-quality coffee is emerging.


Victoria Central _ Vicky Coffee _ Gozo

Whether you prefer a classic espresso or a trendy latte with intricate latte art, these speciality coffee shops offer something for everyone. So why settle for an ordinary cup of Joe when you can indulge in a truly exceptional coffee experience at one of the many new cafes popping up across the Maltese Islands?


Forming part of the recent surge in speciality coffee shops popping up around the islands is Victoria Central. Located right in front of Pjazza Indipendenza in Victoria, Gozo, Victoria Central is quickly making a name for itself as a must-visit destination for coffee aficionados.


Victoria Central _ Vicky Coffee _ Gozo

Ready to embark on a coffee journey that aimed to tantalize your taste buds and elevate our caffeine fix, we recently sat down with George Larry Zammit, the owner of Victoria Central, to exchange thoughts about the place, its Vicky Coffee range, and experience coffee cupping itself.


Victoria Central _ Vicky Coffee _ Gozo

Zammit is not new to the culinary scene, being the owner and visionary behind Maldonado restaurant. Nowadays, he also holds wine-tasting sessions with small groups of wine and food enthusiasts interested in sharing a couple of words over several glasses of selected wines and great dishes by his chef.


The event was hosted by his coffee bean expert, Azzurra, who was very knowledgeable and keen to share her knowledge. Whilst Zammit gave her an introduction to how Vicky’s Coffee came into its existence, Azzurra was more focused on explaining the origin, preparation and quality of the beans.


Victoria Central _ Vicky Coffee _ Gozo

Azzurra runs the show when it comes to coffee bean analysis and selection. She gets several samples from many suppliers, where she then uses a smaller roaster to be able to test out the quality and taste of the coffee beans. Another factor which she takes into consideration is the country or region that the coffee beans are from.


Victoria Central _ Vicky Coffee _ Gozo

Cafes such as Victoria Central are all about elevating the coffee-drinking experience. For the making of Vicky’s Coffee variety, the finest beans are sourced from around the world, using cutting-edge brewing techniques that bring out the rich and complex flavours of each cup.


Vicky’s coffee gives special importance to the origins and backstory of the coffee beans. Azzura works directly with an importer who visits the sites to investigate where the coffee beans are coming from and the conditions they are in. They also need to ensure that no pesticides were used. By using an importer, traceability can be verified.


By working with the importer, they can get the coffee beans directly from the farmer, so they get more profits and can look after the farm. When you consider that these farmers are from third-world countries, who are usually given less economic power, this could be life-changing. Vicky’s Coffee’s Colombian blend is a woman-based coffee where 70% of the workforce are women and even, in fact, the owner is a woman.


Victoria Central _ Vicky Coffee _ Gozo

Using a V60, Azzurra also explained the best practices when making your brew. When you brew your coffee, you can control the intensity as desired. If you enjoy intense coffee, you can use a French Press or opt for a longer brewing time. However, when starting with a new coffee bean, it is generally recommended to go for the recommended doses and brewing times for the first time. You can always adapt to your liking at a later stage.


The coffees we tried during our tasting session at Victoria Central:


Odo Shakiso, Mancity Ethiopia

Processing: Washed


The text describes a speciality coffee from the Dimtu farm in the Mancity area of Ethiopia. The coffee is grown at high altitudes and the farm takes great care to select and process only the best cherries. The coffee is known for its high quality and has a cupping score of 85+.


The tasting notes are described as floral, strawberry, and caramel. The processing method used is the washed method. The farm also cultivates other crops, such as bananas and avocados, and has a nursery for replanting and regenerating shade trees.


Who do we recommend this coffee for? – Anyone looking for a light coffee who enjoys floral/sweeter notes?


Microlot, Rwanda

Processing: Natural


These coffee beans have notes of Blackberry, pineapple, passionfruit, grapes and orange blossoms. It is very sweet and Azurra’s favourite coffee. She enjoys the notes of the ripe fruit and the sweetness. We tasted raisins and plums when we tasted this coffee. This was more intense than the Odo Shakiso.


Coffee is involved in a community project that strives for beneficial social outcomes, which includes providing farmers with clean water infrastructure and educational programs that empower women and youth.


Who do we recommend this coffee to? You’d love this coffee if you want a low-acidic coffee with sweet notes and no bitterness.


Victoria Central _ Vicky Coffee _ Gozo

La Locura, Peru

Processing: Washed


La Locura coffee is a smooth coffee, very easy to drink. La Locura Coffee is a specialty coffee originating from Oxapampa, Peru, with a mixture of Caturra, Red&Yellow Bourbon, Catuai, and Gran Colombia varieties. The coffee beans were prepared through an unwashed natural process and you may find notes of green apple, grapefruit, figs, almond, nuts, and a floral touch.


The coffee is part of a permaculture project to develop self-sufficient and sustainable agricultural ecosystems. The Inga Family, who processed the coffee, tried a small natural production and named it “La Locura” due to its crazy results and excellent cuppings.


Who do we recommend this coffee to? You’d love this coffee if you are looking for a light coffee which is nutty and floral.


La Leone, Colombia

Processing: Washed


Of all the coffees we tasted on the day, this coffee had the backstory we felt touched us the most the La Leone coffee from Columbia. This coffee is woman-based, as 70% of the workforce (including the owner) are women.


When you consider how rare it is to find a woman entrepreneur in Colombia, that is truly phenomenal! Only 10% of the coffee industry entrepreneurs are women! We felt that this coffee was the most intense of the lot, with an aftertaste which we felt was similar to pineapple.


Who is this coffee for? If you want to support a women-owned and workforce coffee and are looking for something more intense, this might be the coffee for you.


Victoria Central _ Vicky Coffee _ Gozo

The processing of coffee beans


Although it is well-known that Brazil drives the speciality coffee industry, we also need to remember there are other countries and regions which produce great coffee. At our Vicky’s Coffee cupping experience, we tasted coffee from Rwanda, Peru, Ethiopia and Colombia. Coffee beans are rated according to a metric known as the cupping score. A coffee with a cupping score of 80 or over is considered a speciality coffee.


When extracting coffee beans, there is a big difference between washed and natural processes. Washed coffee beans undergo a process where the coffee cherries are pulped and the fruit layer is removed. The coffee cherries are then soaked in water and then dried (either by the sun or by machine). Natural coffee, also known as ‘dry-processed’ is when the whole coffee cherries are harvested and then dried, with the pulp.


Typically, washed coffee is more acidic than natural coffee as the washing process removes any pulp and debris, which may contribute to acid formation. The final result is cleaner, brighter and has a more acidic flavour profile.


If you are looking for a coffee which is sweeter and fruiter, you might opt for a natural coffee. Due to the pulp naturally fermenting on the coffee cherry, this produces a lovely fruity flavour profile.


Victoria Central _ Vicky Coffee _ Gozo

Conclusion


Coffee Cupping was quite enjoyable and we definitely will do it again. We are looking forward to attending other coffee-cupping events in the near future. Coffee cupping could be an alternative activity idea for adult birthdays or even quieter bachelor/bachelorette parties. It could also be part of your visit to Gozo.


For patrons like us who have furry friends, no worries, as Victoria Central is pet friendly.


Victoria Central _ Vicky Coffee _ Gozo


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