Canberra Baristas Claim Top Prizes in National Coffee Competitions

Posted 11 Feb 2019

Story by CBR Canberra

Canberra baristas have achieved incredible results in both the Australian Barista Championships and the Australian Brewers Cup Championships, placing in the top three of both competitions.

Out of the top 6 places in the country, 4 were representing Canberra based roastery, ONA Coffee.

ONA Coffee founder and 2015 World Barista Champion, Sasa Sestic was overwhelmed at the results, announced at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) on Saturday evening (Feb 9).

“We are so incredibly proud of all the competitors, from each company across Australia,” said Sasa. “To represent Canberra in global competitions is an honour that I was lucky enough to achieve, and now we have more representatives from our city that will do Canberra proud.”

The winners of each competition will travel to Boston in April to represent Australia at the World Coffee Championships.

Taking out first place in the barista competitions was Matthew Lewin. Matt’s finals presentation focused on coffees from the Santa Barbara region of Honduras and exploring ways in which speciality coffee can be shared with the general consumer, to bring them into the ‘specialty bubble’.

In second place was two-time Australian Barista Champion, Hugh Kelly. Hugh presented a carbonic maceration-processed geisha to the judges, showing how different fermentation techniques via an ongoing project with producer Jamison Savage has created unique flavour profiles in his coffee.

In fourth place was Angus Mackie, who impressed the judges with his presentation on ‘tasting systems’ between the brain, mouth and nose. Angus also used custom temperature gauges to measure his espressos, instructing the judges to sip at particular temperature intervals.

In sixth place was Joao Carlos Henriques, whose finals performance was centred around his travels to El Salvador and work with producer Gilberto Baraona of Los Pirineos coffee farm. Joao presented a carbonic maceration-processed pacamara to the judges, finishing his performance with a signature drink complete with a black lime simple syrup, fig balsamic, nectarine/green tea infusion and oak chip-infused soda water.

There were also incredible results announced for the Brewers Cup Championship. Yanina Ferreyra from Canberra company, Project Origin claimed first place and will now also represent Australia at the world championships in Boston. In her presentation, Yanina spoke about her experience as a green bean buyer and how experimentation in processing can be a risky, yet successful venture for producers.

From ONA Coffee, Devin Loong and Isaac Kim achieved incredible results, placing and second and fourth respectively.

Devin used a geisha coffee from Finca Deborah, the ‘Amber’ Vivid. Grown and produced by Jamison Savage on Finca Deborah in Boquete, this coffee was presented by Devin using his own pouring technique – the ‘Loong Pour 2.0’.

Isaac Kim used the ‘Indigo’ lot from Project Origin’s CM Selections series, with his presentation focusing on highlighting the carbonic maceration techniques used to process this coffee.

Congratulations to everyone on the incredible efforts during the competitions, and thank you to the Australian Specialty Coffee Association and everyone involved in organising MICE2019 for an incredible few days.

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