Matt Perger wins 2013 AASCA Detpak Australian Barista Championships
St ALi's Matt Perger won his second AASCA Detpak Australian Barista Championship title, at the Australasian Specialty Coffee Association (AASCA) Coffee Championships that took place from 1 – 3 March at the Melbourne Showgrounds.
Matt was a favourite going into the competition with a strong record of international success, having placed third at the 2011 World Barista Championships that took place in Colombia, and winning the 2012 World Brewers Cup in Austria.
At Matt's heels, Veneziano's Craig Simon – another favourite as the reigning 2012 AASCA Detpak Barista Champion – came a close second, followed by Ona Coffee's Sasa Sestic who finished third. Matt and Craig are both from Victoria, while Sasa is from ACT.
Victorian competitors did well in the Pura Milk Latte Art Competition, with Veneziano's Jen Marks – the current state champion – placing first. Also from Victoria, Ben Morrow from St ALi came in second, while last year's Pura Milk Latte Art Champion Scott Luengen from Cup Specialty Coffee in Queensland came in third.
Jen said the key to winning this year's competition was sticking to clean patterns. For her free pour, she completed an 8-leaf tulip, while her designer drink was a pattern she called "Swanning About", two swans facing each other. For her macchiato design, she poured a clean four-leaf tulip.
Sensory Lab's competitors dominated the Brewers Cup Competition, with the company's own Lachlan Ward and Jamie Thomson placing first and second respectively. Both competitors used Colombian coffees from the Santuario Farm in Colombia, the same farm that produced the coffee Matt used to win the Barista Champion title. Sensory Lab is a sister company to St ALi. Eva Shao from Queensland's Cup Specialty Coffe placed third.
For the Cup Tasters Competition, relative newcomer to the AASCA competition scene Elisha Mauger from Gloria Jeans Coffees in Western Australia came in first. Elisha correctly identified seven coffees, in a record time of 3 minutes, 17 seconds. She was followed closely by Lauren Stokes of 5 Senses Coffee who also identified seven coffees just four seconds slower. Jonny Pisanelli from From Scratch Patisserie came in third place identifying six coffees in 2 minutes 41 seconds.
Barista Champion Matt and Brewers Cup Champion Lachlan will now represent Australia at the World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup, taking place at the 2013 Melbourne International Coffee Expo from 23 – 26 May. This is the first time that Australia hosts the two international coffee competitions, which welcome national winners from over 55 countries.
Elisha and Jen will represent Australia at the World Cup Tasting Championships and World Latte Art Championships at the SCAE World of Coffee Event in Nice, France from 28 to 28 June.