BeanScene Magazine


Meet the new world champions

From the September 2014 issue.

World Coffee Events and the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) held three competitions in June at the annual World of Coffee in Rimini, Italy.

BeanScene thanks Maria Paoli of Melbourne Coffee Tours for her assistance and contribution in covering the competition results at the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe's World of Coffee Event in Rimini, Italy. 

When Hidenori’s name was announced as the new World Barista Champion (WBC), he was both shocked and excited. “Becoming a WBC has always been my dream since I started working as a barista seven years ago. Honestly, when I heard my name I couldn’t believe I became the first Asian WBC,” he says.

Hidenori credits his parent’s coffee shop, Honey Coffee in Fukuoka, Japan as the catalyst to changing his life. “I dropped out of high school at 17 years old because of my behaviour. I had no future goals, no motivation, no light for my future. I tried to get a job but no one wanted to hire me. Instead my dad asked me to work with him. This is where my story with coffee started,” says Hidenori. “Coffee gave me motivation, passion, and professionalism.”

With a newfound focus, Hidenori went to university in Tokyo at age 19. Throughout his studies Hidenori worked as a part time barista at Maruyama Coffee in Komoro and Oyamadai. Ever since he graduated, Hidenori has devoted his attention to serving coffee full time, attending seminars and coaching coffee professionals.

Hidenori first entered the Japanese Barista Championship (JBC) seven years ago. But his first attempt wasn’t to be. “In our national competition, there are always about 160 baristas who compete. Trying to get the first place to represent our country is always really hard. When I became the Japanese Barista Champion I felt like I was representing all the competitors who had lost in the nationals,” says Hidenori.

To prepare for the WBC, Hidenori trained early morning until midnight every day for the two months leading up to the event. He worked on extraction, roasting, speaking, pronunciation, and time management. He also worked hard to present the theme of his message in just 15 minutes, which focused on direct collaboration with producers and his friendship with Enrique Navarro Junior from Monte Copey micro mill in Costa Rica.

On a trip to origin with Enrique, Hidenori came up with the idea of using two distinct coffees for his routine, one for espresso and one for cappuccino. For his espressos, Hidenori’s used coffee from La Mesa farm in Costa Rica, located at 1900 metres above sea level. The coffee was of Typica variety, red honey processed and slow dried. “We carefully chose the combination of variety, processing and drying method to create espresso-focused coffee. It is sweet like sugar cane, citrus acidity like sweet orange, smooth body, and cacao bitterness,” he says.

The coffee for Hidenori’s cappuccinos was also from La Mesa farm. The beans were a Red Caturra variety, natural processed, and slow dried. “[This coffee] is like sweet chocolate malt, with a hint of blackberry when mixed with milk,” he says.

Hidenori’s signature drink was about balance and flavour. He used two shots from his cappuccino-focused coffee, and four shots from his espresso-focused coffee filtered to take away the crema and highlight the acidity. He added an apple infusion, intensified peach nectar with heat, reduced the espresso, then added ice cubes made from hard water. “This drink tells you that the work of a barista is not only about the extraction, but also providing the customer with an exciting flavour experience,” he says.

The result was a winning combination. Now that Hidenori is a WBC, he has strong ambitions to work at origin. “Working as green coffee buyer is always my dream,” says Hidenori. “As a WBC I hope to connect producers and baristas together from all over the world, and celebrate wonderful coffee.”

Most of all, Hidenori says he wants to continue working in the industry that brings passion and happiness to so many people. “This industry changed my life,” he says. “Nationality, language barriers, and cultural differences don’t matter. If you have passion, this industry makes it possible to achieve anything. This is what I love about coffee.”

To see the remaining barista profiles, see the August issue of BeanScene. Click here to subscribe http://www.beanscenemag.com.au/subscribe

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