ASCA says game on

The ASCA regional championships are just getting started, revealing persistent talent, a wave of newcomers and a star-studded team.

It’s competition season once again.For the Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) Board, this is one of our favourite times of the year. We love feeling the excitement of our members and experiencing the passion of the competitors. 

The 2019 ASCA regional championships kicked off on 15 September with the Northern Region, followed by the Southern Region from 13 to 14 October, Central Region from 27 to 28 October, and Western Region from 3 to 4 November. 

If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to head to your nearest championship to see what our incredible barista community is capable of. It’s impressive to see a new generation of talent coming through the ranks, and repeat offenders who believe that persistence pays off, and indeed it does.

While it’s baristas who take centre stage during this period, it’s important to remember those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our internationally-renowned coffee championships go off without a hitch. 

In 2017, the ASCA Competitions Committee was established, and since then, its members have contributed to the constant improvement of the ASCA regional and national championships. With members from across the specialty coffee community, representing judges, suppliers and regional committee members, the Competitions Committee has implemented numerous initiatives to ensure that our competitions are held to the highest standard. 

Calibration is now centralised and replicated across the country, competitors have access to world-class equipment and a standardised station set-up, and we have dedicated committee members looking after various areas of the competitions including communications, scorekeeping and stage management. 

In an effort to improve on the success of the 2018 ASCA Regional Championships, we’ve welcomed several new members to the Competitions Committee heading into the 2019 competition year. 

Émilie Coulombe hails from the United States, and acted as the head scorekeeper at the 2018 ASCA Australian Coffee Championships. Now in the official role of National Scorekeeper, Émilie will ensure that scores from events around the country are kept consistent. She’s passionate about all areas of the specialty coffee industry and connecting the broader public with the coffee sector. 

We also welcome Chris Jackson (CJ) as the West Australian committee representative. CJ became a Q Grader after joining Five Senses Coffee. He will host the Western Region Cup Tasters Championship in Perth in October. 

Peter Giannakis joins the committee as a Shadow Judges Liaison. Learning from Bruno Maiolo, ASCA Head Judge and one of the founding members of the Competitions Committee, Peter will help ensure that judging and calibration across the country is consistent, giving our competitors a world-class experience. He brings a wealth of experience to the role, having been a National Judge since 2014, in the disciplines of Barista, Latte Art, Brewers and Coffee in Good Spirits. 

The Competitions Committee also welcomes Adam Marley from Monastery Coffee in South Australia as its Roasters Guild representative. Adam will work closely with Roasters Guild Head and Board Member Lucy Ward to further develop the Amc Australian Roasting Championship. He will also coordinate local events and training for roasters around the country. 

With the Competitions Committee made up of volunteers, ASCA is thrilled to see so many new members joining for the 2019 competition year. Becoming involved in ASCA can help unlock new career opportunities like judging internationally, and expand your knowledge of the industry. 

We’re excited to run Australia’s best Championships yet, and look forward to revealing the #ASCATop12. Those lucky baristas will compete in the ASCA Australian Coffee Championships at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo in February 2019. 

But before we get there, don’t forget that ASCA members can watch the regional competitions for free or sign up to watch the action unfold at MICE2019.