ASCA says ‘You be the judge’

ASCA judging

With Australia’s coffee credentials established on the global stage, ASCA is committed to growing the community’s knowledge behind the scenes.

Australia has a great reputation on the world stage when it comes to coffee excellence.

Our National Champions frequent the top 10 in the world, our entrepreneurs are introducing Australian coffee to international markets (think Bluestone Lane), and Melbourne is often hailed as one of the ‘coffee capitals’ of the globe.

For us at ASCA, this is extremely exciting. To know that our baristas, roasters, and other coffee professionals are having success worldwide is both humbling and awe-inspiring. 

However, our work never stops. ASCA is now looking to increase talent within the coffee community – encouraging newcomers and developing existing members of the industry. 

Kieran Westlake is the President of the Australian Specialty Coffee Association.

As a board, we’ve been clear that this is part of our plan and in 2019, we’re providing more upskilling opportunities than ever before.

While we’re never short of competitors (we absolutely love the enthusiasm shown by our baristas across the country), finding judges can be a tough task. 

Judging is a fantastic way to network with other coffee professionals, and develop your palate, technical proficiency, and, perhaps an unexpected benefit, conflict resolution and the art of giving constructive feedback. 

It can also be daunting if you’ve never participated as a judge before – you are part of the team that could make someone’s coffee dream come true.

To make judging more accessible, this year, ASCA will be introducing mandatory judges’ workshops before each of our Regional Championships.

The workshops will cover how to interpret the rules and score fairly and impartially, palate development, and how to interact with competitors and provide them with accurate constructive criticism. 

Previously, this has been covered as part of judge’s calibration, however we’ve recognised that in order to improve Australian judging talent and encourage newcomers to try their hand as a judge, a dedicated workshop is required to address some of these factors. This way, when you arrive at calibration, it’s just a quick refresh of the rules and any changes that may have occurred since the last competition. 

We want our judges to also be at the forefront of the coffee industry, globally. We know that the talent here in Australia is almost limitless and it’s important to ASCA that we nurture and develop that talent wherever possible. 

ASCA judges’ workshops will be compulsory for all members looking to judge at the 2020 Regional Championships, to be held in the second half of the 2019 calendar year. 

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