Ona Coffee Head Barista Trainer Hugh Kelly has arrived in Dublin, Ireland and is ready to represent Australia in the 2016 World Barista Championship (WBC).
The competition is taking place at World of Coffee from 23 – 25 June.
Ona Coffee Founder and 2015 WBC winner Sasa Sestic will soon hand over the crown to a new world champion, and he’s hoping it’s fellow Ona Coffee star Hugh.
Last year Hugh supported Sasa from the sidelines as he became the first Australian to win the championship in 12 years. Now it’s Hugh’s turn to shine in the spotlight.
In May 2016 Hugh won the Australian Barista Championship, making Ona the first company to win the event in two consecutive years. Now, Hugh hopes to create a new first by making Ona Coffee the first company to win the WBC two consecutive years in a row.
Hugh will compete against 58 other national champion representatives in the WBC. In this event, baristas have 15 minutes to serve four sensory judges one espresso course, one milk-based course and one signature drink course. One technical judges and head judge will watch every movement to judge consistency, professionalism and cleanliness. Each performance is scored out of 719 points. All aspects of the barista’s performance are graded, but most points go towards beverage flavour.
To win, baristas must not only produce delicious beverages but must show the judges something that can change and help develop the coffee industry. In 2015, Sasa developed a new coffee processing technique, inspired by the wine industry, called carbonic masceration. It has since being implemented around the coffee growing world to vastly improve coffee flavour and complexity.
Hugh will compete in the first WBC heats on Wednesday 22 July at 3:00pm Dublin time (12:00am AEST). To watch Hugh’s performance and cheer him on, watch the livestream link: https://livestream.com/worldcoffee
The top 12 competitors from the heats will compete in the Semi Finals on Friday 24 of July, and will be live streamed on the same link.
On Saturday 25 July the top six competitors will compete to find out who will be crowned the 2016 World Barista Champion.
Devin Loong, Head Barista and Operations Manager at Slater St Bench will also be representing Australia, in the World Brewers Cup (WBrC).
This will be Devin’s second attempt at the WBrC title, after competing in Rimini, Italy in 2014.
Devin won the Australian Brewers Cup crown in March 2016. He selected a washed processed Esmeralda Geisha from Panama for his routine, sourced from The Coffee Collective in Copenhagen. He brought out the best of this coffee using a V60. We’ll have to wait and see if Devin changes his routine or coffee for his WBrC performance. Follow Devin’s progress via livestream.com/worldcoffee
Besides the excitement and nerves on the competition stage, the city of Dublin is ready to host World of Coffee. Thousands of coffee lovers from around the world are making their way to the event to soak up the atmosphere, witness extraordinary barista talent, learn, and engage at one of Europe’s key coffee events of the year.
On 22 June the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) will host a Welcome Reception at The Mansion House, followed by viewing of the Ireland Vs Italy Euros match. For last minute tickets click here.
To crank the party vibe up another level, the SCAE will host its official party on 23 June at Guinness Storehouse – there are promises of Irish food and a U2 Tribute Band. For tickets click here.
On the same night Patio Coffee Roasters’ Georgina Lumb from Adelaide will compete in the ninth annual World AeroPress Championship. Georgina won her place in the international competiton after winning the national title on 17 March.
This competition will take place at WigWam at 54 Abbey St. Middle in Dublin.
National AeroPress Champions from more than 50 countries will compete for the world title.
Tim Varney and Tim Wendelboe founded the competition in 2008. It has grown from a small gathering of coffee enthusiasts to become a coffee event of worldwide interest. This year’s event promises a psychedelic-theme with plenty of fun and free beer flowing in addition to some AeroPressing. Click here for last minute tickets.
BeanScene wishes all the Australian representatives the best of luck on the world stage. We’ll be cheering you on.
Images: Top, Hugh Kelly; middle, Devin Loong; bottom, Georgina Lumb.