Australian Barista Champion Matthew Lewin advances into Semi Finals of 2019 WBC

Matthew Lewin of Ona Coffee has made it through to the Semi Finals of the 2019 World Barista Championship (WBC) with the highest scoring espresso after two days of heats.

The announcement was made at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre in the United States at the end of the first day of the Specialty Coffee Association Expo, taking place until 14 April.

Also making it through to the top 16 of Semi Finalists in the WBC includes Mikael Jain of Indonesia, Giacomo Vannelli of Italy, Dove Chen of New Zealand, Junior Vargas Otero of Austria, Jooyeon Jeon of South Korea, Michael Harris of the Phillipines, Mathieu Thesis of Switzerland, Carlos de la Torre of Mexico, Martha Grill of Brazil (wild card), Matt Winton of Sweden, Wojtek Bialczak of Germany, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos of Greece, Konstantin Khramov of Russia, Maria Elena Rivera of Costa Rica, and Cole Torode of Canada.

Competitors in the WBC must prepare four espressos, four milk drinks, and four original signature drinks to exacting standards in 15 minutes. After finishing the heats with the second highest specialty coffee score, Matthew says he is happy to advance to the next stage of the competition and is proud to represent Australia.

“It’s so amazing to be here with some of the most talented baristas in world,” he says. “The calibre of competition is so high, everyone is really friendly and there’s just a great atmosphere.”

Matthew’s 15-minute performance in the first round focused on connecting consumers to specialty coffee. He used each course to take the judges from the consumer level to the ‘specialty bubble’ coffee professionals live in.

For his milk course, Matthew used Riverina Fresh milk with a Honduran coffee with notes of cacao and dark chocolate to give an example of easily identifiable flavours most consumers enjoy in milk coffees.

In his signature course, Matthew’s beverage was divided into two parts: a small sip of espresso mixed with blackened chestnuts and roasted coconut water, which expressed the ‘dark side’ of the Honduran coffee he used.

Matthew then asked the judges to add the remainder of this drink to a wine glass with espresso ice. This second part of the signature drink expressed the ‘light side’ of his coffee, with citrus notes and silky mouthfeel.

For his final course, Matthew used his espresso to express what he loved about specialty coffee. He also used a model of the Santa Barbara mountain range in Honduras to show the judges how higher elevation resulted in complex qualities in his espressos.

Matthew will compete in the Semi Finals of the WBC in Boston at 12.58pm local time EDT in Boston, US on 13 April, or the equivalent of 2.58am AEST on Sunday 14 April in Australia.

To watch Matthew and cheer him on, visit the World Coffee Events livestream at


Australian Brewers Cup Champion, Yanina Ferreyra of Project Origin, will compete in Round One, day two of the World Brewers Cup (WBrC) Compulsory Service at 9.23am Boston local time on Saturday 13 April or 11.23pm AEST, and at 12.45pm Saturday 13 April in the Open Service or 2.45am on Sunday 14 April.

The WBrC competition highlights the craft of filter coffee brewing by hand, promoting manual coffee brewing and service excellence. In this championship, competitors prepare and serve three individual beverages for a panel of judges. During the first round competitors complete two coffee services – a compulsory service and an open service. For the compulsory service, competitors prepare three beverages utilizing whole bean coffee provided to them by the competition. For the open service, competitors may utilize any whole bean coffee of their choosing and must also accompany their beverage preparation with a presentation.

See the full list of competitors and competing times here.

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