Axil Coffee’s Darcy Jones wins Milklab Barista Battle Victoria competition

Milklab Barista Battle

Darcy Jones of Axil Coffee Roasters won the Victoria heat of the Milklab Barista Battle series on 5 July at Roasting Warehouse in Airport West.

Ming Wan of Ona Coffee was runner up and Kael Zhao placed third in the final round.

“There was a lot of talent on display tonight, both of baristas I know and a lot of new faces emerging in the latte art scene,” says Darcy, Axil Coffee Roaster’s Training Manager.

“I was very lucky to make it through each of the four battle rounds tonight. Each round was very close, and I only won in the end by half a point, finishing on 122.5 points compared to Kael’s 122. It was tight.”

Participants used the Milklab range of plant-based barista milks throughout the competition.

In Darcy’s first round, he produced a love heart using Milklab’s Macadamia milk. In the second round he poured a seahorse using Milklab’s Almond milk. In the third round he landed a free pour selection and poured a rose with Milklab’s Oat milk, and for the final round, Darcy brought out his second weapon using Milklab’s oat milk: his octopus. Darcy used this pattern to place third in the 2022 Australian National Latte Art Championship.

“It’s my favourite animal and my favourite pattern to pour. It seems to treat me well. Thank you octopus,” Darcy says.

Darcy wins $500 and a ticket to the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) where he will compete in the Milklab Barista Battle Australian Final from 17-19 August.

“I might consider buying a new lens for my camera, which will be perfect if I manage to win the trip to Toronto as part of the Milklab National Final prize,” Darcy says.

The winner of the Australian final at MICE will also be invited to become a Milklab Master Barista, and go on to compete in the international final.

In 2022, Darcy competed in the same Milklab final at MICE but was knocked out in the first round after pouring a double shot for his base, which in hindsight he says was too acidic for the dark roasted coffee.

“I’ll be sticking to single shots this time round. I’ll come back stronger,” he says.

Axil Coffee uses Milklab for all its almond milk. Darcy says it’s the roaster’s “go to” due to its flavourful profile and smooth texture which is great for pouring latte art. “The customers love it,” he says.

The next Milklab Barista Battle heats will include:

  • 13 July at the Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney, New South Wales
  • 19 July at the Coffee Commune in Brisbane, Queensland
  • 27 July at Dimattina Coffee in Perth, Western Australia
  • 29 July at Altura Coffee in Adelaide, South Australia

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