Bahrel Latief of The Wolf Espresso is the Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) Western Region Brewers Cup Champion.
David Train of Project Origin Coffee placed second and David Trotta of Kindred Coffee placed third.
After competing for the first time in Australia, Bahrel said he was overwhelmed at the victory in June, but thanks his close friends and family for helping him through it.
“It’s like a dream come true. Being a homebrewer as well as a barista, the coffee industry has connected me to so many new friends who have helped me a lot. It’s nice to know that no matter where you are, coffee brings people together,” Bahrel said.
Bahrel has been working in the coffee industry for 10 years, originally working at Jakarta’s One Fifteenth Coffee, where he found his inspiration to compete.
“The former head barista there was Doddy Samsura, who received first place at the Indonesian Barista Championship and was the first Indonesian representative to compete in the World Barista Championships. He would always tell me about the Australian coffee culture, which encouraged me to visit this country and compete,” Bahrel said.
“I’m trying to find a visa to be able to work in Australia. That is my dream.”
For his routine, Bahrel used a Longboard Windy Ridge Geisha Natural from the Volcan Baru region in Panama, which he says has a “strong jasmine aroma and flavour, and delicate body”. He then blended it with 40 per cent eugenioides coffee via carbonic maceration process.
“It comes from the Finca Inmaculada farm in the Valle Del Cauca region of Colombia. It has an intense aroma and sweeter flavour but still has lot of tropical fruit acidity. It’s super beautiful in flavour,” he says.
“My idea was to blend two coffee variety and species that I love most. I loved them both since the first time I cupped them. By blending them together I created a beautiful acidity from the Geisha, with a strong aroma, delicate body and elegant aftertaste. The eugenioides created a syrupy mouthfeel and improved the body of the cup.”
For his routine, Bahrel used 2016 World Brewers Cup winner Tetsu Kasuya’s signature 4:6 pouring method.
He used a coarse coffee grind size with equal amounts of water. Bahrel divided his pour into five steps, using 20 grams of coffee (60 per cent Longboard and 40 per cent coffea euginoides) to 60 grams of water with 45-second intervals in between each pour.
Bahrel says this method created “flavour clarity” in his cup.
Bahrel says he plans on going straight back into training in preparation for the national competition, taking place in Melbourne from 17 to 20 August.
“I will keep working hard because I believe nationals will be harder than this competition. I still have a lot of things to improve,” he said.