Competitions are one of the most rewarding growth experiences available to a barista. They’re scary, fun, tough, and competitive, but highly worth trying to benchmark your skills and putting yourself in a challenging position.
The hardest part about starting your competition campaign is knowing where to start. Competing can be quite a daunting process: standing up in front of a panel of judges, displaying your skills to professionals and in some cases, presenting a speech with the countdown clock and flashing cameras in your peripheral. The key to starting your competition preparation, however, is to do just that – start.
It’s an awkward feeling when you haven’t been invited to the hottest ticket event of the year. Nobody likes missing out, and no-one likes being an after-thought invite. To avoid such disappointment, consider yourself personally invited to the biggest coffee dedicated event of the year – MICE, taking place from 7 to 9 February, 2019.
Are you excited? You should be. This is a once-a-year opportunity to celebrate the Australian coffee industry, your industry.
To Ona Coffee, the skills of its baristas are as important as the quality of its coffee.
That’s why Ona employs baristas with competition credentials as its trainers. National Head Trainer Devin Loong says this means the professionals who are pushing the boundaries of coffee are the ones representing Ona.
Coffee is an incredibly complex product, with many links in the chain from the origin that it’s grown in, to the final beverage we consume. You may hear some people say that the producer has “the most important role, because without them there is no coffee”. Or maybe you’ve heard that “it’s the barista that is the key, for without their careful preparation and customer service, all of the farmers’ hard work can be in vain”. I’m a roaster, so you may expect me to say that we have the most crucial task of reaching the full potential of the green coffee. The truth is, you probably won’t hear me say much at all, because I’m a coffee hermit, hiding in the roasting room and at the cupping table.
Summer is no rest period for hundreds of small business operators. While office workers remove themselves from the stresses of daily work, meetings, and deadlines, many cafés are preparing for unpredictable volumes of customers and daily profit associated with summer trading.
To relieve the stress for café owners heading into the holiday break, Parikshit Kikla, Founder of 360 Accounting Services, works with cafés, restaurants, and other small businesses on a daily basis, assisting them to keep track of their finances and understand how their stores are running.
Grinders Coffee Roasters’ training program has national reach. Coffee Academy Manager Andy Easthope says Grinders prides itself on its team of Coffee Specialists who oversee training in each state.
“Our trainers come from pretty diverse backgrounds in the coffee industry,” he says. “They’re all really involved, and have great networks and a high level of insight. When people come to our training courses, there’s a chance to learn a little bit further than what the core content actually is.”
Jinwoo “Yama” Kim is Australia’s first World Cup Tasters Champion. After achieving two national Cup Tasters titles back-to-back, Yama went into the World Cup Tasters Championship (WCTC) in Brazil in October with high expectations of himself.
He had began intensive training just two weeks before the Worlds, which he admits was much less preparation time compared to his last attempt at the 2017 world title, in which he placed sixth.
Emi Fukahori of Mame Coffee in Switzerland’s interest in Brewers Cup stems from the dynamic flavour layers and changing tactiles of filter coffee.
“Compared with espresso, filter coffee expresses itself in slower way, and I enjoy it,” she says.
Emi presented three “discoveries” to the judges on the World Brewers Cup (WBrC) stage: a new variety with no bitterness, a new processing method which creates complex acidity, and a new brewing method that improves cup experience when the coffee is hot, warm, and cold.
Dan Fellows’ first attempt at the World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship (CIGS) in 2012 left him feeling as though he had something to prove.
“[I] finished fourth after having issues with an AeroPress in the finals round,” Dan says. “As I did not feel I delivered my best possible performance that year, this has always left me with a feeling of having unfinished business with CIGS. Becoming World Champion very much feels like redemption.”
Dreams played a large role in Irvine Quek Siew Lhek’s World Latte Art Championship (WLAC) performance, from his goal of earning Malaysia its first coffee championship trophy to his dream of being alone on a deserted island, which inspired his island animal designs. He has always dreamed big.
“I actually had a hidden message to deliver in my story and routine. What I said to the judges and audience was ‘I had a dream’, and I presented all the animals I saw in my dream,” Irvine says.