It’s competition season once again.For the Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) Board, this is one of our favourite times of the year. We love feeling the excitement of our members and experiencing the passion of the competitors.
The 2019 ASCA regional championships kicked off on 15 September with the Northern Region, followed by the Southern Region from 13 to 14 October, Central Region from 27 to 28 October, and Western Region from 3 to 4 November.
If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to head to your nearest championship to see what our incredible barista community is capable of. It’s impressive to see a new generation of talent coming through the ranks, and repeat offenders who believe that persistence pays off, and indeed it does. Read more
When business partners Theodor von Gimborn, Alex van Gülpen and Johann Heinrich Lensing started out in 1868, they envisioned making commercial coffee roasters that would stand the test of time, consistently turning out high-quality coffee for customers of all sizes. Today, longevity and quality are characteristic not only of Probat machines, but also of the company’s relationships – both within the family business and its employee network, and externally among its partners and customers.
During the past 150 years, the company based in Emmerich, Germany, has built an expansive product portfolio with 115 patents and loyal customer and employee bases spanning the globe.
“We’ve been making coffee roasters ever since and continue to provide the coffee industry with enduring solutions that are in step with the times, but that also continue to function beyond that time,” Probat CEO Wim Abbing says. “Our machines are built to last, but they are built first and foremost to produce perfect coffee.” Read more
It’s incredible to think that shortly, ASCA regional championships will be starting again. We know many of you are looking forward to competing, and vying for the ASCA top 12 national rankings in the Australian Barista, Brewers, Cup Tasting, Latte Art, and Roasting Championships. The announcement of this year’s top 12 built anticipation and healthy rivalry ahead of the nationals, and we’re keen to see who will shake things up again. Read more
What a month of nail-biting performances and results at the World Barista Championship (WBC) in Amsterdam in June.
John Gordon represented New Zealand on the world stage after stepping up three times as the United Kingdom national competitor. After the preliminary round on day one, John was placed first. He marched into the finals to finish a credible sixth in the world. The last time NZ was in the finals was 2013, which was also the last time that John had competed at the WBC.
For his routine, John pared back the technicalities to emphasise the importance of what’s in the cup. His performance opened with a description of his coffee career from barista to roaster to technician, which has always been underpinned by his obsession with technology. Read more
Olivier Monin was born with a family name that is synonymous with gourmet flavourings, yet he has no recollection of the man who started the family business, his grandfather Georges Monin.
Georges died during World War II, 15 years before Olivier was born in France.
Georges, a 19-year-old entrepreneur, started selling branded wines and spirits with a horse and cart and the slogan “A passion for quality”. He founded the company in 1912 in Bourges, central France, and by 1930 Monin was exporting private label spirit products to Europe and the Caribbean. In 1945, Paul Monin took the reins of the company and steered the product development towards syrups – a relatively untouched market in France – when it became clear the spirits industry was saturated with competition.Read more
When sports champions win a title, they usually pop a giant champagne bottle, enjoy a fancy meal, or hit the after party to bask in their winning glory. For this year’s World Barista Champion Agnieszka Rojewska, the celebrations were a little more subdued.
“I ate Ben & Jerry’s icecream – we don’t have many flavours in Poland – and went to sleep. I was super tired,” she says.
It had been a huge week of competition for 55 national barista champions from across the globe. Each put their heart and soul into their routine, which represented far more than the 15-minute performance at Rai Centre at World of Coffee in Amsterdam in June.Read more
Recently, Zest Director Rod Greenfield showed a non-coffee industry business colleague through our roastery. He was mesmerised by the rumbling of the roaster, the toasty aromas in the air, and watched wide-eyed as a batch of browned beans tumbled from the roaster into the whirring cooling tray.
They stepped into the production lab where he noticed a line-up of about 15 cupping bowls from a recent production cupping. Rod offered the guest a spoon to taste the coffees on the bench, and he backed away. “No,” he said. “I just drink cappuccinos. All coffee tastes pretty much the same to me. I wouldn’t be able to tell any difference.”
Rod persisted and handed him the spoon, demonstrating the basic scoop and slurp motions. He pointed to the Ethiopian coffee and asked him to taste it. Then he pointed to the Brazilian coffee and asked him to taste that too. “Tell me if you taste any difference at all,” Rod said. Read more
The Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) is like the Australian Open of tournaments – it’s the first major event to kick-off the year, one of the most revered expos on the circuit, and arguably a crowd favourite by exhibitor and attendee standards.
Event organisers are encouraging guests to plan their year wisely, starting with the Asia Pacific’s greatest coffee dedicated event, MICE 2019, from 7 to 9 February, before continuing onto the Specialty Coffee Expo in Boston, United States from 11 to 14 April for the World Barista Championship (WBC), and World of Coffee in Berlin, Germany from 8 to 10 June.
“Next year is going to be huge,” says MICE Show Director Simon Coburn. “MICE hosts what is already considered a world-class expo, but next year we want to be acknowledged as the first must-attend event on the global coffee calendar.”Read more
Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi once said that champions are made from something they have deep inside of them– a desire, a dream, a vision.
One person who knows this well is three-time Australian Barista Champion Craig Simon who returned from the 2018 World Barista Championship (WBC) in June ranked seventh in the world.
Naturally, Craig says there’s disappointment in his result given his countless hours of preparation and financial investment, but the result is yet another learning curve and another experience to add to his competition career, spanning more than a decade. Read more