On 17 June, history was made in Brisbane with the introduction of the first Espresso Flow Profile competition, with Benjamin Sneddon crowned champion.
Over the course of 5.5 hours and 23 intense heats, some of the greatest baristas in Brisbane, Gold Coast, and the Sunshine Coast came together and battled it out to determine who would walk home $2000 richer.
Using Dalla Corte‘s flow regulation technology on the Zero espresso machine, each contestant was tasked with creating their ideal extraction from the competition’s specially roasted blend of coffee. Project Origin provided the Ethiopian Ugara Indigo CM Natural greens, with Tim Adams Specialty coffee carefully roasting them exclusively for the competition.
A highly talented panel of judges fastidiously judged each shot and points were given for flavour, tactile, and taste balance. The judges included Karl Lee from KL Coffee Lab, Tilly Sproule from Tim Adams Specialty Coffee, and Robbie Lynch from Almanac Coffee.
Dalla Corte says tension and excitement were palpable under the dimmed lights of the creative space, BibNBrace, where the competition was held. A warehouse-style venue, complete with a wolfhound for a mascot and rustic recycled pews for seating, BibNBrace gave the event a very relaxed feel, unusual (but not unwelcome) for a professional event in the coffee industry, especially one with such a large cash prize.
Friends and family patiently waited, supporting their loved ones as they were knocked out of the competition, one at a time. Newstead Brewing provided craft beer, ensuring the five-hour wait was, at least, a pleasantly tipsy one.
Produced in knock-out style rounds, shots were served in pairs to the judges to be tasted, mulled over, and issued points. Using a “token” system, every judge, having one token for each category, placed their tokens next to the cup they felt excelled in that category each round. Thanks to an unforgettable emcee, Dalla Corte says the spectators were kept in suspense during these proceedings with a lively and dramatic (if not slightly inventive) narration.
Contestants included heavy hitters in the coffee industry as well as a few new faces. Archer Specialty Coffee was represented by it’s owner Issac Ryan and one of his lead baristas Miya Lee. Karen Silver, manager at Veneziano Coffee, and her partner, home brewer Katie Holman both competed, with Holman making it all the way into second place.
Baristas Jin Lee from Lost Bean, Storme Metzger from Extraction Artisan Coffee, as well as Cooper Ahrens from Blue Sky Specialty Coffee, James Dunbar from Paradox Coffee Roasters, and home brewer Brian L, all brought their unique expertise and vision to the competition but ultimately were knocked out.
Finally, Benjamin Sneddon managed to out-compete them all with his winning extraction recipe, bringing home the $2000 and the title of 1st Place Winner of the first-ever Espresso Flow Profile Competition.
For more information, visit www.dallacorte.com