DaVinci Gourmet debuts Barista Craft Championship

DaVinci Gourmet

DaVinci Gourmet debuts its Barista Craft Championship, an event to highlight coffee’s artistry, craftsmanship, and shared passion that transcends borders.

In 2024, being a barista involves a lot more skill and ingenuity than simply brewing a cup of coffee.

For many years, beverage solution brand DaVinci Gourmet, part of Kerry Group, has been an advocate for the coffee community. As part of its supportive approach, it introduced DaVinci Gourmet Flavour Geniuses.

The band of baristas recently developed an online video series designed to embrace the latest trends and insights, leveraging their creativity and expertise to craft unique and inspiring drink creations.

“Our Flavour Geniuses are baristas or mixologists by profession who use DaVinci Gourmet sauces and syrups to create masterpiece beverages. It’s all part of our mission to create unique sensory experiences for the consumer,” says Kerry Senior Brand Manager Wendy Lim.

In 2021, it launched the first digital Flavour Genius Academy platform including a full suite of online courses – covering topics such as basic knowledge, flavour profiles, equipment and tools, skills and techniques, and recipes – to provide professional training and resources for baristas and mixologists in the Asia Pacific/Middle East/Africa (APMEA) region.

To expand on this knowledge sharing and further support the coffee community, this year DaVinci Gourmet will launch the inaugural Barista Craft Championship.

“We are looking for the most innovative, progressive, and creative coffee-inspired drinks in the APMEA region to celebrate the diverse yet unifying essence of coffee culture,” Wendy says.

The competition will begin with national preliminary rounds in up to 20 competing countries, including Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Turkey, India, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, South Africa, Kenya, China, Korea, and Japan.

In the first stage of the competition, baristas will be invited to submit one coffee-based beverage that must feature at least one DaVinci Gourmet product via digital submission. In Australia, this will take place from 1 to 15 July and each beverage will be judged against a 20-point system.

“Six finalists from Australia will be selected to compete in the national finals, with face-to-face contests taking place on 13 September in Sydney, New South Wales. In this round, baristas will be asked to create one hot and one cold coffee-based beverage, using at least one DaVinci Gourmet product in each,” Wendy says.

All six finalists will receive prizes for making it through to the national round. The top three placeholders in each country will be decided, with third place taking home AU$500, second place AU$800, and first place receiving AU$1000, plus flights and accommodation to Singapore for the grand final.

The Barista Craft Championship will culminate at the Food and Hotel Asia (FHA) HoReCa tradeshow in Singapore from 23 to 24 October, where a representative from each of the competing countries will present their perfected hot and cold beverages to a panel of judges.

“There will be three placeholders, with first place receiving US$3000 and a coffee experience trip to Korea,” says Wendy. “We’re offering very generous prizes and hope to attract some new talent across the APMEA region.”

The theme of this year’s competition is ‘United through Coffee’ and enhancing the sensorial coffee-drinking experience through flavour, where participants will present their signature blends that capture the essence of their respective coffee cultures.

“Our aim is to highlight the unifying power of coffee through flavour. Despite the diversity in brewing methods, preferences, and cultural rituals, one thing remains constant: the profound love and appreciation for coffee. It’s a reminder that amid our differences, a shared passion unites us all,” says Wendy.

As a partner of the café industry, DaVinci Gourmet understands the importance of cultivating its customers’ appreciation and passion for the complexities of the barista craft.

“When we talk about specialty coffee, many brands don’t want to use syrups. But the reality is a lot of cafés include syrups on their menus, not just for profitability but because the demand is there. Our goal is to elevate coffee, not overpower it,” Wendy says.

“We know the need for classic beverages like lattes or cappuccinos will never change, but we see the younger generation of coffee lovers are eager to create new and exciting beverages, and we want to stay relevant by working with cafés to continue that journey.”

Wendy says she is excited to watch the competition unfold.

“This competition is an opportunity to expose new talent and connect the global community. We want to learn from this experience and find ways to deliver even bigger, better competitions that our barista community and the regional foodservice industry would be excited, and honoured, to be part of,” she says.

For more information, visit apmea.davincigourmet.com

This article appears in the June 2024 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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