Devin Loong shares his World Brewers Cup experience

When it came time for 2016 Australian Brewers Cup Champion Devin Loong to start his first round performance at the World Brewers Cup (WBrC) on 23 June, he was ready. His judges were ready, his audience was ready, but his music was not.

“I had a slight hiccup at the music test when the tech lost my music, so I decided to go on without the music,” Devin says.

Instead, Devin of Slater St Bench and Bench Projects completed his routine with confidence. He told the judges he wanted to “recreate” the moment he tried a Panama Esmeralda Geisha coffee for the first time, and fell in love with coffee.

“I felt my routine went very well and I was very happy to recreate my first-ever experience with filter and to share my views about exceeding expectations on processing,” Devin says.

This was Devin’s second attempt at the world title, having represented Australia in Rimini, Italy in 2014. This year, Devin says he practiced with the same event grinder (Bunn G3) to familiarise himself, used the same coffee from the event sponsor to practice for the compulsory round, and built his water to exact competition specifications. However, as Devin acknowledges, “at the world stage everything can be a surprise”.

“I would have liked to prepare more for the compulsory round, although I thought I did everything possible to do well,” he says. “I would have also liked to have more time to get to know my coffee more intimately. I received my coffee only a week before I had to fly off which meant I had to bring along five different roast profiles, age it and decide on my pick hours before my competition.”

The coffee Devin chose to use was a Panama Esmeralda Noria Geisha, produced by the Peterson family at the Hacienda La Esmeralda farm.

For his routine, Devin used a V60 brew method, which consisted of 15 grams of coffee to 250 grams of water at a constant 97°C. His total brew time was 2.5 minutes. See Devin’s full brew recipe below.

“The best part [about competing on the world stage] was the journey and experience – collaborating with scientists like Dr Monika Feteke from Australian Coffee Science Lab, getting to connect with Rachel Peterson of Hacienda La Esmeralda to get the most delicious coffee I’ve ever tasted, and partnering with Andrew Kelly of Small Batch Roasting Co to find the coffee and fine-tune the roast profile,” Devin says. “It was also great to meet and share ideas with other baristas from all over the world.”

Devin placed 26th position in the final WBrC results. He says competing on the world stage was a memorable occasion, and one he wouldn’t have been able to do without his family.

“I had my young family in the front row at the world stage cheering me on. I would not be who I am without them,” he says. “[The WBrC] is a journey and I’m only truly competing with myself.”

Thousands of people made their way to Dublin, Ireland for World of Coffee (WOC) from 23 – 25 June. The event attracts some of the industry’s most influential producers, suppliers and professionals to learn about the latest trends and developments in the sector, and compete in major international competitions. This year WOC hosted the World Barista Championship and WBrC.

Image credit: Eileen P Kenny

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend