Get to know Australian Cup Tasters Champion Frankie Shi

Frankie Shi at the 2024 World Cup Tasters Championship

Australian Cup Tasters Champion Frankie Shi shares his experience at the 2024 World Cup Tasters Championship

When and where was your first job in the hospitality industry?

In 2002, I started working as a kitchen hand at Canteen Café in Balmain, New South Wales.

What inspired you to pursue a career in coffee?

One day at Canteen Café the barista had the day off, so I stepped in and made some hot chocolates and espresso shots. From there I developed my love of coffee.

Your favourite part of being a barista?

I love talking to people and building a connection with customers. When they compliment my coffee, it makes me feel like I’ve succeeded as a barista.

The biggest takeaway from competing in the World Cup Tasters Championship?

I think I needed to place more emphasis on my time, rather than guessing all eight out of eight triangulations correctly. I was 30 seconds slower than the competitor who placed 16th, and he ended up winning the competition.

What was going through your head when the results from the first round were announced?

I was a bit shocked when I realised I wouldn’t progress to the second round. I thought I had gotten eight out of eight triangulations right but I only got seven out of eight correct. It was hard to hear I had just missed out, but it was an important learning curve for me.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank for helping you prepare for the worlds?

Young Baek, the 2023 World Cup Tasters Champion, was my coach and a massive help throughout my training. I am very grateful for his assistance.

Will you compete again next year?

Yes, my journey will continue. This year’s experience only motivates me more to revisit the world stage and take on the title.

Proudest accomplishment of your career?

Building my business, Infinity Coffee Roasters. It’s my baby and I’m very proud of its growth over the past 12 years.

Advice for baristas looking to enter coffee competitions?

For those wanting to compete in the Cup Tasters competition, attend as many public cupping sessions as possible. Any barista looking for advice can message me and I’m happy to help them for free.

What inspires you to continue to grow your skills as a barista?

The warm and inviting atmosphere of the industry definitely motivates me to continue my journey.

What’s your go-to coffee order?

Flat white, three quarters full.

When you’re not working at Infinity Roasters, what do you enjoy doing?

Walking my dog every day and visiting cafés with family and friends on weekends.

What’s your dream holiday destination?


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

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