By Brent Williams, the President of the Australian Specialty Coffee Association
It’s been a few months now since we wrapped up the 2017 ASCA Australian Coffee Championships. I think it’s taken that long to come down from the rush of what we consider our most successful national competition to date.
A total of 73 competitors, 41 judges, and 25 volunteers put in an incredible three days across five competitions: ASCA Australia Barista Championship, Pura Latte Art Championship, Cup Tasting Championship, Brewers Cup, and Coffee Roasting Championship, brought to you by Condesa.
As the competitions concluded, we sat down as a board and realised that the popularity of these competitions has gone beyond what we could possibly imagine. We’re confident to say we believe we now have one of the most elite national competitions in the world. The result, however, is a stretching of resources to try and accommodate enough Open Heats spaces across three competition areas.
To keep the competitions affordable to members, we have decided that next year we will need to restrict open heats spaces to eight. This will allow us to hold the Brewers Cup on the main stage, and give more space to the Coffee Roasting Championship.
But how to decide who will get those precious eight spots? We can credit Ross Quail (our World Coffee Events rep and past ASCA President) for proposing the #ascatop12 – a new coffee ranking system that will seed competitors to see who will get those precious eight spots. Regional winners will continue to gain automatic entry into semi-finals (for Barista) and finals (for Cup Tasters, Brewers Cup, and Latte Art). After each regional competition, scores will be compared across the country, and we’ll announce the #ascatop12 and update on the ASCA website.
To further improve the quality of regional and national competitions, we’re also excited to announce the formation of a Competitions Committee, which had its first meeting in May. The committee will use feedback from the Special General Meeting held at MICE to spark initiatives on judge recruitment and support, and further competitor support. It will also look at how we can generally improve the resourcing of our regional competitions, while keeping them accessible and affordable for aspiring competitors. Anyone interested in getting involved can email email@example.com. The more hands we have on deck at regional competitions, the more we can improve the quality.
Welcome Bruno Maiolo – ASCA Lifetime Member
We are proud to welcome Bruno Maiolo from c4 coffee as a Lifetime Member to ASCA. Bruno has served on the ASCA board and judged at competitions in various capacities for the past 15 years. Go to the ASCA website to read an insightful and hilarious Q&A with Bruno.
Regional competition dates and locations
We will announce regional competition dates and locations, as well as registration, on the ASCA website – sent in an ASCA newsletter in June. Spaces will be limited, so ensure your account is up to date and you can log into the members area.
ASCA special offers
The ASCA website is regularly updated with special offers available to members, so now is the time to sign up, or ensure your details are up to date. There is also an exclusive forum to discuss association issues and a spot to post Classified Ads.
For regular updates on ASCA activities, sign up for ASCA’s FREE newsletter delivered every month. Visit www.australianspecialtycoffee.com.au