Jack Simpson wins the Australian Barista Championship 2024


Jack Simpson of Axil Coffee Roasters has won the ASCA Australian Barista Championship for the second time.

The reigning Barista Champion retained his title on Friday 23 February, when the Australian Coffee Championships 2024 winners were announced following a week of competition.

“I’m stoked. I really wasn’t expecting to win as it was a tough competition this year with a lot of good competitors,” Jack told BeanScene post-win at The Wool Mill in Brunswick East, Melbourne.

Gabrel Tan of Veneziano Coffee Roasters was runner-up, and Hugh Kelly of Ona Coffee placed third.

Jack developed his winning routine with roaster Matthew Crowley and the wider team at Axil Coffee Roasters in Melbourne. “I’m so grateful for the Axil team’s support, notably Dave, Zoe, Anthony, Matt, Gaby and Jon,” says Jack.

His theme was ‘constant improvement’, which he said was inspired by “not wanting to be perfect but building on last year and focusing on what I could do 1 per cent better”.

For his espresso course, Jack worked with Rachel Peterson of Hacienda La Esmeralda in Panama to present a natural Geisha, which he described as “a beautiful floral coffee”.

He used a recipe of 20 grams in and 45 grams out in 28 seconds, using the Victoria Arduino Mythos grinder and Barista Attitude Tempesta espresso machine.

For his milk-based course, Jack used a Pacamara coffee from Jhonatan Gasca from Finca Zarza in Huila, Colombia, which Jack was excited to use as “you don’t really see many of them on the competition stage”. Jack paired the coffee with Riverina Fresh milk before serving it to the judges.

Jack’s signature drink showcased the Geisha and Pacamara coffees used in the previous rounds.

“I collaborated with Sam Thornhill BYDI bar in the city to make this drink,” says Jack.

“I placed a peach juice into a rotary evaporator to take it to a honey. I collected the hydrosol (the by-product of the honey).”

The back-to-back champion also thanked Gary Ong of Waved, who travelled to Melbourne from Singapore to support him through the competition. “He designed the Waved [a machine that uses electromagnetic waves to elevate beverage experiences] and it was amazing he trusted me with his technology in the competition,” said Jack.

Jack will now compete in the 2024 World Barista Championship (WBC), taking place at World  of Coffee in Busan, South Korea, from 1 to 4 May. In 2023, he placed third in the WBC in Athens, Greece.

Discover who won the other competitions in the ASCA Australian Coffee Championships 2024 here.

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