Jia Ning Du has become the first Chinese barista to win the World Brewers Cup (WBrC).
It was third time lucky for Jia on the WBrC stage, winning the prestigious title on her third attempt, having represented China in 2016 and 2018.
“I’m so overwhelmed right now but at the same time my mind is blank. I’m feeling so many different emotions,” Jia of Uni Uni Coffee tells BeanScene Magazine.
“I honestly thought I’d never have the opportunity to represent my country on the world stage. It means a lot to China’s coffee industry. It’s the first time a Chinese barista has competed in this category, got into the final, and won.”
Patrik Rolf of Sweden placed second, Alessandro Galtieri of Italy placed third, Chikako Nakai of Japan placed fourth, Hsu Shih Yuan of Taiwan placed fifth, and Daniel Hofstetter of Switzerland placed sixth in the Finals round at the Specialty Coffee Association Expo in Boston, United States.
Australia’s Yanina Ferreyra of Project Origin placed ninth in the competition.
Forty-five coffee professionals competed in the WBrC over the four-day competition, preparing and serving three individual beverages for a panel of judges. The baristas used compulsory coffees for their first round, and a coffee of their own choosing for the second and final rounds.
For her routine, the Head Trainer of Uni Uni coffee shops chose to brew her coffee without explaining what varietal she was using until the end of her presentation when she could enjoy the coffee together with the judges.
“Sharing a coffee experience is the most important thing we can do,” she says. “That’s the concept I tried to address in my routine.”
Jia went to Ninety Plus Estate in Panama to select her competition coffee. She tried many different lots, but the moment she had found ‘the one’, was when everyone tasted the coffee and looked at each other in silence – it was a Geisha varietal.
“But what makes this coffee different is its processing,” Jia says. “One of the local bacteria’s was introduced into the fermentation. It’s very experimental, but that’s what makes it so unique.”
Jia says she will celebrate tonight with lots of “beer and sleep” but is amazed and her own accomplishment.
“Placing in the top six was my initial goal, but I’ve done a little better,” Jia says.