Jibbi Little wins Australia’s Richest Barista competition at MICE2023

Australia's Richest Barista

Rawirat Techasitthanet of Jibbi Little’s Coffee Roasters has won Australia’s Richest Barista competition, which took place across the 2023 Melbourne International Coffee expo (MICE).

After three rounds of knock-out competition, Rawirat, also known as ‘Jibbi Little’ was the last barista standing. She was crowned the inaugural title winner and took home $25,000 in prize money.

“With the money, I hope to open my own coffee shop in Sydney,” Rawirat tells BeanScene post-win.

All 30 participating baristas had the chance to win a share of a $40,000 prize pool, the richest cash prize on offer for a barista competition final anywhere in the world.

Pirada Tungbenjaphol of Jibbi Little’s Coffee Roasters placed second and took home $10,000, while Lucky Salvador of Coffee Man placed third and won $5000.

Rawirat is a long-time industry icon and coffee competition champion, with a host of titles to her name including 2022 World AeroPress Champion, 2019 Australian Latte Art Champion, and New South Wales Latte Art Champion from 2014 to 2019, amongst many.

With latte art usually her strength, Rawirat entered Australia’s Richest Barista competition to demonstrate her skills in all aspects of coffee preparation and tasting. She faced her biggest challenge head-on, the barista category round and her “Achilles’ heel”, triangulation cup tasting.

“I usually have problems with barista competitions, especially with cup tasting,” says Rawirat. “This competition, I wanted to prove I could fix my problems.”

“These last couple of days taught me many things,” says Rawirat. “I [knew all I had to do was] trust and believe in myself.”

The first round of the competition saw competitors tasked with pouring six drinks in 10 minutes – two espressos, two milk beverages and two alternative milk beverages.

Rawirat produced a coffee-tea fusion for her signature drink using a Colombian coffee with elements of hibiscus tea, honey and plum.

“These [ingredients] combine well together, and can change the tropical note,” she says.

Round two of the competition comprised of a latte art competition, where competitors poured four beverages: two traditional lattes and two free pour lattes. Rawirat’s free pour design was an eagle head, and her traditional pattern was determined via a spinning wheel.

“I got very lucky [with the wheel spin],” she says. “I got the tulip, and the new jug that I used was very helpful.”

Round three consisted of a cup tasting round. Each barista received five triangulations of coffees and had to choose the odd cup, in a skill that tests speed and accuracy.

Jibbi correctly guessed 5/5 flights of coffees in a time of 2:04 seconds, with Pirada also correctly guessing 5/5 in a time of 4.11 minutes. Lucky correctly guessed 4/5 coffees in a time of 5:02 minutes.

“I knew I could control my time and control my testing,” Rawirat says.

In a number of practice runs Jibbi completed alongside Pirada, she says she had never beaten her opponent in cup tasting before the event.

“I just used my inner instinct,” says Rawirat. “When I flipped the cup, I already knew it was correct.”

Many thanks to Australia’s Richest Barista competition sponsors for their support of the inaugural event: Machine sponsor Dalla Corte, Grinder sponsor CWE and Mazzer, Dairy sponsor Riverina Fresh, Alternative milk sponsor The Alternative Dairy Co, Syrups sponsor Naked Syrups, water filtration sponsor Brita, Cup Taster coffee sponsor Minas Hill, and Latte Art coffee sponsor DC Specialty Coffee.

For more information, visit www.internationalcoffeeexpo.com

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