Melbourne barista Anthony Douglas of Axil Coffee Roasters has been crowned the world’s best barista, taking first place at the World Barista Championship (WBC).
Anthony is the first Australian to take out first place in seven years.
“I feel incredibly proud to be named this year’s world champion and am honoured to represent Australia, and more specifically Melbourne, on the world stage. I couldn’t have done it without the unwavering support and commitment of the team at Axil who have been by my side inspiring me for the past 9 years,” says Anthony.
This was Anthony’s first World Barista Championship experience after winning the Australian Barista Championship in August. Anthony is now the first Australian to win the coveted title at a home-run event. Melbourne last hosted the World Barista Championship in 2013.
“It’s such an honour to win the World Barista Championship, something I don’t take for granted,” says Anthony. “We put a lot of work into this [routine]. I’m incredibly proud of myself and the team. I’ve been competing in the Australian Coffee Championship for the past seven years, trying to win, which is hard enough, and we finally got there.
“To hear myself called the World Barista Champion was an incredible feeling.”
Morgan Eckroth of the United States placed runner up, Claire Wallace of the United Kingdom placed third, Takayuki Ishitani of Japan placed fourth, Benjamin Put of Canada placed fifth, and Patrick Rolf of Sweden placed sixth in the Finals round.
Anthony was mentored by his boss and Axil Coffee Roasters Founder, David Makin, a two-time Australian Barista Champion. He was coached by Jack Simpson of Axil Coffee Roasters, and his coffee was roasted by, Matt Crowley.
Anthony credits the hard work of his team over the past few months who helped him refine his routine, which included serving four espressos, four milk-based beverages, and four signature drinks to a panel of certified World Judges in a 15-minute routine.
“As a team, collectively, we’ve put so much effort into this campaign. I used amazing coffee and it’s a routine that’s very close to my heart. Everything lined up for us today,” Anthony says. “I felt great after my last run-through. I was confident in the routine that I put up. I came off stage knowing I had left it all on the table. There was nothing more I could have done. Regardless of the result I was proud of my performance.”
Competing against 47 world-class competitors from around the globe, Anthony prepared four espressos, four milk drinks, and four original signature drinks to a panel of judges from around the world, using coffee from El Diviso, Colombia.
Baristas were judged on taste, technical skills, and presentation with the top 16 proceeding to the second round and the top six making it to the finals.
Over three rounds, Anthony delivered a routine that focused on four key elements: the choice of coffee and processing, roast and profile, distribution methods and the milk, in which Anthony used Riverina Fresh milk, the official dairy supplier of the WBC.
For his signature drink, Anthony paired ingredients and techniques to elevate the coffee, including a Colombia honey for complex sweetness, a lacto-fermented passionfruit to elevate the fruit notes, hibiscus cold brew tea to add complexity to the red wine tannins and a ‘cryodesiccated’ date syrup to increase texture and intensity in the drink.
“Working in the coffee industry for the past 12 years has taught me that making great coffee is all about consistency and pushing the boundaries of what has been done before. I’m ecstatic that I could show that to the judges and that I got to be surrounded by others as passionate about coffee as I am,” Anthony says.
According to Axil Coffee Roasters, Anthony’s win firmly cements Australia’s spot on the global coffee stage.
For more information, visit www.axilcoffee.com.au