BeanScene Magazine

Adam Metelmann wins ASCA Western Region Barista Championship back to back

From the November 2017 issue.

Adam Metelmann of Pullman Espresso Accessories has won the Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) Western Region Barista Championship for the second year in a row.

Hyemi Lee of Lucky Cat Enterprises was runner up and Shari Almond of Pixel Coffee Brewers placed third in the event, which took place on 5 November at Double Shot Fiesta.

“I would say the Regionals win was a huge plus for the risks involved,” Adam says. “I presented the same experimental/natural process Geisha from Ninety Plus for all my courses. I worked closely with the producers and sent them all my information and script to make sure I was honourably presenting their coffee with their blessings.”

Adam was first introduced to this coffee by Steve Holt and Ben Put in Seattle at the Specialty Coffee Association Expo in April, and instantly fell in love with it.

“I was given a cup to explore its flavours, and I nursed that cup for almost two hours walking around the show," he says. "I got to see its transformation as it went stone cold in the Seattle climate.” 

Adam says this “amazing, crazy beast” of a coffee is unlike anything he’s ever worked with before and was certainly not a coffee that produces a conventional espresso.

“It is more like fruit juice than anything else: super sweet, stick and juicy in tactile and extremely aromatic,” he says. “The descriptors of potential flavours would fill a page, so to single it down to two accurate flavours - candied pineapple and white peach - was no easy task.”

Adam roasted the coffee himself on a Ikawa Pro sample roaster, a tool he says that although is “completely capable”, is not really being used for its designed purpose.

“Its repeatable, consistent, and accurate roast and profiling allowed me to really dial the roast into the exact thing I was trying to present in the cup,” he says. “It was also great for roasting many batches of small amounts to find the correct profile for comp day.”

Adam says the beverage contained an “experimental high level of geisha”, and produced a 16-gram dose for his espresso. 

For maximum control and dose consistency, Adam used Pullman System's new BigStep tamp with a 58.55-millimetre diameter, new precision basket, and a chisel distribution tool.

For his signature course, Adam introduced the judges to some of the flavours he first encountered as the coffee went through its changes in flavours from hot to cold.

He says overall, his routine was a “big roll of the die” that paid off on the scoresheet.

“Sometimes, although a coffee may be completely delicious to many, it may not always score well in the World Barista Championship format,” he says.

Adam adds that he was motivated to take the best parts of his industry knowledge and history, and apply it in new and innovative ways. This includes greater crossovers throughout the supply chain: having producers communicate more to the consumer side, and giving baristas a hand in processing and controlling quality at origin.

“It’s almost like a knowledge reset,” Adam says. “Resetting the ecological environment produces better coffee, raising and making conditions/livelihoods for the producers and workers, and the result is new and unique flavours that are nothing like ever tasted before."

In other results, Georgina Lumb of Stirling Cellars and Patisserie won the Western Regional Latte Art Championship, with Andy Tsung of Fiori Coffee in second place and Francesca Lee in third place.

Ru Teow of Print Hall won the Western Region Cup Tasters, Dung Chuan Wen of Holmes and Co was runner up, and Matthew Smithies of Five Senses placed third.

In the Western Region Brewers Cup, Heath Dalziel of Lucky Cat Enterprises took first place, Eisha Ryden-Hail of Blackbox Brewers was runner up, and Rhys Wood placed third.

The Western Regional winners will compete in the Australian Coffee Championships, taking place at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo from 22 to 24 March, 2018.

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