One big weekend in May saw the NZSCA crown new Cup Tasters and Latte Art Champions in maxed-out competitions.
It felt like only five minutes ago the New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association hosted the Meadow Fresh NZ Barista Championship, and it was already time to start the next leg of the competition season.
First up was the NZ Cup Tasters Championship on 3 May. Ozone Coffee Roasters in Auckland hosted a full field of 32 coffee cuppers, all aiming to accurately and quickly slurp their way through the tasty coffee.
The competition was tense, and with multiple perfect scores on the leader board, timing was crucial.
With a score of 8/8 in 2.07 minutes, Alan Bruce of Flight Coffee was announced the NZ Cup Tasters Champion, with runner-up going to Anne-Lise Mornard-Stott of Ripe Coffee Roasters in Petone.
Ewan Kim of L’affare and Takahito Koyanagi of Toasted Espresso placing third and fourth respectively.
Thanks to our amazing sponsors Fetco via the Appliance Maintenance Company (AMC), Cafetto, AMC Roastery Supply NZ, Acme & Co, and Castaway, and Ozone Coffee Roasters for hosting.
Alan says he “would like to thank the NZSCA, his family, and Flight Coffee team – especially Luise Metelka who made him train every other day”.
When asked if he had any tips, he mentioned he kept [his] food really bland in the lead up, including no pesto for lunch and his “secret weapon”, his favourite orange spit cup. Alan is looking forward to representing NZ at the World Coffee Championships in Berlin in June.
Only two days later, it was time to determine which latte artist would be joining Alan in Germany.
La Marzocco let Auckland know it was host of the Meadow Fresh New Zealand Latte Art Championship with a large cow statue greeting guests to its Parnell headquarters.
The sold-out event of 17 artists from Invercargill to Auckland pushed the level of competition to new levels. Animals were popular, as was inspiration from under the sea.
Between the preliminary and final rounds, sponsors kept the crowds entertained, educated, and pampered. Meadow Fresh held interactive pouring competitions at its Pour like a Pro stand. Meadow Fresh also sponsored two competitors and arranged for NZ Breakers basketballer Tom Abercrombie to present the awards.
Receiving the championship trophy was Hoony Chae of Mojo Coffee in Auckland. Leo Li of Newbie Café in Auckland was runner-up, and John HoJun Sung of Grey Street Kitchen in Hamilton placed third.
Hoony thanks his coach Eddie Chae and his team from Mojo for their support.
“I am looking forward to Berlin and will try my absolute best,” he says.
A special thanks to the volunteers at both events for helping, especially those who donated their entire weekend to make these events run smoothly.
Thanks to our amazing sponsors Meadow Fresh, La Marzocco New Zealand, Cafetto, AMC Roastery Supply NZ, Acme & Co, Castaway, and Monin.
The NZSCA wishes Hoony and Alan good luck in June.