Thomas Hutchins wins back-to-back Australian Brewers Cup Championship 

Thomas

Thomas Hutchins of Code Black Coffee has won the ASCA Australian Brewers Cup Championship for the second year in a row.  

Hany Ezzat of Ona Coffee placed runner-up, and Julijan Marcovic of Zest Coffee placed third in the national event, with the finals concluding on 23 February at The Wool Mill in Melbourne. 

“Winning is a wonderful surprise but my personal goal is to just keep getting better. I had much room for improvement last year, particularly in the compulsory round. Thankfully, that hard work paid off this year,” Thomas says. 

“While I’m satisfied with what I said and brewed to the best of my ability, I still think I have room for improvement. [A time of] 9:59 minutes on the clock was also a bit too close for comfort so I’ll be focusing on refining and controlling my pace in high stress environment.” 

Thomas represented Australia in Athens at the 2023 World Brewers Cup, placing 18th after the first round. This year, Thomas says he is “hungry for more”.   

“Competing on the world stage was the highlight of my coffee career and I feel like I have unfinished business. I want to bring the Brewers Cup trophy home for Australia,” he tells BeanScene. 

Thomas’ routine concept for this 2024 national routine started with an idea that developed after meeting many generous and kind coffee producers, roasters, and brewers in Greece.  

Then, he thought about how people often say ‘this was made with love’ or ‘I can taste the love’ referring to food like a home-cooked meal or treats like a birthday cake.  

“Bridging these two ideas was my final concept of being able to taste the love in coffee: People who love what they do, attract people who want to do good, and this results in high quality outcomes. My presentation was a journey describing how love is invested at each stage of the supply chain,” Thomas says. 

To bring this concept to life, Thomas brewed a blend of two natural coffees: Colombian ombligon produced by El Diviso (the floral symphony) and Panama Geisha produced by Janson Coffee (lot 130). Both are available in extremely limited supply from the brew bar at Code Black Coffee HQ Brunswick and Spencer Street in Melbourne. 

“I think our roasting team at Code Black Coffee have a magical gift of sourcing incredible coffee and unlocking incredible flavour experiences. It’s a privilege to work with such incredible coffee, roasters, and producers,” Thomas says. 

“The ombligon has a floral confectionary aroma, intensity, and sweetness. The geisha has this high-quality fruit-like purple grapes, and a beautiful tea like quality that gets better and better when it cools. Combined, they synergise with delicious complexity.” 

Thomas will compete in the World Brewers Cup, taking place from 12 to 14 April at the Specialty Coffee Expo in Chicago, United States.  

Putting his experience to the test, Thomas says this year, he will approach the Worlds with a better understanding on the importance of clarity and flavour, and knowledge that roasting at the destination of the competition may yield better results.  

Before he gets there, Thomas would like to thank team Code Black and everyone in his professional and personal life who has supported him along the way.  

“Special thanks to Allan, Amber, Archie, Joe, Pat, Lou, Elsie, Mark, Robin, Damiano, Marcus, Fred, Bill, Adele,” he says. 

Brew Thomas Hutchins’ winning Australian Brewers Cup recipe: 

Key equipment: 

1zpresso zp6 hand grinder at 5.25 or 1000 microns (coarse)  

Abaca filter papers  

Hario v60 metal 

Hario drip assist w/ 3d printed stabilisation ring  

Fellow kettles  

Acaia scales 

Method 

-1:16 ratio  

-18.7gram dose (10gram ombligon, 8.7gram geisha) 

-Custom made water  

-300gram brew weight  

-Three temperatures pours of 50 gram/150 gram/100 gram 

-First kettle at 93°C 

-Second kettle at 88°C 

-First kettle used for first pour 

-Both kettles used for second pour  

-Second kettle used for final pour  

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