Three-time UK Barista Champion John Gordon wins first New Zealand Barista Championship

New Zealand Barista Championship

John Gordon is the 2018 Meadow Fresh New Zealand Barista Champion.

John from Gorilla Gear in Auckland won his fourth national barista championship title at Wellington’s Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre in Upper Hutt from 14 to 15 April.

Nico Refiti of Ozone Coffee Roasters, New Plymouth placed second and Frank Hsu of Frank’s in Wellington placed third.

Logan Collinge of Mojo Coffee Cartel in Wellington placed fourth, Grace Choi of McCafe in Rotorua placed fifth, and Brittany Cox of Down the Road Eatery & Deli in Whangarei placed sixth.

John will now represent New Zealand at the World Barista Championship (WBC) in Amsterdam from 20 to 23 June.

Similar to Australia’s Barista Champion Craig Simon of Veneziano, John returned to the barista competition stage after a  four-year hiatus.

This will be the fourth time John has competed at the WBC. His past three titles were as the UK Barista Champion, and this year he will compete under the New Zealand flag.

In 2010, he placed 14th and in 2013 he placed tenth with a career high of sixth in the world in 2011.

As per national barista championship requirements, all baristas presented the judges four espressos, four milk-based beverages, and four signature drinks for assessment.

John roasted his competition coffee himself, which he described as “the most stressful thing ever”.

The Ethiopian Sidamo Guji of two experimental lots had been processed differently through the same washing station.

Carbolic maceration was used after one was washed and one naturally processed. John described his espresso flavours as kiwifruit, raspberry and lime, his milk-based coffees as custard and raspberry, and his signature drink with a nashi pear nectar.

The power generated by John’s battery pack caused the judge’s information pads to light up emphasising his view of modern technology in the coffee industry which should be shared throughout to create sustainability.

The NZSCA wishes to thank its many sponsors, volunteers, judges, teams, spectators and industry members who work cohesively and seamlessly to the national barista championships.

Photo credit: Mia Gorczynski

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