Monday, September 22, 2008

Vic Coffee Cupping 09 - Spoons at Dawn

It was an unlikely spot for a coffee tasting competition. But I guess that makes sense; coffee tasting is a pretty unlikely activity for a competition.

Rather than explain how it works, I'll show you. Check out Casper from Coffee Collective kicking arse, taking names and picking the odd one out of three at this year's world championships:

The show was really a great venue. There were plenty of onlookers and passers by ready to be brainwashed, surprisingly decent facilities and an aroma in the air that really brought out the horse notes of the Ethiopian Harrar Horse.

Anyhoo, long story short; I qualified for the finals in first position, but managed to scrub out and come third. Toshi from St Ali edged me out on second and Tom from Grinders took a well-deserved first with 8/8. Tom mentioned that he didn't have an espresso machine at home, so it was nice to see that he won the machine that Diamond-C put up for first prize.

For my part, it was a glass half-empty vs. half-full moment. On the one hand, this was my third podium finish without winning. On the other hand, this was my third podium finish. I guess that at least I'm nothing if not consistent. I walked off with some nice swag; green coffee from ARC, a barista cleaning kit from Cafetto and a nice chunk of perspex.

Ross from Jasper, Bruno from C4 and the rest of the roaster's guild did a great job of setting up the whole area to bludgeon people over the head with the message that fresh = best, as far as coffee is concerned, with roasting demonstrations and domestic coffee workshops happening towards the entrance to the main stage. Latte art champ Con Haralambopoulos gave people a little one on one instruction on the domestic espresso machine, not realising that barista champ David Makin had slipped fliers for his training services in front of the machine. To his credit, though, Dave also spent some serious time behind the espresso machines.

Credit is due to a number of people who volunteered, but I doubt that I will remember all. A special thanks is due to Andy from CS for managing the logistics of the whole thing. Hopefully it was somewhat easier this time around, given that AASCA bought four new brewers and a billion airpots.

Hopefully next year will be bigger and better. One of the dudes from the show dropped by and mentioned that they were keen to have the coffee stuff as a regular feature, which is great because Sydney have long since had a very credible coffee roasting competition.

If you have any suggestions for next year, please feel free to leave them in the comments field and I'll pass them on to the powers that be (aka Ross). Personally, I think that next year's tasting comp needs monster trucks, alcohol, scantily clad women and bacon.



At 12:39 AM, Blogger framey said...

Congrats on the podium finish.
I haven't forgotten about sending you some coffee.
Will send some soonish.


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