W.A Barista Competition 2008

Judges rate cappucinnos Espresso tasting

The W.A Barista Competition for 2008 is on again. This year being held in the Perth Town Hall in conjunction with the City of Perth good food month. It’s been an excellent event so far, we’ve just completed the first day of competition with 12 competitors putting their skills on display.

This year is a bit different for me however, because I’ve gotten involved in the judging side of things. A bit daunting personally, but definitely an excellent experience so far. I was a little unsure of how I’d go, but after passing through a full sensory evaluation test quite well, and getting a lot of good practice seeing how the marks are given and the competition run, I’m quite happy with how things have turned out.

There is a lot of responsibility on the judges to be fair and reasoned in their assessment of each of the competitors performances, but the score sheets are fortunately (for us) quite specific on how we need to mark for each component.

From a judging point of view, I obviously can’t give anything away just yet, but I can say that the quality of competition has been great so far. We’ve seen some very polished performances, some excellent espresso, deliciously creamy cappuccinos, and beautiful and inventive signature drinks.

Nic's signature drink ingredients

The competition continues tomorrow (Sunday 16th March) with a final 6 competitors ready to go before the overall barista champion for W.A is crowned, and sent over to represent us in the National competition in Melbourne later in the year (and hopefully the world championship in Copenhagen, Denmark too).

Following the barista competition will be a latte art smackdown (!). Basically a free for all competition where anyone with some latte art skills can pit themselves against all comers for milk based barista street cred.

The final event of the day will be the Australian Coffee Cupping Competition. Basically a fun competition in which a competitor has to pick the odd one out of a 8 sets of 3 coffees. The coffees are prepared in a filter style, and a competitor has to taste them all to determine which one isn’t the same as the others. The winner is whoever finishes first and gets the most right.

I’m going to have a crack at the cupping competition, only because I’m slightly buoyed by my sensory skills test, and although I’d have no chance dealing with the intensity of the barista championship, figure I can at least be coordinated enough to get a spoon full of coffee from the cup to my mouth.

If you’re at all into coffee, and want to check out the great things happening in the Perth coffee scene, I’d definitely encourage you to come down and check out the exciting finale of the competition. Perth Town Hall at the corner of Barrack and Hay St.

Now if I can just stop jittering for a while and get some sleep tonight I might just make it through tomorrow :)

9 thoughts on “W.A Barista Competition 2008”

  1. Wish i was there! it is a bit of a shame, i would have enjoyed you judging me. A bit less pressure! good luck with the last day, ill be waiting for the results!
    Jeremy

  2. Kudos on the cupping accolade Matt.

    For some reason though (entirely possible that it’s due to me being a sick and twisted individual), I just can’t get it out of my head that cupping might refer to a sport practised at Mardi Gras after parties.

  3. Jean, not sure if you made it by or not, but it was a great event ! Might make you pine for your barista days to come back :) Or not… haha

    Jezz, it was a great comp this year, you would have been proud of your homies. Although I can tell you with my extreme game face on, there would have been no less pressure… I was harsh but fair though :)

    Grendel, cheers mate. And well done to yourself for your tireless efforts in the time keeping and MC’ing the cupping comp. I was just glad to get a few right, and only realized I might win the thing at the end… which was perhaps too late :)

    Brad, thanks for lowering the tone so deftly, I’m glad I can rely on you for something :)

  4. Matt – nope missed it (again argh). Sidetracked by the comfort of bed. Looking at your pics did make me miss my old work a little though ;)

  5. Well done in the cupping Matt. Very generous of you also to put so much time and effort into judging and helping to bring the event together.
    Kam

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