So, what do Australia’s top baristas do when they are not competing for the Australian Barista Champs?

Medals- we found some of the ‘best of the best’ at the 2008 Danes Grand Barista Champs.

After a 2 year hiatus, the Danes Gourmet Coffee Institute (DGCI) Grand Barista Championship (GBC) returned on 21st June 2008.

With such notable judges as Hazel de los Reyes (2005 Australian Barista Champion and current NSW Barista Champ), together with Corinne Chilcott (2001 Australian Barista Champion) and Paul Geshos (owner and head Barista for Sydney café, ‘Mecca’ – voted Sydney’s best coffee by Crema Magazine for 2007) the focus was on the professional barista’s technical skill and passion. 20 of Australia’s best Baristas lined up to compete in presenting, within a 12 minute time frame, 4 espresso, 4 milk based coffees and 4 identical latte art designs.

The volume and time restrictions of the WBC were removed to provide the barista with complete freedom to fully exploit the maximum flavour potential of the coffee. In keeping with the belief that one of the most important parts of coffee making is consistency, judges were primarily concerned with the coffee flavour and consistent brewing time and volume.

Again, unlike the WBC, competitors could present any milk-based coffee with the focus being on the balance of espresso and textured milk.

GBC LogoAnd finally, the last component to the competition focused on the barista’s skill with latte art. This is not judged on taste but rather on the skill of presenting 4 identical free-pour patterns, which the competitor can present in any vessel to best showcase their artwork. ‘We chose not to incorporate a ‘signature beverage’ component’, said Paul Jackson, Director of Danes Gourmet Institute, ‘coffee is the most chemically complex food product on the planet in terms of flavour and aroma – why try to add anything to it? We wanted to keep the focus purely on the coffee’.

Four separate heats were held before the Grand Final on the 21 June, bringing the field down to 5 competitors for the Finals.

The WinnersAnd, the winners were 1st Habib Maarbani (NSW), 2nd Jesse Hyde (VIC) and 3rd David Seng (VIC). For an insight into what makes these top baristas ‘tick’, visit our story – where we asked these top barista’s to tell us what it is that drove them to the top and what keeps them there.

And, if you are a barista and need any more encouragement to enter next year, David Makin, 2008 Australian Barista Champion competed in two Danes Gourmet Coffee Grand Barista Championships (2004/2005 placing 3rd & 2nd).

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One Response to “So, what do Australia’s top baristas do when they are not competing for the Australian Barista Champs?”

  1. subske Says:

    Coffee making is something we pride ourselves at a pt and it is great to see that competitions like this really take making the perfect cup to a new level. I love the way that you have justified what makes the perfect cup of coffee and events like this really bring out the best baristas in Sydney.

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