The ASCA Northern Region Coffee Championships took place from the 23rd to 24th September at Fonzie Abbott in Brisbane. Competitions included Barista, Brewers, Latte Art and Cup Tasting.
A great achievement for Matt Holmes of Veneziano Coffee Roasters Brisbane who came second in the Barista Championship with third place going to Raihaan East of Di Bella Coffee and Tilly Sproule of Tim Adams Specialty Coffee taking first place for her third year running.
Matt was motivated to compete this year primarily because he found a story he was passionate about and wanted to share with his peers. His concept was based around the genesis of the Gesha varietal, and the benefits his coffee has imparted on the local indigenous people, whose land the farm resides on.
For this thesis, he chose a naturally processed Gesha called Shaya lot #22 from Gesha Village Estate in Ethiopia. This coffee has been genetic-sequence tested, and has been proven to be directly linked to Geshas grown in Panama, thus demonstrating that it is truly representative of the birthplace – the genesis – of this iconic varietal.
Matt’s signature beverage paid homage to the local Meanit tribe by drawing on a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony… with a twist. He prepared an immersion filter in a traditional Jebana (purchased in Ethiopia) to recreate the consistency and mouthfeel of the original beverage. Matt then added his espresso shots to it, before straining it off and serving it in matching traditional cups. The cups contained a sugar which he had infused with lavender and raspberry juice. This element of the drink once again paid tribute to the traditions of Meanit Tribe, who enjoy sugar with their coffee.
Additionally, this also built up the beverage as a whole, by heightening the floral aromatics which the Gesha varietal is known for, and the fruit forward notes of the coffee which is derived from the natural process. He chose to include this because the establishment of this farm has not only provided us as consumers with sensational, authentic Geshas; it has also provided a tangible net benefit to the Meanit Tribe in terms of economic betterment, increased quality of life, and improved education.
Matt is incredibly proud and honoured to have shared this story, and is very much looking forward to the possibility of sharing it on the National stage at MICE in March, 2018.
In the Cup Tasters event, our very talented roasters Leigh Stefanou and Josh Gowty took to the challenge. First place went to Oliver James of Caffiend after guessing 7/8 coffees correctly, Leigh was runner up after scoring 6/8 coffees correctly in four minutes and 55 seconds, and Josh was third place, scoring 5/8 coffees correctly in a time of three minutes and 47 seconds.
This was Josh’s first year in the competition ring and Leigh’s second go at Cup Taster’s having first competed last year.
In the Brewers Cup, Leigh Stefanou continued to wow us by taking third place with Luke Scott coming second and Sarah Jin of Extraction Artisan Roasters taking first place.
Again it was Leigh’s second time in competing in Brewer’s having first competed two years ago. He felt the experience he has gained over the past couple of years really helped in delivering a much more informative and engaging performance.
In his presentation, Leigh used a naturally-processed, Ethiopian Gesha heirloom varietal from Gesha Village Estate in the Bench Maji Region. He spoke of the sustainability projects that the estate owners; Adam and Rachel Overton had instilled on the farms, as well as the respect shown to the indigenous Meanit tribe that inhabits the area, through employment on the farm and educational opportunities for the farmers teaching them good farming practices.
“I couldn’t be more thankful to everyone at Veneziano for their support.” Leigh Stefanou.
*Images by Beanscene Magazine.