Jade Jennings, Victoria’s 2016 Barista Champion

The Southern Region Coffee Championships took place over the weekend at Proud Mary Coffee Roasters in Collingwood, Melbourne. The competitions, run by the Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA), included the Barista Championships, Latte Art Championships, Brewers Cup Championships, Coffee in Good Spirits Championships and Cup Tasters Championships.

Veneziano Coffee Roasters’ Training and Development Manager Jade Jennings took home first prize in the coveted Barista Championship. An incredible result of the months of hard work she put in leading up to the event.

Jade will go on to compete for the Australian title in the National Barista Championships in March at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo, Melbourne Showgrounds.

Jade was up against some incredible Melbourne talent including Anthony Douglas and Matt Lewin from Axil Coffee Roaster who took out second and third place respectively.

Amongst the other competitors were Mikael Jasin, Hendry Gan, Todd Soutar, and Nandi Dharmanata (Coco & Thyme).

Jade’s performance showcased an incredible washed Bourbon varietal from BUF café in Rwanda. The lady behind BUF café is Epiphanie Mukashyaka, the first woman in Rwanda to open up a coffee washing station. Epiphanie lost her husband, a child and many of her relatives in the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago. But through this devastation, Epiphanie become a pioneer for the women of her country by turning to specialty coffee to greatly improve their lives.

“I’ve trained for the past four months with a great support crew. Our mission was simply to make the best coffee and pay justice to Epiphany and her team from Rwanda”. Jade said.

Jade presented 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos and 4 signatures drinks to 4 sensory judges. She was also assessed by 2 technical judges and 1 head judge. She received a total of 625.5 points.

Her coffee exhibited flavour notes of apricot and brown sugar, raspberry acidity, medium body, silky texture and an all spice finish.

Veneziano Coffee Roasters’ Cupping Lab Technician and Head Barista, Aryan Aqajani, also took to the stage for his very first time over the weekend to compete in the Brewers Cup Championship. Aryan placed fourth out of a line up of 10 competitors.

Aryan showcased Perci from Panama, a naturally processed Gesha varietal from Ninety Plus Coffee. He brewed this incredible coffee with a copper V60 drip filter. His coffee exhibited notes of yellow peach, mango and papaya and honey.

And finally, Jason Miller, Veneziano Roaster, placed 2nd in the Cup Tasters Championship. The Cup Tasters Championship proved to be the most popular competition of the weekend with 22 competitors. Jason achieved a perfect score, correctly identifying all of the seven cups.

The competitors from all states will be competing in the Nationals during the month of March.

Australian Latte Art Championships – 4 – 5 March

Melbourne Food & Wine Festival 

Australian Coffee in Good Spirits – 10 March

Location TBA

Australian Brewers Cup & Cup Tasters Championships – 11 March

Veneziano Coffee Roasters

16 River St, Richmond

Australian Barista Championships – 17 – 19 March

Melbourne International Coffee Expo

Melbourne Showgrounds

Jade’s and Aryan’s coffee will be available from the Veneziano online shop shortly.

For media enquiries, interviews and photos contact sarah.ellul@venezianocoffee.com.au or 0438 360 466.