On Saturday 8th of September, our retail showroom underwent a transformation. Tables and chairs were moved to make room and five commercial espresso machines were fired up. The Australian Barista Championship video was projected on to the wall and the crowd started to arrive.
The aim of the event was to provide a forum where AASCA members, coffee enthusiasts and working baristi could relax and muck around with coffee. In short order, a variety of blends were whipped out and people started to focus on their areas of interest. Some were interested in comparing the BFC heat exchanger machines with the La Marzocco dual boiler machines, others were interested in tasting specific blends, whilst others just opted to sit back with a cup of coffee and have a nice chat. It was particularly gratifying to see some working baristi take some coffee enthusiasts under their wings and teach them some latte art.
The Japanese Syphon brewers were definitely a point of interest. The crowd gathered as Peter and Toshi brewed up some rather interesting coffees. First up, Nathan roasted some Yemen Mocha Mattari, which was brewed mere minutes after cooling. Toshi had brought along some Tanzanian and Kenyan coffee, which are always sensational for brewing methods other than espresso. However, our visitor from the United States stole the show by bringing us some of the much-acclaimed Panama Hacienda La Esmeralda.
There was time for a quick roastery tour before the highlight of the day – the latte art throwdown. The competition was a knockout format, with the person whose coffee received the loudest cheer from the audience advancing to the next round. Eight baristi competed under the intense gaze of the audience and their relentless camera flashes. When all was said and done, Toshi from St Ali beat Veneziano’s David Seng to take home the coffeelab design tamper.
Great fun was had by all and we hope that many more barista jams will take place in the future. You can find out more about barista jams at the AASCA webpage.