Latest from First Pour
22nd June 2015
GOTHENBUG – SCAE’s (Specialty Coffee Association of Europe) Nordic World of Coffee hosted this year’s coffee championships in World Latte Art (WLAC), World Coffee in Good Spirits (WCGS), World Brewer’s Cup (WBrC), World Cup Tasting (WCTC) and World Coffee Roasting (WCRC).
A jubilant Caleb Cha, Australian Latte Art champion from Cafenatics in Melbourne competed, and won, in the solid favourite WLAC in front of an admiring world audience and an elated Australian home crowd on livestream, taking the country’s winnings to two World championships this year. Norway also took home two World titles from the event, WBrC and WCRC. Current World Barista Champion Australian Sasa Sestic, an avid supporter, was present at the finals performance in Gothenburg. Caleb’s victory was made even sweeter after he proposed to his girlfriend and coach, Alice Jeong, on the World stage, and she said ‘yes!’
His win is an amazing feat when you consider he only entered his first Latte Art competition a year ago, in which he competed and placed runner up in both the Victorian and Australian Latte Art championships. It was enough to motivate him to continue and ultimately achieve this great result in Gothenburg, all within a year, an event that will propel his coffee career forward.
Caleb always puts it down simply to practice. “The more you practice and repeat, the better and sharper your patterns become. And, the more confident you become, pouring becomes second nature and you develop steady hands. This lets you work faster with less errors”, he says.
“I can thank Erin Sampson for sharing her tips and tricks with me during last year’s competition prep[aration], and again this year both Erin and Jade (from Veneziano) helped me out with some competition style run-throughs, it definitely helped”, explains Caleb.
When we spoke to Caleb after the heats he reported he was feeling great, though he felt his now famous zebra pattern could have been better. “It [the zebra design] could have been more perfect, but I am aiming to improve it for the finals. I’m aiming for better contrast, more definition… You will see the best design ever!” he said with confidence. When asked if he’d take some time off after the competition he replied with, “Oh no, I must get back, my bosses [at Cafenatics] need me, they were good enough to give me the time off to come here and be a part of it all.”
However since his win, it appears things may not go back to normal as he’s intended, as he was immediately surrounded by sponsors and inundated by fans for photos and ‘selfies’. At the time of the announcement, his initial reaction was one of disbelief, but he eventually came to. After his win, we asked him again, “What are your plans now?”. “I don’t know”, he replies, with a smile. And, we believe him.
Caleb thanks all who supported him including his number one support Alice, his bosses at Cafenatics Equitable Place and 367 (Melbourne), Joseph Haddad and the team at Code Black Coffee Roasters, Australians Lance Brown and Jeremy Regan judging at WLAC, and everyone at Veneziano.
He also gives a huge thanks and appreciation to Cafenatics, Pura Milk, Cafetto, Service Sphere, Mahlkönig and MICE2016 for their generous support in getting him to Sweden.
WLAC Top 3 Results
1st Caleb Cha, from Cafenatics, Australia.
2nd Xuechao Wang, from Jiangbeilerean Coffee, China.
3rd Kyeong-woo Jung, from Corea Coffee Belt, South Korea.
Other competition results:
1st Odd-Steinar Tøllefsen, from Supreme Roastworks, Norway.
2nd Konstantinos Iatridis, from Taf Coffee, Greece.
3rd Benjamin Prager, from Bear Brothers & Cow, Switzerland.
1st George Koustoumpardis, from The Underdog, Greece.
2nd Ondrej Hurtík, from Doubleshot, Czech Republic.
3rd Paul Ungureanu, from Paul Ungureanu Consulting, Romania.
1st Juan Gabriel Cespedes, from Ecomtrading, Costa Rica.
2nd Mateusz Petlinski, from Woyton Roast Inc, Germany.
3rd Yoeri Joosten, from Boot Koffie, The Netherlands.
4th Krisse McGregor, from Coffee Lab, New Zealand.
1st Audun Sørbotten, from Audun Coffee, Norway.
2nd Joanna Alm, from Drop Coffee, Sweden.
3rd Minkeun Choi, from Coffee HOW’S, South Korea.
17th June 2015
GOTHENBURG – Day one of the World Latte Art Championship (WLAC) is over, with 18 competitors having completed their Art Bar performances and competition routines, including the second competitor on the stage, Australian Latte Art Champion Caleb ‘Tiger’ Cha from Cafenatics.
Caleb’s preliminary Art Bar creation, a “magical”, intricately colourful butterfly will account for around 40% of his total score, whilst his two identical “flirting peacock” free-pour latte and “caffeinated zebra” designer latte patterns account for the score balance.
In the interview immediately following his performance Caleb summed up his WLAC on-stage experience as, “Amazing! It’s a fantastic experience to be here, all you can do is enjoy it and don’t overthink it”, he says.
His seven week journey from the Australian championship to WLAC 2015 in Gothenburg has included an insane amount of practice at Code Black Coffee Roasters’ premises in Brunswick; precisely 14,000 cups! That can be broken down into: three patterns, 100 cups a day for each pattern, seven days a week. He also squeezed in some competition style run-through’s with Veneziano’s Erin Sampson and Jade Jennings in the training facilities at First Pour.
With so many latte art barista talents, Caleb feels the ones for him to watch personally are latte are barista champions Sam Low from New Zealand and Sang Moo Huyn from South Korea, as they both placed in the top six of WLAC 2013. Other competitors that attracted some interest on day one were Dhan Taman from the UK, Sweden’s Clara Pihlgren and Nick Vink from the Netherlands.
With Rie Moustakas having finished fourth in WLAC 2014, it provides inspiration for a fellow Australian. “I am desperate to win the title, so I can’t give up!”, remarks Caleb. “My girlfriend Alice has made a huge sacrifice and been a massive support to help get me here, so I don’t want to let her down either.”
Will he make it through to the finals on Thursday? He certainly has a very good chance and all will be revealed at the end of day two of the competition schedule.
Lance Brown – WLAC Head Judge perspective
Veneziano’s Lance Brown, experienced latte art judge at both national and world level competition, judged 11 competitors out of 18 on day one of WLAC 2015: Malaysia, Taiwan, Indonesia, China, Spain, Sweden, France, Netherlands, Slovakia, Brazil and Peru.
Of the 11 competitor routines he watched, Lance feels that he may not have seen the winner yet, but the standout could be Slovakia. He says, “Competitors cannot make it this far and expect to get by on hearts and tulips anymore, we were seeing that kind of thing five years ago at this level, the game has completely changed. With the amount of resources available to baristas these days they really need to step it up if they hope to be successful on the world stage.”
The World Coffee in Good Spirits (WCGS) competition shared the stage with WLAC, alternating competitors from each and keeping up a fast pace for the audience. Finalists will also be announced at the end of day two. WCGS 2014 Champion Matt Perger from St Ali/Sensory Lab has been present at the competition in addition to his Mahlkönig commitments. Mahlkönig also sponsor the Art Bar at WLAC.
Heats were held on day one, finalists announced at the end of the day. Unfortunately Australian competitor Hyunsuk Ko, head barista at De Clieu, did not make it through.
Country finalists are: China, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Guatemala, Poland, Ireland, New Zealand, Romania, Colombia, Costa Rica, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Russia, Norway, Japan, Germany and Peru. Germany and Peru finished in a tie for 16th place; equal number of correct cups in equal time.
14th March 2015
Tea brewing across the MICE weekend.
Veneziano proudly announces the arrival of its long awaited high-end tea offer, Elevation Tea, to be revealed at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo, March 13 – 15 at the Melbourne Showgrounds.
Backed by two decades of experience in the specialty coffee business, Veneziano managing director Craig Dickson says, “When we decided to introduce a custom tea range to complement our coffee offer, it needed to meet the same strict standards we apply to our coffee. Our search has shown us that there was very little out there, so we made the decision to source and develop our own”.
No surprises then, that Elevation specialty tea is subject to the same principles as Veneziano’s coffee sourcing. This includes traceability to Origin, observing optimal harvest times (regarding tea this is typically three times a year), whilst hand picking and then sorting during pre and post processing stages allows for tight quality control.
“Where specialty tea differs to specialty coffee is the processing method. All teas commence as the same raw product, as opposed to coffee which is available as different varieties and a number of other variables that affect flavour outcome”, explains Craig.
“With tea production, it’s the processing times and methods that determine the end resulting tea type, and therefore flavours, for example whether you end up with a green or black tea, and so on. However we never lose sight of the main objective, it still remains about achieving exceptional beverage character and flavour profiles”.
“It’s the all-important flavour that Veneziano was most fastidious about. Most people experience a dull, ‘baggy’ tasting tea with very little flavour as promised on the label”, he says.
High-end Elevation tea is sourced from a quality grower in Sri Lanka using completely natural growth and production protocol, and no additives are used. Only natural oils (not extracts) and herbs have been used to achieve enhance specific flavour attributes.
Further refinement of flavour also occurs with dosage, brew temperature and steep times so tea-drinkers are encouraged to experiment with these parameters in order to discover what suits their tastes, and this will differ from one tea to another.
Being almost as diverse a crop as coffee, Veneziano has come up with a range of ten natural teas including some traditional favourites as well as some exotic and fruity numbers. The result is a specialty tea that is soothing, calming, packed with flavour and great for your health. It complements any high-end beverage offer, such as specialty coffee, perfectly.
Elevation specialty tea is available as fresh, loose leaf tea, in 375gm or 200gm bags in the following styles and combinations for optimum flavour:
- English Breakfast – 375gm
- Earl Grey – 375gm
- Masala Chai – 375gm
- Gunpowder Green – 375gm
- Chamomile – 200gm
- Peppermint – 200gm
- Lemon and Ginger – 200gm
- Green Oolong – 200gm
- Relaxing Herbs – 200gm
- Equilibrium – 200gm
For enquiries email: email@example.com phone: 13 COFFEE
12th March 2015
Be sure to check out Sourced Coffee Pods on our stand at MICE 2015. Australia’s first (and we believe only) specialty pods launched last year, and make their appearance at MICE.
Created exclusively for use with Nespresso and Nespresso-compatible capsule machines, Sourced specialty capsules were developed with the Australian coffee consumer in mind. Our roast team have developed a great tasting pod, full of flavour, filled only with specialty grade coffee that we can trace back to the Origin, and we roast regularly so they’re always fresh. What’s not to love?!
Sourced Coffee Pods are available as a 10 pack for $7.95 or a carton of 60 pods for $42.