This year’s South Australian (SA) AASCA-run coffee championships saw an even higher level of competition than previous years with the finalists achieving some very high scores, proving that the Adelaide and SA coffee scene is really coming into its own.
Newly crowned SA Barista Champion for 2012/13, Mike Wells from Veneziano Coffee Roasters and First Pour Adelaide, tells us about his competition coffee and how he developed his signature espresso drink.
Mike’s competition blend consisted of two special coffees: Ethiopian Tchembe, an heirloom varietal grown at an altitude of 1,600-2,000 metres, pulp natural processed; and Guatemala Santa Clara, Bourbon, Caturra & Typica varietals grown at 1,600 – 1,830 metres, fully washed and sundried.
Mike selected his competition coffee with a bit of help from Craig Simon after cupping through a vast range of coffees. “I knew the flavour profile I was after and the Ethiopian Tchembe really stood out because of its aroma and bold berry sweetness. The Guatemala Santa Clara was a perfect complement to the Tchembe and balanced out the flavours and added body to the cup,” says Mike.
Floral aroma with hints of cherry, clean and juicy with vibrant acidity. Notes of strawberry and grape with a light cocoa undertone, fruit sweetness, wine-like mouthfeel and long finish.
Signature Espresso Drink:
Espresso layered on top of a warm Strawberry & Cascara soda. The soda is made from fresh strawberry, cherry, honey, cascara (dried coffee cherry) tea and soda.
These flavors are all inspired by the flavor and tactile elements of the espresso.
Each of these elements were made into a ‘berry’ using a gelatine agent so that they held their form, and gave the illusion of a berry being picked and processed to make the beverage. Each of these berries represented the following qualities of the espresso:
Strawberry – Acidity
Honey – Sweetness
Cascara – Bitterness
Cherry – Aroma
Soda – Vibrancy
Mike’s first year competing in the Australian Barista Championship saw him reach the semi finals; who knows what this year holds for him?