Posts Tagged 'Barista Comp'

Auckland Heats – and My Performance

And the Auckland Barista Championship finalists are…

1st Place: David Huang Espresso Workshop – Epsom

2nd Place: Robert Hulse Planet Espresso – Auckland 

Wow – what a day!

That was the most intense day I have had in a while – but looking back now, I loved every bit of it. In a moment I will run through my day and routine but first, an ENORMOUS CONGRATULATIONS to David and Robert and all the guys and girls that competed – WELL DONE!

Barista Champs 09

So my day started at 6am right, I woke up got ready and then flicked up to a site around 7.10am to clean and prep my grinder – all is well.

7.45am I’m at Allpress (a huge appreciation for Russell and the team for rearranging the roastery for us) and unload the gear before briefing at 8am,

8am, Emma MW introduces herself and the array of judges to all the competitors, gives a few pointers and words of encouragement then lets us free.

Practice time is from 8.40 to 9am for me. I test my espresso and double check my profiles with a few surrounding spectators.

9am, the first performance of the day – I don’t watch, I have been advised not to, so I am going through my routine out back and slowly setting up my gear.

Fast Forward >> It’s now 10.15am (my prep time). I unpack my gear and set up as normal. Slight dilemma – I realise that my grinders are the wrong way round so I change the hoppers and grind any excess beans in the chamber – of course, in doing this I have just lost about a minute of setup time. I manage to adjust the grinds to perfection just before time but am just short of cleaning the excess grind from the bench. I know I have just lost a couple of points.

10.35am: After an intro from MC Mark, The Routine Begins “Good Morning judges …. I will be using a Guatemalan …. and now I will begin preparing my Signature Beverage.” 

My signature beverage was a mixture of lemon, lavender and sugar to make a syrup base, I prepared this on stage as it needed some time to heat. While this was happening I brewed a Cascara (coffee cherry) tea.

Cappuccino’s – I used a Guatemalan base with two other origins to give the cup a bit of body. I was happy with the shot pours and times. When it came to pouring the milk I was a little shaky and unfortunately spilt my first cappuccino. Beyond that I managed to get some nice ferns and good textured milk.

Espresso’s – Using a Guatemalan only in the espresso’s lead to a very lemony flavoured cup – the shot times were great and I served the espresso 2 + 2. Unfortunately one of the espresso’s lacked in it’s crema depth. But the taste was there.

Signature Beverage – by now I have taken the syrup off the heat and left to cool, brewed my Cascara tea and let that cool too. I add the Cascara to cream and whip that in a creamwhip. Now the creation – pouring the syrup into the base of a long-fluted shot glass I add 30ml of Guatemalan espresso and finish it with the cascara cream and lemon zest. If you like lemon then this drink would have been perfect for you.

And…after a quick clean up… TIME! 14:45

 

So, that was a little bit of fun – I had to shoot off after my run and came back to hear the finalists. Well done again to those mentioned above! In evaluation remarks from the judges I found to have scored one of the highest in sensory (82% of the overall mark) so I was very, very pleased – unfortunatly my nerves got the better of me and let down my technical. But from what I understand I made the top 5 which I am stoked about. Now to take what I have learnt and get ready for next year! 

Can’t wait for Christchurch in a week!

-H

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Auckland Barista Champs – Run Down

 

 It has been 2 days now and I think I have had enough time to regain the energy that was lost over the weekend.

 

Firstly, what a great event. The day was run well – very well, big ups to Emma and the team. And it was a long day. Auckland having 25 positions made it fun for everyone to get their routines in within the day but it worked.

First place going to Tafa from Mojo Cafe – he had a solid routine, much to be expected from previous years. The aromas of the signature beverage as the smoke hit the ceiling were so very elegant. I would have liked to try the drink.

Myself, I was on 6th that morning – I am glad i went then as the rest of the day was enjoyable watching the other routines. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Ryan’s (2nd) or Gloria’s (3rd) routine which was a bit disappointing as they obviously did well.

I felt confident in my routine and upon talking with the judges afterwards I have seen where I can improve and really look forward to next year. On a more personal note – my espresso’s were a tad short but still around 23ml, however – as I hadn’t aged my coffee enough a few characteristics were lost in the cups profile. Same with my cappuccino’s… I was however happy with my signature beverage but see that more could be done from a creative point of view.

The machinery was pristine, Allpress did an amazing job with both the venue, and ensuring the performance and high standard of their equipment.

Look forward to seeing the finals, After watching Tafa and speaking to Lui, the result should be interesting.

I will post some photo’s soon, but for now I’ll leave it here.

Competition Prep!!!

With 3 weeks to go the pressure is building a little more for the Auckland heats on the 5th April. With Lui and Raj through to the nationals after their performances in Christchurch – it is now time for the Northern Region to build up their routine and get their game face on.

I am starting to get the jitters now after cupping so many coffees! Especially so when identifying the cappuccino as I was persistant in consuming the entire cup until I was certain with the flavour profile. The goal was to accurately pinpoint the essential flavours in all 3 drink varietals.

I suppose I am fortunate though to have near on the exact set up to practice on at my disposal. It has given me a lot of practice time – woohoo!!!

 Comp Practice Set Up

My signature drink has gone through a number of enhancements since its conception – but I think I have finally got it (one less thing to worry about). However, I am still finalising the cappuccino section of the routine, a little more effort than I anticipated, especially when I decided to alter the blend I was using. I think I have it about right – we’ll see!

Cappuccino Pull

All the best to my fellow competitors – it should be a lot of fun on the day and I am sure we will see a number of new and exciting beverages and performances.

Rock On!!!


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