The Inaugural Cairns Regional Barista Competition will be held this year at the Cairns Show from the 15th to the 17th of July. This is a huge deal for the talented Baristas of Cairns as it will be fully endorsed by the Australasian Specialty Coffee Association (AASCA) and adjudicated by a certified World Barista Championship judge. Like any competition environment, a barista competition allows its competitors to showcase their passion, skill and attention to detail. It provides an opportunity for skilled baristas to be recognised amongst their peers, customers and industry professionals for all the hard work and dedication they put into their craft.
The competition will be adjudicated by four sensory judges, two technical judges and overseen by one head judge. Competitors will be required to make and serve the panel of sensory judges four single espressos, four single cappuccinos and four single specialty drinks of their own creation (espresso-based and alcohol-free). These twelve drinks have to be professionally served within a fifteen minute timeframe. Each second over-time will incur a disastrous 1 point penalty.
Each of the four sensory judges will be evaluating the taste, texture, temperature and presentation of each of the beverages. They will also be assessing the competitor on their overall knowledge of the drinks they are serving, their creativity, professionalism, and their attention to detail. Added to that, the two technical judges will be hovering about throughout the whole 15 minute presentation grading the competitor on their cleanliness, workstation management, coffee and milk wastage, general hygiene, espresso extraction time, as well as all of the other critical espresso extraction and milk texturing techniques.
Everything the competitor does in this fifteen minutes is of critical importance, as points are won or lost through every action no matter how minor each may seem. An interesting point to keep in mind though is that the judging criteria is only based on what a good barista should be doing every day for every coffee they make at the cafe in which they work.
So whether you are passionate about coffee or just enjoy seeing people performing at their best, support Cairns local baristas at this year’s inaugural competition. Not only will you learn a little bit more about the humble bean and the industry it supports, you will get to know the people behind the coffee machine and witness the passion and enthusiasm they exude that is as much a part of your daily coffee as the rich espresso and velvety milk. And who knows, maybe Australia will be barracking for a Cairns local at the 2010 World Barista Championships?