Tag Archives: championship

At SNBC

I’m awaiting for the SNBC competition to start. As with all other previous SNBC’s, there are the usual familiar faces:

Justin Metcalf, WBC certified judge and looks to be head judge of SNBC this year.

Victor Mah, head of Singapore Coffee Association, the organiser for SNBC.

Ross Bright, roaster at Spinelli Coffee and sponsor of this year’s Rancilio machines.

Danny Pang, past SNBCs’ finalist and of Geek Terminal and Espressoul fame.

A few points that I’ve noted are:

There are 3 stations of Rancilio Classe 8. The portafilters are so tight they can’t lock into the normal 6 o clock position. I was told the machines are new and so the tabs are not seasoned enough to lock into the right position. And some of the machines’ spouts are angled while others aren’t. I’m not sure if changing the baskets to the thinner ones might help any.

The trophies this year look quite cheap, not the usual frothing pitchers from past years. Entry into this competition is by no means cheap, being $250 a head for non SCA members. You would think they could at least mount a tamper or portafilter or at least something representative of a barista to begin with. The winner from SNBC this year also walks away with a Ditting grinder, which looks like a Vario Baratza, sponsored by Hospitality Essential.

Updated with new photos below:

Singapore National Barista Championship 2010

I’ve been busy at work and I almost forgot about SNBC this week that I didn’t even have time to plan leave. Hope to see all of you there. Although SCA’s website didn’t specify the time, I’ve gotten word from one of the competitors that the final day on Saturday, 27 February will start at 11 am, and will end approximately at 4 pm. As Ben Ruane has pointed out in the comments below, SCA has updated their page with the schedule. As with all SNBC’s since 2007, the competition keeps getting tougher each year, thus raising the bar and hopefully, we will see more of a coffee culture in Singapore. Good luck to all the competitors, and we hope this year’s finalist will improve Singapore’s global standing to under #20.

And a shout-out to all the readers attending, free free to comment on this blog (not the facebook post) about the results or any other tidbits. Thanks in advance.

[googleMap name=”Suntec City Convention Centre” description=”Room 303 and 304″]1 Raffles Boulevard Suntec City, Singapore 039593[/googleMap]

WBC 2009 Day One: Best Looking Signature Drink

What I thought was the best signature drink from WBC 2009 Day One goes to Akihiro Okada from Japan.

Akihiro Okada's signature drink preparation
Akihiro Okada's signature drink preparation
Akihiro paints the insides of martini glasses
Akihiro paints the insides of martini glasses

He used a paintbrush to paint the insides of the martini glasses, his paint being the cherry syrup (someone, pls correct me.)  Then again, aesthetics may prove misleading, as many a dark chocolate like naked pour have proven lemony beyond all recognition.

WBC 2009 Atlanta: John Jhi Chiang Ting Singapore

Coupled with the bad internet connection, I could only catch every other frame during John’s routine. The emcee is James Hoffmann, WBC 2007 Champion, now at  Square Mile Roasters.  Anyway, here are whatever pictures I could take during the event. As John says in his routine, “Please enjoy…”

John pours latte art in front of judges.

The familiar “tap tap tap”, dosing coffee grounds into the portafilter

John pours water for the technical judges.

John explains his signature drink, “Summer Blossom”.

John calls “Time,” signaling the end of his performance and is being
interviewed by James Hoffmann.

John thanks everyone for their support, especially the ones cooped
up in Singapore, watching his performance at an ungodly hour.


James Hoffmann.

Judging WBC Judges

During the break before the awards ceremony of SNBC 2009, there was a friendly competition between Eleen Cai (SNBC 2007 Champion) and John Ting (SNBC 2008 Champion). It was a competition to make as many cappas as you can in 10 minutes. The highlight of the event was uh, someone volunteered me to be the 8th guest judge. All guest judges were chosen from the audience. The WBC judges took turns mucking up Ting’s grind and dosing. It was quite understandable he fell 2 drinks short from Eleen. Eleen finished with 12 while John made 10 cappas. The MC asked for my opinion on Eleen’s to which I replied,  “What I’m looking for is the taste of the coffee cutting into the milk. Eleen’s cappa didn’t do that, because all you taste is milk.” When I tasted John’s, he was the clear winner.

Lo and Behold! Guess what cropped up next? It was a competition between Bosses and Students’ Cappa Contest. The Bosses were Justin Metcalf and Ross Bright. Both Bright and Metcalf ARE CERTIFIED WBC JUDGES. The students were Ting and Cai. I was called back to be the judge and I made sure I sat at the bosses’ table. Whoa! Getting served cappas by Bright AND Metcalf and then judging them will most likely be THE highlight in my career in coffee. I noted the lack of latte art in Metcalf’s drinks, to which he promptly replied that they were’nt being tested on the art. But he did make several triple rosettas later on. Here are some pictures that speak for themselves.

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Justin Metcalf pouring latte art while …

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Ross Bright foams the milk.

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The two WBC judges pour a few rosettas with love

After 10 minutes, both teams had made 30 cappas. The tiebreaker was latte art. And I was the latte art judge. (I am having so much fun!) I gave one point in difficulty for the Bosses and one point in artistry for the students. The Bosses won. We’ll give it to them this year.

I hope this sets the bar for future SNBC’s to come.

For more pictures on the event, go to my flickr account.

Singapore National Barista Competition 2009

I just came from SNBC 2009 Finals held at Suntec Convention Hall today. Whew! What a turnout. Sadly, I didn’t see any familiar faces from our local home roaster’s group, CGSG (Coffee Greens Singapore). Cafes that had baristas in the finals were 2 from Oriole Cafe, Ian from TCC, 1 from Spinelli’s, Danny Pang from Geek Terminal, and 1 from Jones the Grocer (Ahmad Hidayat). Sorry, I’m not familiar with the names other than those from Oriole, who are John Ting (SNBC 2008 champion) and Keith Loh (SNBC 2008 3rd, SNBC 2007 4th.) I guess it’s Fate that Keith should come in 2nd this year, huh?

Without further ado, the winners are (my predictions were spot-on this year):

SNBC 2009 Champion is John Ting. AGAIN

SNBC 2009 Runner Up is Keith Loh. Chalk this up to Fate.

SNBC 2009 2nd Runner Up goes to Ian from TCC.