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Video – SNBC Day 2 – John Ting

Here’s a video of John’s performance at this year’s SNBC. Having participated in SNBC every year since 2007, John has been placed Runner Up in 2007, and Champion in 2008 and 2009. His latest WBC 2009 rank representing Singapore is #21.

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SNBC Day 2

Today, I came prepared, with my naked portafilter, a digital thermometer crippled from my Eric Svendson’s setup from home, and my Espro tamper.

While attention was focused on the latte art competition on the floor, I stole away to try my stint at the Rancilio Classe 6 unit at the door. A few points in summary:

My Rancilio naked portafilter locks in at 6 o clock

The Ditting-Mahlkoenig clumps to high heaven because of the lack of a doser to help in some unclumping. I had to use the digital thermometer to unclump the grounds in order to perfect my pour. I had spritzing in most my pours no thanks to the doserless grinder.

The Rancilio Classe 6 rapidly loses heat in the grouphead. I read initial temps of 205, and then it steadily decreases to a range between 165 and 175 degrees 20 seconds in. I’m sure past competitors would miss the PID’d temperature stability and machine build of previous SNBC sponsor who brought in La Marzocco. Even Nuova Simonelli had their WBC machines specially customized with a PID to ensure temperature stability.

The Spinelli roast worked very well with the Rancilios. I managed to test out one pour at the competition machine with the Boncafe roast, intended for the latte art comp, and it tasted inferior to the Spinelli roast. I would think Ross had tailored the roasts to suit his machines. Despite the temperature instability and the clumping, Spinelli pours from the Rancilio were all within a good degree of tolerance in body, flavour and acidity. Point in note, if all else fails in this year’s SNBC, be sure to use Spinelli roast. I’m sure it’ll taste quite fine to please the judges’ palates.

Updated with new photos:

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:

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.