I’ve just heard news from the results of the drawing for the order of performances during World Barista Championships 2010. Keith Loh, representing Singapore will be the FIRST PERFORMER on Day 2 of the event.
This is the video of Keith Loh’s (Oriole Cafe) winning performance during the Final Round of the Singapore National Barista Championship 2010. Keith went on to win the Championship and will be representing Singapore in the World Barista Championship held in London later this year.
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.
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.
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.
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]
World Barista Championship 2009 (WBC) is held at Atlanta, Georgia, USA this year. The venue is at the Georgia World Congress Center, Expo Hall A3. It will be from 15 April 2009 to 19 April 2009, with the actual competition starting on 16th April.
A total of 52 countries are taking part in this event. Singapore will be represented by John Ting from Oriole Cafe. He will be assisted by Oriole Cafe owner, Keith Loh, who came in 2nd place in this year’s Singapore National Barista Championship (SNBC). According to the WBC article on Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) website, John Ting’s performance will be the 10th of 19 competitors on the first day, 16th April. The top 6 finalists will be announced on Day Three, Saturday, 18th April 2009, and these 6 will compete in the Final Round on Sunday, 19th April 2009.
To follow up on WBC 2009, you can click on the following links:
World Barista Championship Official Site
This is the official site for WBC and you can find the live video feeds and news updates. Live video feeds will begin on 16th April.
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.
Justin Metcalf pouring latte art while …
Ross Bright foams the milk.
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.