Held over 2 days last weekend (11 and 12 Feb 2012).
In addition to being on the organising committee and helping out, I was on the panel of judges.
The Standard of ACT competitors is very high and at least equal to those in the NSW comp where there is a vastly larger population to draw from.
The barista comp. Nine competitors,* all at a very comparable level to eachother, all were well prepared and professional, a credit to their profession as well as to the comp itself. ACT standard: High
Winner ACT Barista Comp: Hugh Kelly
In the morning the Latte Art Comp. Great fun, casual, less need for the kind of formality required in the barista comp.
It was interesting to see newcomers trying some very difficult art. If you were judging them for attempting such, you would give them all 100% for trying and getting reasonable results, but unfortunately, the rules call for each barista to submit* photos of what they are going to attempt and they are judged on how close they can get to their photos...so to get a reasonable resemblence of a difficult pattern is not good enough and they are marked accordingly.
Newcomers would be better served to attempt simple patterns and get much closer to producing latte art that is very close to their submitted photos as they will score far better in the comp.
Interestingly, 2 out of I think 7 contestants produced mirror images of their submitted photos and in the appropriate section on the judges scoring sheet, this scores a ZERO because* a mirror image of a pattern does not constitute an identical representation.* This was checked in the WBC rules first and then with*Australian judges that judge internationally at the "Worlds".
Winner ACT Latte Art Comp: Angus Mackey
In the afternoon: The Coffee Cupping Comp. This is a blind cupping of single origins where contestants have to pick the "odd" one out of groups of 3 coffees (each group = 2 the same, 1 different), for 8 groups of coffees.
There were 7 contestants including 2 pro roasters (not me) and atleast one apprentice pro roaster. One of my own employees did me proud, winning the Cupping Comp with a score of 7 out of 8.
Winner ACT Coffee Cupping Comp: Mick Walker.
So I guess were off to represent the ACT at the Nationals.
Long days, good work, the beer after the packing up on Sunday arvo was very very good.
A more detailed anaylsis of results is being submitted for publication in the Canberra Times soon.
We could use more people to train to become accredited sensory and technical judges for these comps. Its interesting and I think rewarding, and you dont have to be in the coffee or cafe industries to do this...just have a keen interest. Come on CSers.....where are you?* :)