All coffee competitions are a tool for learning. Those minutes on the stage can be the most intensive learning experience for a barista. And the weekend that just passed we learnt. We learnt, while showcasing our amazing coffees and talented people, through creative routines at the National Coffee Championships.
Between 25th and 27th of October, in Cluj-Napoca 4 people from our team came to the national stage and showed their passion for specialty coffee in front of an international jury.
For those who aren’t familiar with coffee competition, or those who haven’t seen our people this weekend, the concept is to present a specialty coffee to a panel of three sensory judges. The barista is given 15 minutes to do so, and in that time, they must serve an espresso course, a milk course and a signature beverage, to each of the sensory judges – meaning 9 drinks total. While doing this, two technical judges follow your every move and take note of any inconsistent movements, workflow or errors you might make during the preparation of each round of beverages.
Experiment & share more
Delia Avram, our Head Barista and Roaster, the one who represented Romania at the World Barista Championships in Boston 2019 showed once again a coffee that defied the boundaries of the industry: a Caturra variety from Panama, experimentally processed.
Just like her coffee Delia dared the coffee lovers to experiment more, to be more aware of the knowledge that surrounds us and to share everything we know in order to improve more. She developed her coffee potential through a signature drink that definitely pulled us up with an unforgettable experience, just like a tira-mi-su, the course she got her inspiration from.
Brewers Cup Championships
Brewers Cup is a competition that showcases the craft and skill of filter coffee brewing by hand, promoting manual coffee brewing and quality of service. Competitors are required to prepare and serve three separate beverages for a panel of judges and consists of two rounds: a first round and a finalist round. In the first heat competitors are required to complete two coffee services, which are a compulsory service and an open service. For the compulsory service, competitors prepare three beverages utilizing whole bean coffee provided to them by the competition. For the open service, competitors are given 10 minutes and may utilize any whole bean coffee of their choosing.Also, they and must accompany their beverage preparation with a presentation.
The six competitors with the highest score from the first round go on to compete in the finals round consisting exclusively of an open service. This year we had 3 out of 3 #peopleofmeron that made it into the finals.
Meron Crew in the Finals of Brewers Cup Championships
Andra Mălăescu guided the judges to discover a rare and impressive coffee through all of their five senses. A journey of the Senses, where Andra revealed a rich and well rounded flavour cup of an anerobic processed Caturra variety from Panama, Rocky Mountain farm, Santa Clara region using a Kalita wave.
On his first experience on stage, Dorin Stancu marked the moment brewing with a classic. He chose a V60 dripper in order to highlight the delicate acidity of a hot fermentation natural processed Gesha Variety from Panama, Finca Hartmann farm, Santa Clara region.
Also on her first experience as a competitor, but with a lot of passion for the industry Crina Ciocian chose a GINA Brewing System to match her elegance through the entire routine. She’s is not a barista, but she added knowledge to her passion while brewing an experimental processed Panama Geisha from mi Finquitta Concept.
We left this edition of National Coffee Championships with two podium places: Delia, second place at the Barista Championships, and Andra, second place at the Brewers Cup Championships; two more presences in the finals on their first competition: 4th place for Dorin and 5th place for Crina at the Brewers Cups.
Finally, the most important thing for us is that we left with knowledge. Knowledge on how to choose unique coffees from all over the world for our coffee shops. Knowledge on how to improve and become better baristas in the everyday coffee environment. Knowledge on how to become a better team overall. And, in the end, knowledge on how to offer a better coffee experience in our coffee shops.