In it’s dim light, with hanging ferns and recycled pews, the warehouse-style venue BibNBrace, located just outside Brisbane’s city centre, looks like the last place you’d expect to find a coffee competition. Just another element of unexpected in what was already an unprecedented event at the First Annual Espresso Flow Profile Competition, hosted by Dalla Corte on the 17th of June.
In 5.5 hours, over the course of 23 intense heats, some of the greatest baristas in Brisbane, Gold Coast, and The Sunshine Coast came together and battled it out to determine who would walk home $2,000 richer.
The competition was held by Dalla Corte In an effort to spread knowledge about flow profiling technology among the Brisbane barista community. With the Digital Flow Regulation technology on the Zero, contestants were tasked with creating their ideal flow profile of the competitions exclusive beans, an Ethiopian Ugara Indigo CM Natural, provided by Project Origin and carefully roasted by Tim Adams specialty coffee
Contestants faced off in knock-out style rounds, serving shots to the judges to be scored on flavour, tactile (body/roundness), and taste balance. The judges, a hand picked trio of talented members of the coffee community, included Karl Lee from KL Coffee Lab, Tilly Sproule from Tim Adams Specialty Coffee, and Robbie Lynch from Almanac Coffee. Using a "token" system, each judge, having one token for per category, placed their tokens next to the cup they felt excelled in that category for each round.
Friends and family patiently waited, supporting their loved ones as they were knocked out of the competition, one at a time. Craft Beer was provided by Newstead Brewing, ensuring the 5-hour wait was, at least, a pleasantly tipsy one.
Thanks to an unforgettable emcee, the spectators were kept updated throughout the judging process with a lively narration. In addition to the sponsorship from Project Origin, Tim Adams, and Newstead Brewing, water filtration was provided by BWT Australia and proved to be exceptional both in quality and ease of use, something noted by more than a few of our competitors.
Contestants included baristas Jin Lee from Lost Bean, Storme Metzger from Extraction Artisan Coffee, James Dunbar from Paradox Coffee Roasters, Cooper Ahrens from Blue Sky Specialty Coffee, and home roaster Brian L. Archer Specialty Coffee was represented by it's owner Issac Ryan and one of his lead baristas Miya Lee. Karen Silver, manager at Veneziano Coffee, and her partner, home brewer Katie Holman both competed, with Holman making it into second place in what was a very close competition. All brought their unique expertise and vision to the competition but ultimately were knocked out
Ultimately, it was champion Benjamin Sneddon who managed to out-compete the rest with his winning extraction recipe, bringing home the 2,000 dollars and the title of 1st Place Winner of the first-ever Espresso Flow Profile Competition. Congratulations Benjamin!