Congratulations Junior Vargas, World Espresso Champion!

Oct 04, 2022

How did you spend International Coffee Day?

In three months will you remember what you did that day? Probably not. 

Generally speaking, social media “holidays” are just not as memorable as say… Christmas. 

But there's at least one person we know of who isn’t going to forget International Coffee day 2022 in a hurry, the winner of the very first World Barista Championships, Junior Vargas. 


October 1st  was a glorious day in Melbourne, the sun was out, the weather was fine, and the coffee community was still riding that post World Coffee Championships high - equal parts enthusiasm and exhaustion. 

Our competition was held that sunny afternoon at Code Black headquarters in Brunswick. The amazing staff at Code Black waded through the crowd carrying trays of canapés and drinks as the Dalla Corte, Hemro, BWT, and Australian Beverages Corporation representatives scurried around performing each of their respective tasks.

Joshua Robertson provided the invaluable service of washing and restocking cups, and presenting the espressos to the judges for deliberation. 

The competitors had all come to Melbourne in the hopes of winning the world title at the World Barista or Brewers Cup Championships. Our hope was to provide a simultaneously fast-paced and laid-back vibe, something fun and entertaining for those competing as well as those spectating. 

Ross Quail, our dynamic emcee kept the energy going as our competitors faced off in pairs of two on a Dalla Corte Zero.

The aim: To make the espresso that the judges preferred. 

The parameters: Use the beans we give you, courtesy of Langdon Coffee Merchants, and our patented Flow Regulation Technology on the Zero. 

Of course, to make a competition like this work, we needed true experts to judge the espressos our competitors made, and we needed a lot of them. 

Tasting espressos, one after the other, can be hard on the palette AND the stomach, so we needed enough judges to sit in intervals and then relieve one another periodically to prevent “judging fatigue”.

Thankfully, also here for the WBC and WBrC were a handful of overly-qualified individuals who agreed to come and bring an added level of gravitas to our event with their knowledge and status. Among them were: 

  • The 2022 World Barista Champion, (and AUSTRALIAN)  Anthony Douglas

  • Australian Brewers Cup Champion 2022, Harry Ko 

  • NZ Barista Champion 2016 AND Masterchef NZ 2022 winner, Sam Low

  • 2 Time Canadian Barista Champion Cole Torode

  • World Brewers Cup Champion 2016, Tetsu Kasuya

  • 2017 World Barista Champion, Dale Harris 

  • World Brewers Cup Champion 2021, Matt Winton 

  • World Barista Champion 2018, and World Coffee In Good Spirits Champion 2022, Agnieszka Rojewska 

  • Q Grader and WCE Certified Sensory Judge at the World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup,  Anna Oleksak 

  • World Barista Championship Judge Boris Georgiou 

  • World Barista Championship Judge, Danilo Lodi 

Between our expert judges and our all-star competitors it was a gripping show of talent, skill, and suspense, with audible cheers, gasps, and laughter coming from both the crowd watching the event, and the staff who were SUPPOSED to be working at the event... such as the writer of this article. 

Ultimately only one amazing barista could win, however, and it came down to the Thai Barista Champion, BEW, and the Austrian Barista Champion, Junior Vargas.

Both had fought their way into the final round, showing prowess in coffee that proved it could be either man’s win. Ultimately it was a two to one win for Vargas, whose technique won him 5,000 euros of prize money and the title of World Espresso Champion. Junior, we hope you rub this win in everyone's faces back home, it's the Aussie way. 

We at Dalla Corte Australia were honoured by the participation of so many amazing baristas, competing, judging, or working at this event. It wouldn't have been possible without you all. Thank You. 

Congratulations Junior Vargas, World Espresso Champion!