MELBOURNE, Australia – Australia’s Anthony Douglas of Axil Coffee Roasters has won the 2022 World Barista Championship on the final day of the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE). This was Anthony’s first World Barista Championship experience after winning the Australian Barista Championship in August. Anthony is now the first Australian to win the coveted title at a home-run event. Melbourne last hosted the World Barista Championship in 2013.
“It’s such an honour to win the World Barista Championship, something I don’t take for granted,” says Anthony.
“We put a lot of work into this [routine]. I’m incredibly proud of myself and the team. I’ve been competing in the Australian Coffee Championship for the past seven years, trying to win, which is hard enough, and we finally got there. “To hear myself called the World Barista Champion was an incredible feeling.”
Anthony Douglas (Australia) won the World Barista Championship in Melbourne
Morgan Eckroth of the United States placed runner up, Claire Wallace of the United Kingdom placed third, Takayuki Ishitani of Japan placed fourth, Benjamin Put of Canada placed fifth, and Patrick Rolf of Sweden placed sixth in the Finals round.
Anthony was mentored by his boss and Axil Coffee Roasters Founder, David Makin, a two-time Australian Barista Champion. He was coached by Jack Simpson of Axil Coffee Roasters, and his coffee was roasted by, Matt Crowley.
Anthony credits the hard work of his team over the past few months who helped him prepare for the World Barista Championship, which included serving four espressos, four milk-based beverages, and four signature drinks to a panel of certified World Judges in a 15-minute routine.
“As a team, collectively, we’ve put so much effort into this campaign. I used amazing coffee and it’s a routine that’s very close to my heart. Everything lined up for us today,” Anthony says. “I felt great after my last run-through. I was confident in the routine that I put up. I came off stage knowing I had left it all on the table. There was nothing more I could have done. Regardless of the result I was proud of my performance.”
Anthony’s routine concept focused on building layers of trust with his judges and customers. He chose to focus on four key decisions that he believed had the most significant impact on the judges’ experience, and would build trust with his peers. Those decisions included the choice of coffee and processing, roast and profile, distribution methods, the milk he chose, and a new exciting technique to concentrate that milk.
The coffee Anthony used in his winning routine was an Anaerobic Natural Sidra from Huila, Colombia. It was produced by Nestor Lasso at his farm El Diviso.
“It was a coffee that really excited me. It was sweet, it was articulate, it was very unique, and exciting coffee that ticked all the boxes,” Anthony says.
Nestor fermented this coffee for 80 hours anaerobically prior to drying as a Natural resulting in intense purple and red fruit characteristics such as cherry and blackberry and an acidity and tannin quality reminiscent of red wine.
For Anthony’s milk-based drink, he explored ‘cryodesiccation’, a method of turning the liquid in milk into a vapour and concentrating the milk solids and fats by 900 per cent. He then reintroduces this powder to his original milk doubling the concentration of fats and solids.
For Anthony’s signature beverage, he paired his coffee with a Colombia honey for complex sweetness, a lacto-fermented passionfruit to elevate the fruit notes, hibiscus cold brew tea to add complexity to the red wine tannins and a ‘cryodesiccated’ date syrup to increase texture and intensity in the drink.
Shih Yuan Hsu (Sherry) of Taiwan is the winner of the World Brewers Cup
In the World Brewers Cup, Shih Yuan Hsu (Sherry) of Taiwan was also crowned the 2022 World Champion.
“I’m still feeling nervous, the reality hasn’t set in yet. But I really enjoyed the stage and had a lot of fun. I’m still in shock,” says Sherry.
Elika Liftee from United States placed runner up, and Elysia Tan from Singapore placed third in the competition. Tomas Taussig from Czech Republic placed fourth, Jhon Christhoper from Indonesia placed fifth and Simen Andersen from Norway placed sixth in the Final round.
Sherry works as a barista at Coffee Lover’s Planet in Taipei City, Taiwan, and arrived in Melbourne two weeks prior to the competition to prepare for her performance.
“I trained 12 hours per day to practice for the competition. I was also the winner of the 2019 Taiwan Brewers Cup, placing fifth overall in the 2019 World Brewers Cup, which prepared me for what to expect,” Sherry says.
“Throughout COVID-19 and the past two years, I’ve practiced honing my routine and skills to ensure I was ready to come back better than ever.”
Sherry used a natural geisha produced from Mikava Coffee in Colombia.
The end of the event in Melbourne
“I think all my practice and personality is what stood out to the judges. I just put my passion into my craft and am always looking at how I can make my coffee better,” she says.
The Finals of the World Barista and World Brewers Cup Championship concluded four days of events and activities at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo, which took place at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre from 27 to 30 September.
“It’s been an incredible four days of MICE. It’s been one big reunion and celebration of the Australian and global coffee industry, and we’re incredibly proud of the success of this year’s show after waiting three years,” says MICE Show Director Lauren Winterbottom. “We definitely came back in the best possible way. Melbourne put on an incredible show for the world, proving why this city continues to be a global coffee destination.”