MELBOURNE, Australia – Melbourne, which prides itself on being the coffee capital of Australia, is playing host this weekend to the International Coffee Awards, where the title of ‘Best Coffee Roaster in the World’ will be announced.
Over 800 types of coffee from nine countries around the globe will be tried and tested, many of which are homegrown brews, in a chance for suppliers to showcase their talents.
Of those, 300 are milk-based entries, 200 espresso entries, and the rest include entries for filter coffee, pour over, soy milk and immersion.
Judges will be kept on their toes, with up to 40 members of the Australian coffee industry blind taste-testing 30 coffee samples each day, assessing flavour, body, taste and quality.
Scores will be given out of six points, with head judge Melissa Caia explaining that judges were encouraged to sip away at samples to avoid consuming too much caffeine.
“They taste coffees daily in their workplaces so they’re used to it, but we are pushing them a fair bit this week,” she told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Friday.
The judges nibble on green apples and dry biscuits, as well as sip water, between tastes.
Their palates will take a journey between different aromas and flavoured notes, with each roast specifically grounded, extracted and measured to fine margins.
Australia’s coffee industry is one that has seen large growth in recent years, with cafes seemingly spotted on every street corner in all major cities.
And while the cost of a brew is always a talking point, barista Adam Metelmann said he was confident that as a market leader, Australia was leading the way in quality.
“Certainly, when you say coffee, there’s no doubt the rest of the world watches,” he told the ABC.
“The techniques and mantra around the industry are ground-breaking and the consumer is now very educated and accepting of the different stuff we want to throw at them.”