The beginning of a new year always brings with it new opportunities, new challenges and, of course, new coffee varieties. After a short summer break, we return to work invigorated and eager to discover new coffee varieties and ways to serve them. Several months into 2017, we are well and truly on the path to improving ourselves and the way we approach coffee, looking at past years, the mistakes we’ve made and our successes.

After a tumultuous and very busy couple of years, in which ONA Coffee expanded very rapidly, we now have the opportunity to stand back and take a look at ourselves; how’ve we’ve grown as a company, as a team and individually. It hasn’t been easy, but we have finally arrived at a place where we can be self-assured and confident in our knowledge and style, and successfully transmit that to our partners.

After winning the World Barista Championship in 2015, ONA Coffee Director, Sasa Sestic, found himself flying all over the world fulfilling his commitments as World Barista Champion, with little opportunity to pause, but still found time to travel as Project Origin Director to source the best quality green beans and strengthen relationships with stakeholders in the coffee industry around the world.

As World Barista Champion, Sasa was able to showcase ONA Coffee on the world stage. This proved an invaluable opportunity that has taken the company to new places and in many ways, but, more importantly, pushed our team to strive for excellence and nothing less.

This push to excel manifests in a special way in the public arena: competitions. The most testing time of the year for anyone in the specialty coffee industry is, of course, competition season. Over months, baristas, brewers, trainers, roasters and graders train for hours on end, preparing for state, regional and national competitions.

A new generation of coffee stars and professionals is on the rise. Last year, under Sasa’s watchful eye, ONA Coffee’s Head Trainer, Hugh Kelly, take 1st place in the Australian Coffee Championships. This took Hugh to Dublin to represent Australia and subsequently placed 8th in the World Barista Championships.

This year, there are more competitors from ONA Coffee entered into the Australian National Barista Championship than ever before. Hugh Kelly returns to defend his national title and is joined by colleagues, Danny Wilson, Yanina Ferreyra, Angus Mackie, Isaac Kim and Sam Corra, who will compete in the National Brewers’ Cup.

So, as we head to the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), which is the largest event showcased during Melbourne International Coffee Week, we look forward to meeting and sharing exciting coffee with our industry friends and with customers alike.

The ONA Coffee stand will be located at Roasters’ Alley, in the heart of the Grand Pavilion at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

In closing, we would like to take this opportunity to welcome our newest team member, Gian Piero de Thomasis, who has taken the reigns as Sales Manager looking after and growing our customer base in Victoria. Gian Piero brings with him more than 8 years of experience in the specialty coffee industry having worked as a coffee importer, Account Manager and barista.

A connoisseur of fine wine and coffee alike, Gian Piero shares our passion for high quality, interesting coffee. He is a keen mountain bike rider, swimmer and has a love for motorbikes. It is a pleasure to have Gian Piero working as part of our team and we look forward to seeing him settle into the ONA Coffee culture and developing strong relationships with our Victorian customers.

For more information on ONA Coffee in Victoria, email gianpiero@onacoffee.com.au

See you at MICE!