ONA Coffee’s Head Trainer, Hugh Kelly, has taken the Australian Barista Championship title for the second consecutive year, only the second time this feat has been achieved in Australia. Hugh will travel to Korea in late 2017 to represent Australia in the World Barista Championships.

His performance focused on customer feedback and communication between producers and consumers in the coffee industry. Using coffees from Ethiopia and Panama, Hugh’s performance finished with a breathtaking signature drink, in which he created a tangerine-infused fairy floss on stage and dissolved it with an espresso mixture.

ONA Coffee is also proud to announce that our Head Roaster, Sam Corra, has won the National Brewers’ Cup title, and will be travelling to Budapest in June to represent Australia. Sam’s performance was as imaginative as it was innovative, as he invited his judges to join him on an imaginary journey to Finca Deborah in Panama, to meet a coffee producer and admire the beautiful landscape at high altitude while he prepared some incredible coffees.

Once a year, the coffee industry of Australia gathers together for the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), the largest coffee event in the country and the main event of Melbourne Coffee Week. Over three days, coffee professionals meet with industry partners, colleagues and old friends, showcasing their skills and products. MICE also hosts the national competitions for Latte Art, Brewers Cup, Tasters Cup, Barista Championship and this year, the inaugural Roasting Challenge.

The ONA Coffee crew arrived in Melbourne knowing that the competitions would be harder than ever. The quality of coffee in Australia is one of the highest in the world, and the standard of the competitors this year is a testament to this high quality.  This years’ MICE also brought a new challenge, as it was the first time ONA Coffee had exhibited at a booth at such a large-scale coffee event. With a custom-made and hand-painted exhibition space, the ONA Coffee team displayed some of its best coffees and other products for our industry friends and the public to enjoy.

We are also proud to announce that the ONA Coffee Distributor (OCD) 2.0 won the MICE 2017 Product Innovation Award, in the People’s Choice category. Chosen from a shortlist of eight innovative products, the OCD 2.0 has has a wonderful reception in the speciality coffee industry and we are honoured to have had it chosen by the attendees of MICE 2017.

We are so proud of all of our competitors and to the team who orchestrated, built and operated our first MICE exhibition space. Special mention goes to Angus Mackie, who placed 5th in the Australian Barista Championships with an inspiring performance, which incorporated his ‘de-gassing curve’ and theoretical techniques involving CO2 release and coffee storage.

ONA Coffee Assistant Roaster, Danny Wilson also gave a breathtaking performance in the National Barista Championships, climaxing in the eruption of a handmade volcano with dry ice on the judges’ table as he prepared his signature drink. His semi-finals performance is a testament to his growth as a coffee professional and we can’t wait to see what lies ahead in his future.

Project Origin Assistant, Yanina Ferrerya gave a heartwarming performance as she spoke about her journeys to origin, the discovery of a striped bourbon varietal and the mutual love of soccer and coffee with the producers of this coffee. We are so lucky to have our coffees sourced by people like Yanina; we couldn’t be prouder of her and we look forward to seeing her on the stage next year.

Head Barista of ONA Coffee’s largest cafe, ’The Cupping Room’, Yechan Isaac Kim gave an outstanding performance on the main stage, using an aroma diffuser as part of his signature drink to deliver a strawberry aroma, with notes of prune, bergamot early grey, raisin and milk chocolate finish. No stranger to competition, Isaac was also one of 16 baristas in the world, and the only Australian, invited to New York in 2016 for the Coffee Masters competition. We are so proud of you, Isaac!

To all the exhibitors and competitors at MICE 2017, and our industry friends across the country; you inspire us and push us to strive for excellence. We are so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful and talented people in the coffee industry and we look forward to seeing you again soon for a coffee.

Special thanks goes to Riverina Fresh for supplying our competitors and stand with amazing milk, and to SanRemo for allowing us to use their beautiful Cafe Racer machine.

Finally, to “the coffee man” Sasa Sestic and the ONA Coffee family; thank you for all continuous hard work and dedication. We push one another to reach new heights and perfect our craft, doing so with love, mutual respect and admiration. Together, we have shown the world that Canberra is a hub of speciality coffee!

See you in Budapest and Korea!

Written by Jordan Montgomery

For all media enquiries contact social@onacoffee.com.au