Hugh Kelly, the 2017 Barista Champion of Australia, has advanced to the finals of the World Barista Championships in Seoul, South Korea!

He advances to the finals with five other competitors, including the champions of the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Canada and Hong Kong. 

Hugh’s performance in the semi-finals was identical to his routine in the heats, focusing how Research and Development has allowed him to push the boundaries of coffee.

Using a Panamanian geisha coffee from Finca Deborah, produced by Jamison Savage, Hugh used different dosing and extraction techniques to achieve different flavours for the judges.

In Hugh’s milk-based course, he again used the “milk cloud” machine which he revealed in the heats on day one of the championships. Rather than heating and texturing milk through steam, the machine uses induction-like technology to heat the milk while it is spun at a high speed, removing air bubbles and creating a unique texture.

We are so proud to have an Australian in the top 6 baristas in the world and can’t wait to see him compete tomorrow. Congratulations to all of the other finalists and to the other competitors who competed in the semi-finals today; you truly are the best baristas in the world.

Thank you to those who have helped Hugh advance to this stage, including friends, family and team mates. A special thanks to Hugh’s sponsors, including Sanremo Coffee Machines, KeepCup, Heifei Hengxin Environmental Science and Tech (HXIN), Riverina Fresh, the Australian Specialty Coffee Association, Capital Prints, Breville, Cloudcatcher Roastery and Pesado.

The schedule for the finals round will be announced late this evening and we will share Hugh’s scheduled time with you as soon as we know!

See you tomorrow for finals day!