Sam Corra, Head Roaster of ONA Coffee, has placed second in the World Brewers Cup 2017 at the World of Coffee expo in Budapest! The final results are as follows:

1st place – Chad Wang  (Taiwan)
2nd place – Sam Corra (Australia)
3rd place – Stathis Koremtas  (Greece)
4th place – Michael Manhart (Austria)
5th place -Constantin Hoppenz (Germany)
6th pace – Petra Strelecka (Czech Republic)

This was Sam’s first time in an international brewing competition and his first international as a competitor; normally, he roasts and coaches other competitors for ONA Coffee and other companies.

Using a coffee developed with a new process, Sam centred his performance around the key factors involved in creating a unique coffee experience. He focused on four key factors: microclimate, processing, brewing technique and brewing water.

The microclimate of Sam’s coffee was from Cinesa, a small part of Jamison Savage’s ‘Finca Deborah’ coffee farm in Volcan, Panama. After winning the Australian Brewers Cup, Sam travelled to Panama to search for a coffee to use on the world stage. He found that the conditions in this part of the farm created a unique flavour profile, different from other parts of Finca Deborah.

The process of this coffee is something not yet seen on an international stage; a new process, named whole cherry carbonic maceration. Taking inspiration from the carbonic maceration technique introduced by Sasa Sestic in his World Barista Championship winning performance in Seattle in 2015, this process involves placing whole coffee cherries into sealed containers and pressuring them with CO2, removing the oxygen. This helps to control the rate of fermentation and increases the quality of sweetness, acidity and overall experience of the coffee.

Normally working as a roaster for ONA Coffee, many would expect that Sam would focus on the roasting of coffee in his performance. However, he took the time between winning the Australian title and Budapest to step away from the roaster, in order to experiment with various brewing methods and techniques.

His third key factor was brewing technique; Sam used a Hario V60 pourover, as he thought it best articulated the coffee he had chosen. Adding 20g of coarsely ground ‘whole cherry’ coffee, Sam broke his 300g of water into even pours, allowing the water to nearly drain through on each pour.

In his performance, Sam referenced that although a particular brew technique may help a brewer to create a great coffee, there is always more that can be done. With this in mind, Sam made a ‘custom water’ for his brewers cup performance and explained this in his fourth and final key factor: brewing water. 

Beginning with a distilled base, Sam added magnesium, calcium and potassium bicarbonate, all of which gave the coffees particular qualities and highlighted the positive aspects created through the previous three factors.

When asked after the competition how he felt, he first response was “I’m just happy to be here.” And we are happy we were able to watch you, Sam!

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