The announcement came late afternoon in Boston, USA from the World Coffee Events barista championship stage at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Speaking shortly before the announcements, Matt said that he was happy to advance to the next stage and proud to represent Australia.

“It’s so amazing to be here with some of the most talented baristas in world,” he said.

“The calibre of competition is so high, everyone is really friendly and there’s just a great atmosphere.”

Matt’s performance in the first round focused on connecting consumers to specialty coffee and he used each course to take the judges from the consumer level to the ‘specialty bubble’ coffee professionals live in.

For his milk course, he used a Honduran coffee with notes of cacao and dark chocolate to give an example of easily identifiable flavours most consumers enjoy in milk coffees.

In his signature course, Matt’s beverage was divided into two parts; a small sip of espresso mixed with blackened chestnuts and roasted coconut water, which expressed the ‘dark side’ of the Honduran coffee he used.

Matt then asked the judges to add the remainder of this drink to a wine glass with espresso ice. This second part of the signature drink expressed the ‘light side’ of his coffee, with citrus notes and silky mouthfeel.

For his final course, Matt used his espresso to express what he loved about specialty coffee. He also used a model of the Santa Barbara mountain range in Honduras to show the judges how higher elevation resulted in complex qualities in his espressos.

Joining Matt in the semi-finals are the barista champions of Brazil (wild card), Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, Austria, South Korea, the Philippines, Switzerland, Mexico, Sweden, Germany, Greece, Russia, Costa Rica and Canada.

We look forward to another day of exciting competition tomorrow and wish Matt all the best for his next performance on the world stage!