Notes from Indonesia Barista Championship 2014 #IBC2014

The Trophies. | Anggara Rizki (3rd Place), M. Aga (Runner-Up), and Yoshua Tanu (Champion).

The Trophies. | Anggara Rizki (3rd Place), M. Aga (Runner-Up), and Yoshua Tanu (Champion).

Indonesia Barista Championship 2014 – #IBC2014 – was wrapped today, and here are my personal notes as one of the many Sensory Judges involved, as well as member of the organizing committee.

Best Ensemble of Grand Finalists

In other kinds of competitions, we – or, at least, i – would have at least one person in the final rounds that we wish would not win because of one or many reasons. Yet, I honestly, honestly felt that none of the six Grand Finalists of IBC 2014 should lose. I did have a favorite, and my favorite actually was not the one declared Champion. Yet, I was still ecstatic when the name Yoshua Tanu from Common Grounds Jakarta was called by Head Judge Danny Pang (from Toby’s Estate, Singapore) as the Champion. In short, the ensemble of the Grand Finalists could not be any better. They indeed represent the new level of skills, talents, creativity, and professionalism of Indonesian baristas today.

Running to Extra Mile

Yoshua Tanu painstakingly selected the beans by the size. He only used 6 mm to 7 mm long beans. Another competitor deselecting the defected beans one by one by his own hands. Most of the competitors knew exactly the story about the beans they used. Some of them roasted the green beans themselves. Some of them connect with the farmers directly, and did their research carefully. Meanwhile, another competitor creatively made a presentation tray from Lego bricks! They did it all in a very short time span. Kudos for all the great efforts!

Intan Kumalasari won Best Espresso Award | M. Aga - The Celebrity Barista

Intan Kumalasari won Best Espresso Award | M. Aga – The Celebrity Barista

Awesome Espresso

I sat as one of the four Sensory Judges to score Intan Kumalasari‘s performance. She was one of the six female baristas in the Final Round – of all total 24 Finalists. Her espresso was the best I ever tried during the whole competition. (In total, i actually judged 15 competitors.) Until the end of the day, I couldn’t forget the excellent balance of sweetness, acidity, and bitterness of that shot, and all the bright and pleasant flavours. In fact, Intan also created the most beautiful crema. I was so, so happy when Intan Kumalasari from Caswell’s Coffee Bali finally won the Best Espresso Award!

The Birth of a Celebrity Barista

I first met Muhammad Aga from Tanamera Coffee when he was still working for another cafe in a shopping mall. I was sitting as one of the three judges in the Latte Art Throwdown held by Toni Wahid‘s Cikopi.com in 1/15 Coffee. That was also my first time acting as a coffee judge. Aga won the throwdown. Later on, he moved to another coffee shop before finally found home in Tanamera Coffee. He progressed a lot especially in embodying the word “barista” and projecting it to his audience and customers. It is not hard to say that today Aga is Indonesia’s iconic barista, if not celebrity. As the Runner-Up in Indonesia Latte Art Championship 2014, and also the Runner-Up in IBC 2014, Aga actually stays as number one in the hearts of his fans. And – boy! – does he have a lot of them! His performance in IBC 2014 – from Elimination, to Final, to Grand Final rounds – always drew the most attention. He was confident, professional, and he befriended the crowds (and the cameras!) rather effortlessly now. By remembering to always stay humble and respectful to his seniors, Aga will definitely make it to the very top in future tournaments.

Tray made of Lego bricks by independent barista Izman Ramdhan. | M. Fauzan Umar creating his Signature Beverages using AeroPress.

Tray made of Lego bricks by independent barista Izman Ramdhan. | M. Fauzan Umar creating his Signature Beverages using AeroPress.

Passion, Passion, Passion!

We had foreign judges flying from Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, and other cities. Not only they were doing voluntary work, but two of them actually did more than that. The judges from Hong Kong were from Wah Shing Coffee, and they actually offered to sponsor IBC 2014 with hard cash! Meanwhile, the small committee members comprise of owners of coffee shops, consultants, and other professionals who were very occupied with their day jobs. Yet, they were all willing to do the impossible; to hold this national event with less than two months of preparation. Without getting paid. When I came up with the tagline “Where Passion Brews!” for IBC 2014, this is actually what I was talking about. With no pure passion and spirit to improve the whole industry of specialty coffee and the talents of baristas in Indonesia, this event would never happen.

Yoshua Tanu - The Champion of IBC 2014. | Anggara Rizki - 3rd Place Winner of IBC 2014.

Yoshua Tanu – The Champion of IBC 2014. | Anggara Rizki – 3rd Place Winner of IBC 2014.

Once again, congratulations for:

Yoshua Tanu from Common Grounds – Champion, and Best Cappuccino Winner of IBC 2014
Muhammad Aga from Tanamera Coffee – Runner-Up of IBC 2014
Anggara Rizki from 1/15 Coffee – 3rd Place Winner of IBC 2014
Intan Kumalasari from Caswell’s Coffee – 4th Place Winner, and Best Espresso Winner of IBC 2014
M. Fauzan Umar from Trafique Coffee – 5th Place Winner of IBC 2014
Gandhi Pramita from Caswell’s Coffee – 6th Place Winner of IBC 2014

Yoshua Tanu will represent Indonesia in World Barista Championship 2014 in Riminy, Italy, June 9-12. Let’s give him our biggest support!

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