Meadow Fresh New Zealand Barista Championship 2018 Results

Event Date: 21st April, 2018

John Gordon of Gorilla Gear in Auckland has won the Meadow Fresh New Zealand Barista Championship 2018 after a four-year hiatus of previously competing and representing the UK three times at the World Barista Championship (WBC).

In the past, John Gordon has represented the UK three times as Barista Champion at the WBC. In 2010, he placed 14th and 2013 he placed tenth with a career high of sixth in the world in 2011.

Nico Refiti of Ozone Coffee Roasters in New Plymouth and NZSCA Guild Chairperson advanced to runner-up with a polished performance after four years of competing. Wellington favourite Frank Hsu of Franks placed third for the second year running with a Panama Geisha roasted by Red Rabbit.

Rounding out the finals were the following baristas who all impressed:

4th – Logan Collinge, Mojo Coffee Cartel, Wellington

5th – Grace Choi, McCafe, Rotorua

6th – Brittany Cox, Down the Road Eatery & Deli, Whangarei

New Zealand’s best baristas had presented four espressos, four milk-based beverages, and four signature drinks to the professional judges for assessment over an exciting two days at the Expressions Arts and Entertainment Centre in Upper Hutt.  The Sponsors Foyer was buzzing as all aspects of the coffee industry sampled delicious tasty coffees from an incredible array of New Zealand roasters.  Soft-brewed options were popular as was the espresso brewed on sponsors equipment by capable baristas including last years champion, Dove Chen.  Naming rights sponsor Meadow Fresh showcased the juggler which naturally created a two-tiered latte art competition!

John Gordon had roasted the coffee himself which he later described as “the most stressful thing ever.”  The Ethiopian Sidamo Guji of two experimental lots had been processed differently through the same washing station. Carbolic maceration was used after one was washed and one naturally processed.  Processing like this created flavours in the beverage courses such as kiwifruit, raspberry and lime in the espresso, custard and raspberry in the milk-based beverage and the signature creation included a nashi pear nectar.

The power generated by John’s battery pack caused the judge’s information pads to light up emphasising his “overall view of modern technology in the coffee industry which should be shared throughout to create sustainability.”

John Gordon will represent New Zealand at the World Barista Championship taking place at World of Coffee in Amsterdam from 20 to 23 June 2018. A strong contingent of New Zealand judges will also be volunteering at the world premium event.

Many thanks to the sponsors, volunteers, judges, teams, the spectators and industry who work cohesively and seamlessly, donating their time, energy and coffee to make this event a highlight in the coffee calendar.

Photo credits: Mia Gorczynski