“Mmm, that’s damn fine coffee!” – by FBI Special Agent Cooper in the cult TV classic “Twin Peaks“.
The only time we would use that quote is when we were being served a good cup of coffee in Malaysia. The coffee culture has shown no signs of stopping and it’s exhilarating to know that there are a lot of great baristas hidden behind coffee bars ready to brew a good cup of coffee for us.
All thanks to the Malaysian Specialty Coffee Association (MSCA), a Malaysian barista will be sent to Seattle, US to compete for the title of world’s best barista at World Barista Championship (WBC). This came after the MSCA announced that Malaysia has also been recognised as a sanctioned country by the World Coffee Events (WCE) organisation. The recognition allows Malaysians to join the future activities in all WCE Championships, including the WBC.
Produced annually by WCE, the world’s premier barista competition focuses on promoting excellence in coffee and thus, winning the world’s best barista title would help to advance the barista profession. The championship helps to engage a worldwide audience through a local and regional events around the globe. Last year, Hidenori Izaki from Japan made his country proud for being the first ever Asian barista to win the WBC title.
During the official launch of the 2015 Malaysian Barista Championship (MBC) at Berjaya University College Of Hospitality, MSCA president Victor Leong said:
Good coffee comes from good baristas. It’s not an easy task to brew coffee well, and we want to elevate the status of the barista to a more professional level.
Thus, the organisation has chosen 16 Malaysian baristas to compete in the 2015 Malaysia Barista Championship (MBC) at Chin Woo Stadium. After being crowned the best Malaysian barista previously, Jason Loo of Red Bean Bag Café will also return to compete in the MBC so that he can stand a chance to compete with baristas of different nationalities at the WBC.
Check out the list below for the top 16 Malaysian baristas who are in contention to represent Malaysia at the WBC:
- Ang Bo Ling (Three Little Birds)
- Edward Choo Sieu Ming (Cafe Barbera)
- Heng Xin Min (Thirdwafe Cafe)
- Jason Loo (The Red Bean Bag Cafe)
- Jason Lum (Classic Coffee & Beverage)
- Koay Zizheng (VCR Cafe)
- Low Han Nan (Pacific Coffee Company)
- Mel Leu (Departure Lounge)
- Pua Jia Jian (Brew & Bread)
- Sam Tan (Coffee Stain)
- Nona (Artisan Roast, TTDI)
- Tang Keng Zhi (MYESPRESSO Cafe)
- Tan Yaw Tzong (Coffee Concepts Company)
- Turn Suet Ling (Akiara) (Coffee: Nowhere)
- Wong Syia Ying (Wa Cafe)
The 3-day event will feature a coffee workshop which is open to the public and a brew bar for top cafes in Malaysia to showcase their skills in brewing. The competition will be held on the second day (24th Jan) while the finals will be held the following day. The 16 baristas are expected to produce 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos, and 4 signature drinks for a panel of judges within 15 minutes. The score will be given based on taste, presentation, knowledge, and their technical barista skills.