Yama King of Kingswood Coffee in Sydney is the 2017 Australian Cup Tasters Championship.
Yama showed that accuracy and speed are key elements to winning the fast-pace competition, scoring 8/8 coffees correctly in a time of one minute and 41 seconds. The final round of the Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) Cup Tasters Championship took place on 1 April at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE).
The cuppers aim to discriminate between the different coffees. Three cups are placed in a triangle, with two cups identical and one cup a different coffee. Using skills of smell, taste, attention and experience, the cupper must identify the odd cup in the triangle as quickly as they can. A total of eight triangles are placed in each round. The cupper with the most correct answers and the fastest time ultimately wins.
Runner up Tom Bomford of Square One Coffee Roasters scored 8/8 in one minute and 53 seconds, and two-time Cup Tasters National Champion Hyunsuk “Harry” Ko of Dukes Coffee Roasters placed third with a score of 7/8 and a time of one minute and 11 seconds. Harry won the National Cup Tasters title in 2015 and 2016, and now hands the reigns over to Sydney-based Yama.
This was Yama’s first time competing in the national Cup Tasters championship. He won the Central Region Cup Tasters competition in 2016 before putting his palate through three months of intense training in preparation for the event.
In addition, he worked at MICE2017 as a Barista Championship Sensory Judge.
“Competing is really hard, but it was a great experience and I think my work as a green bean buyer and roaster really helped me today,” Yama said. “I’m looking forward to training hard and putting my skills to the test at the Worlds (World Cup Tasters Championship).”
Yama will represent Australia in the World Cup Tasters Championship, taking place from 13 – 15 June 2017 in Budapest.
Originally posted at BeanScene Magazine