Tagged "Malaysia"


5 Reasons to Compete in a Barista Competition

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

With the Singapore National Championships just around the corner and our sponsorship of the Malaysian Brewers Cup last month, we thought it is the perfect time to reflect on why baristas, and enthusiasts, step up to compete in barista competitions.

Good luck to everyone competing next week especially Chin Woon Chan, Joshua Liew, Marissa Low, Nijo Neo and Lucky Salvador representing CMCR!

Lucky Salvador Competing in the Singapore Brewers Cup 2016

Lucky Salvador (our very own head trainer) competing in the Singapore Brewers Cup 2016.

This neat article from Patrik Karlsson and the folk at Perfect Daily Grind outlines some great perspectives on why you should take to the stage. Yes, it can be daunting, but there are many benefits to be had — none of which require you to take out 1st place. Check out the Singapore Coffee Association for the latest round up of championship and remember, whatever the outcome, the competitions are a bunch of fun with many opportunities to learn, meet other coffee obsessives and fuel up the inspiration tank!

5 Reasons to Compete in a Barista Competition

Four years ago, I knew nothing about coffee. Three years and eleven months ago, I took part in my first Barista Championship.

It all began with a barista in Four Barrel on Valencia Street, San Francisco. It was a sunny, chilly winter morning and, once again that week, I was queuing up to order a coffee. When I reached the counter, the barista mistook me for a fellow barista and asked, “Are you going to compete?”

Of course, I had no idea what he was talking about — but when he realised that, the barista was keen to tell me all about it, including the fact that amateurs could compete.

Soon afterwards, I got in touch with Matts W. Johnson, owner and founder of da Matteo in Gothenburg and, coincidentally, someone I had already been working with. All of a sudden, I found myself borrowing da Matteo’s lab early in the mornings before going to the office and late in the evenings after work. A Linnea classic, a Mazzer Robur, the Vallgatan espresso blend, and myself spent a lot of sweaty hours together. I went through all the mistakes you usually go through, like not knowing how the grinder worked, pressing the wrong buttons on the espresso machine, and sending milk all over the place. And then I competed.

Was I foolish? No. Naive? Maybe. Was it the right decision? Absolutely. And you should do it too.

Here’s why:

5 Reasons to Compete

  1. An Opportunity to Learn: Your coffee-making skills are going to be evaluated by several experts, who will give you structured feedback — how could you not learn?
  2. Branding, Branding, Branding: Even if you don’t have a brand yet, this will be the perfect opportunity to begin developing one.
  3. Networking: It’s a chance to gain an invaluable network of ambitious professionals.
  4. The Challenge: You will push yourself past the basics and challenge yourself to improve.
  5. Innovation: The constant striving to improve will see you create new concepts, new recipes, and maybe even new methods.

Does Winning Matter?

You’ll notice that not one of our five points mentioned winning, and that was for a reason. It may be a competition, but winning shouldn’t be the only goal — or even the most important one.

As with most people, I fail a lot more than I win, but that’s okay. For me, it’s been a way to benchmark myself with the industry leaders, network, and show the more experienced people in the industry that I have ambition and ideas. Competitions are about surrounding yourself with people whose grand ambitions and depth of knowledge will help you develop (just as much as all that practising does).

Of course, that’s not to say winning isn’t good — especially for businesses. There is, of course, something to be said for those organisations with competing individuals on their teams. St Ali & Sensory labDrop Coffee and Intelligentsia are all great examples of companies that have benefited a lot, not only from competing, but from having consistently placed really well over the years. This leads them to not only attract customers, but also the best baristas.

Then there are the winners of World Barista Championships who have, over the years, gone on to found some of the leading and most important companies in the industry. Take Tim Wendelboe and Coffee Collective. Competitions can be a start of something truly relevant and rewarding; they can also be a great way to build and strengthen a brand.

Yet even for the amateurs, without a brand or expertise, competitions are one of those things where you have very little to lose but everything to win. And who knows where it may take you?

Written by Patrik Rolf Karlsson, Head of Roastery at Five Elephant, Berlin and edited by T. Newton

This article was originally published on the Perfect Daily Grind website: Patrik Karlsson: 5 Reasons to Compete in a Barista Competition

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Not Just For Thursdvys - Cafe Culture in Kuala Lumpur

Posted by Stella Cochrane on

In current years, cafes have emerged rapidly like mushrooms. This (metaphorically) fungal phenomenon appears far and wide across the map with individual concepts sometimes too abstract for the happy populace of Kuala Lumpur to conceive. A picturesque façade is empty without soul. Thursdvys is your neighborhood coffee house that makes a reality of the closeted groove you never knew you had, with an ambience built on a foundation of cool vibes, bona fide coffee and great food.

Located on a row of shops in Lorong Datuk Sulaiman (off the main Jalan Datuk Sulaiman), these guys catch the eye with their unconventional sloping sign and minimal yet tasteful use of brilliant orange. Fortunately, there are far more captivating elements inside this café that truly makes it special.

Every piece of media, furniture, ware, even behind the bar tools all evoke distinguishable feel and meaning that encapsulates the character that makes Thursdvys what it is. They surely have made a house a home, within the context of a café. From handmade tools to every plant being given an identity, the Thursdvys family is sure to add colour to any everyday object and give it reason.

The overall structure of the café with its peculiar angular walls is designed to emulate an apartment that owner Hadri spent an impressionable time of his youth in while living as a student in Melbourne. With that influence, Hadri translates to the small township of Taman Tun Dr Ismail what he loved most during his time abroad, all the way down to the plate. Hadri and the team are advocates of local artists, crafts, and independent businesses. You will always find something new featured in their café.

You can find varieties of breakfast, lunch, and dinner items from classic egg dishes to succulent pasta. Not to forget the homemade baked cakes and confectionary delights. These guys rock CMCR coffees through a beautiful set up, often offered in 2 options, a blend and single origin (rotating periodically). They also serve delicious manual brew on their manually crafted set, where they overlook the happy faces that come and go.

Recommendations:

The pulled beef sandwich with mustard dressing and sweet potato chips is one not to be missed.

Thursdvys
22 Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 1 TTDI Sixty Thousand, Kuala Lumpur

Opening Hours:
Sun-Weds: 8am - 11pm
Fri-Sat: 8am - 12am

T: +60 3-7733 6722
E: thursdvys@gmail.com
Instagram: @thursdvys
Facebook: Thursdvys

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This year's BOBC augurs a bright future for Malaysian Specialty Coffee

Posted by Matthew Patrick McLauchlan on

BOBC2015Matt from CMCR with Mel and Yong

Since the inaugural event in 2010, the Battle of Barista Championship (BOBC), created by Lighthouse Coffee, has been a key milestone in the landscape of Malaysian coffee competition.

Set amongst the beautiful beaches and colonial buildings of Penang, the BOBC allows competitors to gain invaluable experience in the lead up to the Malaysian Barista Championship (MBC), which is usually held towards the beginning of the year, whilst also providing an irresistible excuse to visit such a beautiful part of the world.

Penang’s specialty coffee scene is moving fast; taking a short stroll down one of the bustling, narrow streets of Georgetown, it’s easy to see how much potential the city has to become a regional destination for quality coffee, with such amazing architecture paired with a tropical climate and a never-ending supply of holiday makers and day-trippers. Already established are a number of coffee vendors like Constant Gardener Coffee and Spacebar Coffee, who are pushing their competitors and the market to keep pace with the other coffee hotspots in Malaysia, like Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Johor Bahru.

Regional competitions like the BOBC aim to bring specialty coffee out of Kuala Lumpur, the nation’s capital, to promote and cultivate collaboration between coffee professionals and the greater development of the industry in Malaysia – as well as some healthy competition. This year’s BOBC consisted of three separate competitions; the Battle of Barista event, based on the World Barista Championship rules; a Cup Tasters Championship; and, the newest event, the Team Latte Art Challenge, modeled on the World Richest Barista competition held earlier this year in Brisbane, Australia.

Out of the 20 participants competing in the BOBC, Common Man Coffee Roasters was fortunate enough to have two fantastic baristas using CMCR beans, with first-timer Yong from Departure Lounge, using the Tiga Raja single origin to highlight to substantial progress that Sumatran coffee production has made towards producing quality, specialty grade coffee. While Mel from Wanderlust, used the exceptional Lima Putri natural, also from the Tiga Raja mill, showcasing this fantastic example of the future of North Sumatran coffee production.

The first day of the competition had all 20 competitors in the action, with many a nervous tamp scrutinized by the three hovering technical judges and some creative signature beverages served up to the four sensory judges sitting in front of each participant. At the end of the first day, the competition was cut to just five remaining baristas, with Mel and Yong both making it through to the final round. As a competitor, the second day is all about how you handle pressure. The winner being the barista that makes the least number of mistakes while keeping their cool during the vital calibrating phase before the routine and during the execution of each round of beverages.

When the dust settled, Common Man Coffee Roasters had the pleasure of supplying a 3rd and 5th place finish, with Mel finishing amongst the medals, and Yong starting his competitive career off with a strong finish in the finalist group. Both Mel and Yong did CMCR and Tiga Raja Mill proud, heralding the new era in Sumatran coffee and introducing Malaysia to the notion that amazing coffee is now just next-door.

The Battle of Barista Championship in Penang, the café scene in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya, and the quality of baristas coming from Johor Bahru are all clear indications that the Malaysian Specialty Coffee Industry is in good health and has some exciting years of growth and development ahead of it.

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