Getting up close and personal with different parts of the specialty coffee industry in the Asia region is always an enjoyable, enlightening experience. This, our third year participating at Café Malaysia in Matrade Convention Centre, KL, was no exception, with plenty of new toys, intense competition and great brewing to keep us occupied.
Whilst this time we didn’t have a booth as exhibitors, we channeled our coffee energy towards meeting other amazing people of industry. The coffee community in Malaysia showcases a distinct vision for unconditional quality and execution in green sourcing, roasting, and brewing. Needless to say, there was spectacular coffee to drink.
We took the opportunity to observe the national coffee competitions. We had a couple of our in-house celebrities compete, Larry Lam (Head Barista, CMCR KL) for the Malaysia Barista Championship (MBC) and Jeffrey Tan (Head Barista, 40Hands KL) in the Latte Art Championship (MLAC). Naturally we wanted to show all our support! Many seasoned and talented competitors were bringing great performances to the stage for each category, considering Malaysia has ranked 7th in the World Barista Championship 2017 and 10th in World Latte Art Championship, you can have a feel of the immense standard of competition on a national level.
A big congratulation to all the baristas in their respective categories that displayed excellent showmanship and skill on stage. We wish you the best of luck on the world stage!
Keith Koay – Malaysian Barista Champion
Irvine Kuek – Malaysian Latte Art Champion
Regine Wai – Malaysian Brewers Cup Champion (one of our AeroPress judges last year!)
Our Common Competitors
We’re feeling super proud of our guys and their efforts, Jeffrey ranked in the Top 6 for MLAC and Larry ranked as a semi-finalist in MBC. Competing provides different perspectives to approaching coffee and how we apply it in cafes. Here’s what they both brought to their respective categories:
If you’re in CMCR KL (or the near future 40 Hands KL), be sure to ask Jeffrey if you’re keen to see his pours in action or Larry for his coffee while it’s still on hand! He’ll be low-key serving this coffee off-menu at the CMCR KL outlet, so be sure to come by, ask, and try!
On the last day of the show, Josh and I had a takeover session on the latest Leva espresso machine at the La Marzocco, True Artisan Café booth. Not just a good-looking machine, it was also the 30th unit out of a total 90 units around the world. With that said, we wanted to share some espresso loving with one of our newest limited release Kenyans, Wamuguma AB. New coffee on a new machine seemed appropriate.
The Leva is an eclectic mix of old and new, the feel of a lever will be nostalgic to the experienced baristas and takes some time to become fluent. You’re allowed to choose the amount of brew water for your espresso and adjust a pre infusion. Once all the water has been dispensed, the shot will automatically stop and a “pressure profile guide” is reflected on a screen for you to save and follow in future espressos.
That was our Café Malaysia in a nutshell, a great start to the year!