Winning the Australian Brewers Cup is a great result for Toby’s Estate, as it confirms that we are able to source and roast coffee up to the highest standards of what coffee competitions can expect globally.
We carry that same approach and vision for all the coffees you can experience from our Roastery. It’s a great validation for us in the coffee team, to be able to showcase nationally and internationally what we do everyday.
Leading up to the point of competition, my role was to solely provide evaluations about the taste of the coffee. Which led me to give feedbacks on the roasting, the brewing and the numerous variables required to achieve the best cup profile for the Australian Brewer’s cup.
When workshopping with Carlos and Simon we would dial in different batches of coffee and different variables. We tried different roast profiles, roast dates, opening and grinding times. Then explore all of these through different brewing approaches, temperatures, grind sizes, types of paper, pouring styles, vessels and water compositions.
All of this tasting allowed us to have a very deep understanding of the potential and limits of that coffee, and how we could stretch it. After taking detailed notes of all the results observed, we made a clear plan so we knew how we would proceed arriving in Melbourne for the final part of the competition.
Arriving in Melbourne, it was important to have a methodical and strategic approach on how to dial the coffee in on the day, and to eliminate options in a deliberate and confident manner, to achieve the result we expected. With a team of five of us, we did all the brewing and tasting blindly to make sure we would all be absolutely objective when selecting an option. Once we came down to our final choice, the last step was to establish the descriptions of the cup profile and building the whole drinking experience for the judges.
Having explored countless alternatives, we knew we had established the best option. This was vital in order to give 100% confidence to Carlos for him to be himself on stage and deliver his beautiful message. From my experience, it is all the work you do backstage, the attention to detail, and the in depth preparation that brings a great result. You need to remove all doubts, hesitation or thought in order to be able to focus on brewing the best coffee on stage and sharing your energy and emotions with the judges, and Carlos was amazing at delivering all this on the day.
Coffee Competition acts as a catalyst for pushing yourself, forcing you to constantly learn and become better in your knowledge, skills and ways of communicating around coffee. Whether competing in the World Barista Championship, or acting in my role as Green Coffee Buyer for Toby’s Estate, this sense of growth, understanding and betterment of myself (and the industry) has always been the most important part about coffee for me and I carry that same ethos in whatever I do.
Whilst competing in the WBC, I was able to taste incredible coffees every day, learning the story behind that cup and building meaningful relationships with those producers. Whether buying or competing the objective has always been the same; to positively impact coffee producers and elevating the impact of their work, unlocking the potential of every coffee and finding their best application. The WBC platform was fantastic for sharing all of these views and now as a buyer I get to make the same impact on a much larger scale impacting thousands of customers, and producers.