Bean!Roasters by Cosmorex in Canberra has taken out the title of Champion Australian Roaster for the second year running in the 2017 Australian International Coffee Awards (AICA), putting the Australian Capital Territory in the spotlight for outstanding coffee production.
Six trophies were awarded at the fifth annual AICA presentation gala at Melbourne’s Meat Market on 29 March, with winners from Queensland, ACT and New South Wales.
Bean!Roasters by Cosmorex also won Champion Espresso for its Panama Red Bourbon, a unique, fruity blend with specific notes of red apple or strawberry with a brown sugar sweetness.
“Last year we were very humbled to win the Champion Australian Roaster award, but to do it twice in a row against record entries is extremely humbling. We only stand here today because of the exceptional standard of this industry. There are so many competitors out there, which means our young team has to work harder and harder at what we do. I help manage and evolve the business, but it’s all thanks to Anne and Attilio [Sciannimanica] who have allowed me to do that. This honour is a massive attribution to them and the dedication and passion of our incredible team,” said Bean!Roasters General Manager Peter Bragg.
“We came to mice three year ago and didn’t win one single award. No way in the world did we think we’d ever be standing in this position now. We, as a team, and a country of roasters, are now part of an extraordinary industry and it’s on the verge of exploding.”
Director Attilio Sciannimanica’s father started the family business started in the 1950s. Cosmorex’s techniques and practices have since developed over the years and resulted in multi-award-winning blends.
Queensland’s Bellissimo Coffee was also named Champion Cold Brew Coffee and Champion Direct Trade Coffee for the second year running for its Chno Panama, brewed by hand from high quality Panama Giesha coffee sourced directly from farmers at Los Cantares Estate.
Adding to its already impressive collection, Bellissimo Coffee finished the evening by winning Champion Milk Based Coffee for its Mocha Java.
“There’s no secret recipe to what we do, in many ways we’re still very novice at this. We just continue to do what we do best with optimism. There are so many amazing roasters in our industry, if you stay still it can be dangerous. We have to continue evolving and developing,” said Bellissimo Director Mark Bignell. “I put our success down to our passionate team. They have a pursuit to be the best and they enjoy what they do. We share that joy with our customers.”
Champion Filter Coffee was awarded to Aroma Coffee Roasters in New South Wales for its Destinations Panama.
Conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), the AICA is the first and only international coffee roasting competition in Australia. This year, the awards received a record 820 entries from 186 local and international coffee roasters, including coffees from New Zealand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Greece, the United States and United Kingdom.
“The AICA provides exhibitors with the opportunity to benchmark products against industry standards, receive feedback from independent industry experts, market their beans with a seal of quality and promote their coffee through our Winning Tastes brand,” said RASV CEO Mark O’Sullivan. “The record-breaking number of entries into the 2017 AICA is a testament to the importance of the competition to the coffee roasting industry both in Australia and internationally.”
Over the three days of judging at the Melbourne Showgrounds from 8 to 10 March, a total of 247 medals were awarded including nine gold, 70 silver and 168 bronze.
A panel of industry experts led by Head Judge Melissa Caia assessed the record entries while Head Barista Adam Metelmann ensured each of the 820 coffees making their way to the judges was prepared as precise as the last.
“The sheer number of entries, the calibre of coffees, and the large increase of international awards is a huge testament to our industry, and these awards acknowledge those talents,” said Melissa Caia.
Unfortunately, no Champion Award was presented in the Soy or International Champion categories, with coffees failing to reach the required high grades. As emcee Ross Quail pointed out, "quality is the reason we’re here, and it’s a timely reminder why our winners, are winners – for the pure fact they represent the best and nothing less".
The awards were presented as a partner event of Melbourne International Coffee Expo, with sponsors Espresso Mechanics, Riverina Fresh and Mr Black Spirits.
For more information about the Champion Trophy winners visit www.winningtastes.com.au.