[A]ustralia’s annual quest to find the country’s best coffee was held over the weekend with multitudes of caffeine, an abundance of good times, and some serious slurping. The twelfth annual Golden Bean Australia/New Zealand competition was held November 21–24 in New South Wales. Hundreds of roasters across the region submitted their beans for review in hopes of winning a category medal, or being named an overall champion of the conference.
During the three-day judging round, samples of the coffee are prepared and served to attendees of the conference, then scored based on sweetness, acidity, body, and overall balance. Head judges then come around to ensure fair scoring and provide their own assessment. During breaks between tastings, attendees were able to watch informative seminars given by industry experts including: CEO of Barista Technology, Brett Bolwell, who gave a talk on workflow improvements for profitability; green bean importer Carlos Arcila of Cofinet, who talked about alternative fermentation processes from Colombia and the impact of low prices at origin; UTZ and Rainforest Alliance Market Development Manager for Australia/New Zealand Melanie Mokken, who gave a talk about sustainability and the value of sustainable certification; and coffee entrepreneur Phil Di Bella, who spoke on the art of communication between origin and roaster.
On the last day of the conference, Golden Bean threw a medieval-themed awards party and announced the winners of each of the 10 categories as well as overall conference champions. The Overall Small Franchise/Chain Champion title was given to Ona Coffee Roasters, the Overall Large Franchise/Chain Champion trophy was awarded to Nine Bars, and Victoria-based Coffee Snobs took home the award for Overall Golden Bean Champion. Di Bella Coffees also managed to take home 23 Golden Bean titles in six categories. During the ceremony, Scott Bennett of Bennetts Coffee was also recognized for his excellence and dedication to the coffee industry and was awarded the 2018 Golden Bean Hall of Fame trophy. Below is the full list of gold medal winners. Click here to see the complete list of winners from this year’s 2018 Golden Bean Australia/New Zealand.
- Espresso – Belissimi Coffee, QLD, Panama Esmeralda
- Milk Based – Ona Coffee, ACT, ‘CM Selections’ Unico
- Pour Over Filter – Jibbilittle Roasting Co., NSW, Village 8
- Organic (Espresso) – Paradox Coffee Roasters, QLD, Purple Rain
- Single Origin (Espresso)– Beck and Call Coffee, WA,
Ethiopia Wolichu Wachu
- Decaffeinated (Milk Based) – Rush Roasting Co, NSW, Rush Decaf
- Australian/New Zealand Grown (Milk Based) – Nats Coffee, NSW, BOP Carbonic Maseration
- Chain Store/Franchise (Espresso) – White Mojo, VIC, Cosima
- Chain Store/Franchise (Milk Based) – Nine Bars, WA, Aroma Café
- Small Chain Store /Franchise (Filter) – Ona Coffee, ACT, Black Betty
- Large Chain Store /Franchise (Filter) – Black Bag Roasters, VIC, Lazzio Medium Roast
- Home Roaster – Tilly Edwards