Cafes, Restaurants and Dining in Perth, Western Australia.

Is Canberra the new Coffee Capital?

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 9.24.09 AMTraditionally, when you think of somewhere in Australia renowned for its coffee, it’s Melbourne which springs to mind. However the latest results from the Australian International Coffee Awards (AICA) tell a different story. In fact, out of the six Champion trophies awarded at the fifth annual AICA presentation gala, there were no Champion winners from Melbourne at all.

Bean!Roasters by Cosmorex in Canberra was awarded the title of AICA Champion Australian Roaster for the second year running, placing the Australian Capital Territory in the spotlight for outstanding coffee production.

Bean!Roasters by Cosmorex not only took out the most prestigious roasting award of the night, but also won Champion Espresso for its Panama Red Bourbon (the judges praised this coffee for its “aromatic appeal and sweet apple and apricot juicy flavours”), in addition to a total of 21 medals awarded to Bean!Roasters across its range of products.

“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,” says Bean!Roasters General Manager Peter Bragg.

Peter agrees Canberra’s roasting scene is thriving, with Ona Coffee and its entourage of champion baristas also helping the city become known as a coffee destination and not just a Parliamentary hub.

Queensland was the next best performing state with three Champion trophies. This year, the AICA awarded a total of 247 AICA medals, including nine gold, 70 silver and 168 bronze. Queensland’s Bellissimo Coffee owns three of those gold medals, taking out the trifecta of Champion Cold Brew, Champion Direct Trade for the second year running for its Chno Panama, and 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,” says Bellissimo Director Mark Bignell.

The AICA received almost 300 milk-based coffee entries this year. AICA Head Judge and certified World Barista Championship Sensory Judge Melissa Caia, says this is a strong indication of consumer preferences among the Australian marketplace.

“Nighty-five per cent of Australian consumers drink milk-based coffee. It’s our staple. It’s how the majority of café businesses are making their profit, and it’s what consumers want,” she says. “These awards are a great annual assessment of consumer trends, and it’s cemented in the fact that the milk-based category remains dominant.”

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