Australia is changing global coffee culture | The Japan Times

From JapanTimes.co.jp | May 30, 2015

Sasa Sestic poses with his trophy atop bags of coffee beans at his roasting facility in Canberra last month after winning the World Barista Championship. | AFP-JIJI

CANBERRA – Australia is renowned for its love of beer. But its passion for a different type of brew — coffee — has been making global headlines.

Sasa Sestic, from the capital, Canberra, is the second coffee maker from Down Under to win the World Barista Championship in the competition’s 15th year, which drew national champions from some 50 countries.

Young, driven and keen to shake up the coffee scene, Sestic, like many of his Australian peers, is helping to shape global tastes in the brown beverage.

He wowed international judges at the annual competition in the United States in April, using wine-making techniques and a special ingredient — shiraz viognier grape juice sourced from a Canberra vineyard — to become the surprise champion.

“I started competing initially to learn, and the major reason I have been competing for the last two years is to bring a message to the coffee industry: that I can potentially improve our industry and make it better,” Sestic said about his desire to encourage innovative approaches to coffee-making.

“Those 15 minutes in Seattle in the finals were my biggest moment, the best in my coffee career. Even if I finished at No. 2, 3 or 4, I could not have done things any better.”

Postwar immigrants from Turkey, Greece and particularly Italy brought Australia the bean culture.

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Source: Australia is changing global coffee culture | The Japan Times