Tips for next year
Some tips recommended for next year’s competitor is to pick coffees that are on trend to the larger market place and look for those coffees with stand out flavor profiles that will hold on to your palate to the end of a tasting.
The Compak Golden Bean North America also highlighted the difference in roast profiles across the country. We saw some very dark roast profiles come through the competition and they did not score well. I believe this was because trends are changing and the people drinking coffee in North America are starting to wake up to flavor quality and are drinking coffee because they enjoy it and it’s not just a caffeine fix. I had a discussion with one roaster about their results and they said they sent in their best selling coffee and their darkest roast but it scored low in our competition. I explained that it’s not about changing the habits of your customers straight away as this is not commercially viable but when you enter a competition you have to be on trend with what the national taste profiles are and that, I can say is medium roasted coffee for espresso and lighter roast profile for filter.
A competition like Golden Bean has been designed to bring the standard of coffee roasters skill to higher levels. We are not giving our opinion we are only stating the facts we have observed as having seen the largest collections of roasted coffee in one room and getting to cup them all with some of the world best coffee palates.
The major difference I saw in the North American market was the freshness issue. Many of the top 1% of roasters we visited was providing coffee to their customers for use one day after roasting. In Australia roasters will hold coffee back for up to five days to a week before shipping, giving coffee time to gas off and settle. Again in Australia we drink mostly milk-based coffee out of home via espresso systems, so fresh coffee will react too much with the milk in the cup bubbling through. The interesting fact is the winner of the Compak Golden Bean in Australia won with coffee roasted with aged coffee, which was held in a special storage unit (which we hopefully will be able to get more information on soon). Mark Leo who owns Uncle Joe’s coffee will be a guest at The Compak Golden Bean North America in 2016 and will hopefully let delegates in on how he has won the Australian event twice, in 2014 and 2015.
Dean and Emma Slade from Compak with 2014/15 Champions, Yili and Mark, with Compak Golden Bean founder Sean Edwards
For more Compak Golden Bean Australia wrap up and photo gallery, click here.