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Queenslander roasts the opposition at largest coffee roasting competition in the southern hemisphere – the CSR Sugar Golden Bean Roaster Competition

Esh Ediriweera (Sugar Australia’s National Marketing Manager), Golden Bean Winner Anne Cooper, and Phil Di Bella from Di Bella coffee

Queensland master roaster Anne Cooper from Di Bella Coffee took out the top award at the CSR Sugar Golden Bean Roaster Competition held on the weekend in Port Macquarie (NSW), roasting the opposition comprising over 700 entries from some 330 Australian coffee roasters in what is one of the biggest coffee roasting competitions in the world.

This is the fourth year of the competition and Sugar Australia has been a key sponsor of the event from day one. The CSR Sugar brand ensures that the event is well supported and will continue to grow by attracting the crema of the coffee crop.

“It’s been extraordinary to witness the level of skill and passion of these coffee roasters. It’s an incredibly exciting industry and these roasters are at the forefront of pushing the boundaries with bean selection and blending and in turn progressing the palates of consumers,” said Esh Ediriweera, Sugar Australia’s National Marketing Manager.

The competition puts the spotlight on coffee roasters, an integral part of the 8.5 billion dollar coffee industry in Australia. The winners spend months in preparation, researching and sourcing quality beans from all corners of the globe, with innumerable hours spent blending, roasting, and tasting to fine-tune the perfect cup, to submit an original blend. The winners receive gold, silver and bronze medals across seven categories* with the overall winners of the CSR Sugar Golden Bean Roaster Competition derived from the highest score between the milk-based and espresso categories. Coffees are taste-tested over the day-long competition period. Judging this year was overseen by Justin Metcalf, Head Judge for the World Barista Championships and Head Roaster for Daily Roast Coffee in Melbourne. He was joined on the judging panel by other champion baristas (such as Tim Adams – 2009 Australian Champion and David Makin – 2007 Australian Champion) as well as coffee roasters, international green bean brokers and coffee growers.

Anne Cooper was ecstatic about her win. “This is a phenomenal competition. The team at Di Bella uses the competition as a part of our research and development. It demands that we be creative. We go off and find coffee we want to use and create some great blends. Importantly, it is judged by our peers, some of the best and most discerning palates you could hope for. It’s a real chance for us to show off what we’ve got!” noted Anne.

It tops off a great year for Di Bella Coffee. Passionate company principle Phillip Di Bella was on hand to give an inspirational speech to the caffeine-primed audience, and share some of his learnings as head of one of the fastest growing coffee businesses in the country and winner of the BRW Young Businesses People’s Award.

The support of Sugar Australia ensures that a robust programme of keynote speakers and seminars can be conducted, critical to the advancement of the industry. The conference was a major part of the weekend’s activities, and featured educational seminars exploring current industry thinking on marketing insights, green bean procurement and roaster maintenance. The keynote speaker was the passionate Geoff Watts from Intelligentsia, a third wave coffee business based in the US. Geoff took the keen audience through his journey of the new third wave coffee movement looking at the ethical trends within the coffee industry and how roasters can best support the third world coffee growing nations.

KISS Marketing, the event organiser, is looking forward to an even bigger event in 2010.

* CSR Sugar Golden Bean Roaster Competition Category Winners

Overall Golden Bean:

Anne Cooper, Di Bella Coffee (QLD) – Gold

Vladamir Kazionov/Kailah, Coffee Secret (QLD) – Silver

Bernie Scotford, Arabica Coffee (QLD) – Bronze

Gold Medal Winners:

Category 1: Espresso  – Jack Hanna, Jack And The Bean (NSW)

Category 2: Milk Based – Anne Cooper, Di Bella Coffee (QLD)

Category 3: Australian – Elizabeth Lajos/Bernie Scotford, Prestige Organic Coffee (QLD)

Category 4: Filter – Dan Ainslie, Fiori Coffee (WA)

Category 5: Organic – Susan Castle, Bean Alliance (VIC)

Category 6: Retail – Richard St John, North Coast Coffee Roasters (NSW)

Category 7: Café Chain – Scott Lindsay, Coffee Roasters – Veneziano (VIC)

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