Local baristas showcase talents at coffee-brewing championship in Kuching

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Tan (right) and Ching in action during the Sarawak Brew Championship 2023 at the Borneo Cultures Museum Restaurant.

KUCHING (Nov 29): Sixteen baristas showcased their talents at the Sarawak Brewer Cup Throwdown on Monday.

Emerging victorious was Tan Hong Kee, followed by Jethro Ching Nen and Aaron Chen Hung Lian in second and third place, respectively.

The championship, held at the Borneo Cultures Museum Restaurant, was run by the Malaysia Specialty Coffee Association (MSCA) and the support from Uchimono Kuching and Coffex Coffee Roaster, as well as the museum’s restaurant as venue sponsor, as an initiative to nurture coffee culture and foster excellence in the craft.

Uchimono Founder and MSCA Coop Exco member Georgina Lim, who oversees the Sarawak chapter, highlighted the event’s significance in elevating Sarawak Barista Standards and providing a competitive platform for aspiring coffee professionals.

Lim, who is also an MSCA National Judge, called in several coffee brewers to compete and learn from each other.

According to her, the aim of this initiative is to produce baristas that are technically skilled in both the craft of coffee brewing as well as their technical skill

“It’s great to see that the coffee industry in Sarawak is making strides on the national stage.

“All the brewers here at the throwdown are baristas from various cafes in Sarawak”, she said

The 2023 Malaysia Brewer Cup Champion Liew Kar Weng, attended the event as a judge, where he shared with the participants his expertise, including valuable insights on bean selection.

Aside from that, the event included a cupping session of different origin of beans for learning purposes.

Cupping is a coffee tasting technique that is used to evaluate the quality of coffee samples.

Lim, who is also an experienced judge in this area, highlighted the importance of adhering to international standards in the coffee industry.

This ensures that Sarawak’s baristas can compete in national championships and eventually lead to the World Barista Championship if they achieve the necessary qualifications, she said.

In regards to Malaysia’s achievement in the coffee industry, Malaysia won the World Latte Art Championship and was the first runner up in the World Brewer Championship in 2018.

Lim expressed hope to organise and run similar events in the future in Kuching as a way for Sarawakians to access their educational platform and receive support.

“In addition to being an educational platform, this initiative also aims to benefit the community by promoting the coffee industry in Sarawak.

“We are also providing opportunities for local baristas to showcase their skills on a national and global stage,” she added.

Lim (front, fifth left) and Liew, on her left, join the participants in a group photo.