Anna's journey into the specialty coffee industry began in 2019. Fuelled by her unwavering drive and passion to explore and excel in coffee roasting and sensory evaluation, she entered this year's prestigious Brewers Cup competition. Anna chose to showcase a Geisha coffee from Granja Paraiso 92, one of Wilton Benitez's farms in Cauca, Colombia.
We asked Anna to tell us a little bit about herself, what she loves about the coffee industry, and what her experience was like entering the Brewers Cup.
Q: Can you provide some information about yourself?
I have been involved in the coffee industry in Perth for approximately 8 years, but my journey into specialty coffee began in 2019. Currently, I am not working in a coffee-related role as I am pursuing studies in interior design. However, my passion for coffee remains strong, and this year I have been learning coffee roasting alongside Rachel (Head Roaster of Modus Coffee) and Josh (Manager of Modern Coffee). Additionally, I have a keen interest in coffee sensory, as understanding how to taste and evaluate the quality of coffee is crucial for learning about roasting.
Q: How did you become interested in coffee?
It may sound unusual, but I developed an interest in owning a café in Taiwan as I wasn't particularly drawn to my major field. I started learning about coffee in my hometown back in 2013, and my love for coffee has persisted ever since.
Q: What do you enjoy most about working in the coffee industry?
The connections within the coffee industry are captivating. Coffee is a ubiquitous product in our daily lives, which makes it easy to connect with customers and share experiences. Moreover, coffee undergoes a journey from the hands of farmers through various processes until it reaches the cup, involving many individuals along the way. I find it incredibly satisfying when people come together to discuss and enhance the quality of coffee.
Q: Why did you choose to participate in the Brewers Cup competition?
Participating in the Brewers Cup competition had been on my to-do list for years. Competing provides valuable learning experiences. Although winning wasn't my primary goal, I wanted to immerse myself in the entire process, draw inspiration, and establish connections within the industry.
Q: Could you describe the coffee you used for the Brewers Cup and the roasting process?
For the Brewers Cup, I selected a Geisha coffee from Cauca, Colombia. It was produced by Wilton Benitez from Granja Paraiso 92. The coffee was processed using the Washed Thermal Shock method and fermented with yeast. Upon tasting it during the cupping session, I fell in love with its sweetness and floral notes, reminiscent of lychee and yakult. As I am still learning roasting, I initially practised with other coffees from the same country alongside Josh. Once we were satisfied with the profile we developed through previous experiences, we proceeded to roast the Geisha. We planned to conduct two trials to determine the better outcome, involving extensive tasting and discussions throughout the process.
Q: How was your experience in the competition?
I felt nervous and had difficulty sleeping the night before the event, but I managed to pull through and present the way I had envisioned. Overall, I am pleased with my first competition experience. Initially, I had thought it would be a one-time endeavour, but now I am contemplating how to approach future competitions, as I found inspiration and encouragement from fellow competitors and the coffee industry as a whole.
Q: What is the most memorable coffee you have tasted recently?
Honestly, the Geisha coffee I used for the Brewers Cup remains my favourite. However, since I haven't had the opportunity to sample a wide range of coffees lately, it's possible that I may have missed out on some delicious coffee...