Local Coffee Growers Medal at the Sydney Royal

Results for the 2012 Sydney Royal Fine Food Show Coffee Competition were announced this week with local coffee growers from the Northern Rivers gaining awards for their coffee. The coffee competition attracts nearly 300 entries of some of the world’s best coffees and is one of Australia’s most prestigious coffee judging events.

The biggest haul of medals (four) went to Mike and Natalie King of Byron Beans with their ‘Dark Combo’ gaining a silver medal in the Espresso short black class and a bronze medal in the Cappuccino class. Their ‘Medium Combo’ scored bronze medals in the Plunger Coffee – small commercial class and the Plunger single origin class.

Jos and Wendy Webber of Kahawa Estate, were thrilled with their two bronze medals also in the Plunger – single origin class for their ‘Lava’ roast and in the Espresso short black class for their ‘Magma’ roast.

Association member, Mark Ryan, whose Eureka Coffee is based in Melbourne, scored a silver medal for his ‘Growers espresso – special release’ in the Plunger – single origin class.

Hundreds of coffees (mostly imported beans) from roasters all over Australia were entered in several different Classes.  The offerings from the different roasters are judged to internationally set criteria by a panel of judges who are experienced in coffee roasting, blending and cupping.  The judges see only entry numbers and are not allowed anywhere near the store room or area from where the coffee beans are dispensed.

Coffees that score 90 or above are awarded a gold medal, those scoring from 82 to 89, a silver and a score of 74 to 81 gets a bronze medal.  Out of a total of 237 entrants, 21 coffees were awarded silver medals and 61 awarded bronze. Again, no gold medal scores were attained this year.

Australian Subtropical Coffee Association President, Jos Webber, said “the awards were an indication that great tasting coffee is now being consistently produced by local growers. Our Association, which represents most of those involved in the local coffee industry, has been focussing on developing the distinctive flavour qualities of our sub tropical coffee. Our success in this year’s show is a very pleasing reward for our efforts”.

While he was pleased with the results from the Fine Food Show, Jos was anticipating a bright but challenging future for the local coffee industry. “The awards are likely to further increase the demand for our coffee and create supply challenges for us”, he said. “The 30 or so local coffee growers are generally finding it difficult to keep pace with a growing market. Fortunately there have been good harvests for the last two years and it looks like we will have another good year. But we are keen to see the new plantations that are presently being developed come into production”.