Wow! Firstly big congratulations must be applauded to Hanna for taking out the 2014 New Zealand Barista Championship. The team are so proud of Hanna, not only for taking out the New Zealand finals but then repeating her form by taking out the Asia Barista Challenge in Singapore just 2 weeks later.
Hanna's routine this year focused around sorting a single origin, finding different attributes in the makeup of that coffee and manipulating the components of the green coffee to alter the end flavour. At the New Zealand National Finals Hanna used Ethiopia Aramo, an ideal coffee not only for its stunning taste characteristics but also as it is made up of heirloom varietals, mixed bean types that varied greatly in size. Hanna expertly executed her routine with great composure, the routine struck a chord with the judges and the rest is now history.
For both Hanna and Espresso Workshop it is the culmination of several years of commitment to competition. Hanna's journey commenced in Christchurch, moving to the city in 2006 and starting cafe work in 2007, soon afterwards she was coerced into her first Barista competition and subsequently Hanna felt like this was an aspect of the profession she wanted to pursue and succeed in. Initial results were encouraging but certainly indicated that she had much development before cracking the higher rankings of the National finals. Hanna and her husband Akio moved to Auckland in 2011 and stepped up her focus on competition training, coming 7th in New Zealand at the 2012 Finals (despite equipment issues!), soon after starting at Espresso Workshop, progressing to 2nd in 2013 before cracking the top position this year.
Espresso Workshop has been involved with Barista competition since 2009, where we have had Auckland's top ranked Barista since that year, at Nationals, twice 3rd and twice 4th up until 2012, since then Hanna's focus on competition has pushed us to not just being near the top but now to achieving the top position. If you look at Hanna's history and Espresso Workshop's history they are a little intertwined. It has been persistency and commitment to the competition world that has produced a result. What happens on stage is 98% Barista but the Barista must find themselves in a supportive environment and must be surrounded by people who will offer encouragement and assistance to help attain their goals. This is Hanna's success but we feel validated that Espresso Workshop's philosophy has played its part in fostering the events of this year.
Hanna has spend the last 2 months preparing for the World Barista Championships (WBC) in Rimini, Italy, it is now just around the corner. There are still things to iron out but this is the nature of what Hanna and her support team have to deal with. One thing we know is that Hanna will be ready, ready to take on the world. The WBC starts on 9th June and runs through to 12th June, we will update our Instagram, Facebook page and Twitter account with regularity. More information on the World Barista Championships including live streaming of the event can be found on www.worldbaristachampionship.com. Go Hanna!
Above photos courtesy of Michael CY Park