The Coffee Campus Specialist of Coffee Island is preparing to represent our country in Melbourne, Australia!

Coffee championships is a field where talented and ambitious barrista showcase their skills, knowledge and techniques in order to be crowned winners to represent their country in the world championships. The representation of Greece is a special honour and bears the burden of the distinctions we have received in the past as a country. It is indicative that we have been awarded three times as Best Nation, which is most than any other country.

Our Stathis Koremtas, Coffee Campus Specialist of Coffee Island, stood out among 11 contestants in the Brewers Cup category, at the National Coffee Championships that is organized every year by SCA Greece.

“Competitions shape consumer trends, present new ideas and spread the philosophy of superior quality coffee to the wider public. This is done through 7 different championship categories – Barista, Brewer’s Cup, Latte Art, Cup Tasters, Roasting, Coffee & Good Spirits, Ibrik. The competition I took part in is the Brewer’s Cup and it is about filter coffee, which in my opinion is the gourmet version of coffee” Stathis says. It consists of two stages: open service and compulsory.

The Compulsory stage shows the barista’s skills in preparing any coffee. All participants are given the same coffee, the same water and the same mill and have 38 minutes to prepare the best possible version. The order of the contestants is a secret even to the judges, so it is a completely irreproachable process.

The open service stage is the presentation prepared by the contestant and is open to the public. The evaluation is carried out on both the taste of the coffee offered and the concept. “Having won the competition three times before and having secured two third places in the respective world championships, there had to be a reason to participate this year, something new to share with the global coffee community. What I wanted to present is Coffee Island’s perspective on specialty coffee.”

Stathis’ presentation was divided into three different parts, but altogether summed up what superior quality coffee is for us. The first part was about the freshness of the coffee, which is why he chose to grind the coffee on stage – something that is not common in this competition but is inextricably linked to specialty coffee.

The second part concerned the processing of coffee. “It was a delicate Gesha coffee variety from the Finca Deborah farm in Panama and had been processed using the classic “washed” method. This in itself is worth mentioning, because today it is a matter of debate whether the processing covers all the other elements of the coffee, such as variety and country of origin. Staying true over the years to the basic processing has been an inspiration and a challenge for me, going against the grain to compete with such a coffee that had aromas and flavours that we had unfortunately more or less forgotten.”

The third and final part was about the consumer experience and how we can improve it, which is an absolute priority for us at Coffee Island. “What I did was about the combination of the senses and more specifically taste and touch. I gave the judges specific instructions on how I wanted them to try my coffee. When it was at a low temperature and they were evaluating it, I encouraged them to touch a velvet piece of fabric. In this way, I wanted them to combine the tactile sensation with the delicate and elegant taste of the coffee I offered them, enhancing, in this way, their overall experience.”

The Championship held in Metropolitan Expo, as part of HORECA 2022 gave us the Greek  Champions who will represent our country in the WCC World Championships hosted in Australia this year. Stathis is among those who are preparing for Melbourne!

In a process that is clearly not easy, emotions during preparation feel like a rollercoaster. From sheer joy because it all goes as desired, something happens and suddenly you become pessimistic, and this is repeated many times. But Stathis managed to secure victory and made us all very proud of both the result – although the victory was not an end in itself – but also the message he passed.

As he says “It may seem that only one who competes is visible, but surely it is not a lonely sport.  I would not have accomplished anything without the support and help of Coffee Island and Coffee Campus who was beside me all this way and who knows, maybe next year you will be the next champion. I would like to thank everyone who sent their positive energy and their comments. We are off to Melbourne!