cupping · roaster · roasting · Taiwan · Technique · WBC · workshop

Coffee with Berg Wu – World Barista Champion 2016

In World Barista Championship 2016, Berg Wu surprised the coffee community with the use of ‘cold portafilter’ in espresso making to preserve those volatile aromas. It went against the popular belief that the portfilter has to always be heated. You can catch Berg Wu’s winning competition routine here to learn the new techniques that were unveiled last year.

Berg Wu is visiting Singapore this week and we had an fruitful evening of learning and coffee degustation yesterday with the reigning World Barista Champion in an event that was organized and hosted by Cafebond and Dutch Colony Coffee Co. These photos were taken in Dutch Colony’s Cafe located along Frankel ave.

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The bags of beans roasted by Berg Wu’s which are marketed under his cafe Simply Kaffa were available for sale during the event, they can also be bought online from Cafebond’s online shop.

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Most of the fans who turned up were folks from the industry, there were also home brewers/baristas like myself. Nevertheless, it was casual event with book signing, brew demonstrations and lots of photo taking.

Suhaimie stealing a selfie with Berg here! If you are not already aware, Suhaimie maintains a very informative coffee blog which is worded from the perspective of roaster/cafe operator.

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I also participated in the cupping of Berg Wu’s coffee, where we were treated to coffee from 6 different origins. We were really lucky to secure the tickets for the cupping as it was limited to only 20 participants!

Here are some of the lucky participants in the cupping 🙂

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Yummy light snacks made by Suhaimie’s mum were also available. Thank you mum 🙂

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The cupping was conducted blind initially with only the the smell (dry fragrant + wet aroma) and taste as quality indicators.

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After 2-rounds of tasting, Berg Wu revealed the coffee origins and walked us through his philosophy in roasting. According to Berg, some of the beans are very light roasted which register about 90-100 on the agtron meter. Regardless of roast level, his aim is to maximize sweetness with a single roast profile for both brew and espresso (omni-roast).

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The highly prized, expensive and complex coffee from Panama Morgan Estate was one of the coffee on the cupping table! It came from another farm which is also managed by the same owner behind the more well known Finca Deborah.

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Another of my favorite is the Ethiopia Guji, which I eventually grabbed a bag home. It was really clean with pronounce white grape and floral notes in the cupping bowl.170915-201051-02

It was a good catch-up with friends and also a good chance to get some tips from the champ! I brought up the topic on water used in WBC (the lack of control), and Berg shared that he had prepared for such scenario during his training, and the 15-mins pre-competition setup time were enough for him to tune the coffee for the water used at that instant.

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Thank you Berg Wu, Cafebond and Dutch Colony for making the event possible. This KopiAddict left with a bag of beans, lots of inspirations and a photo with Berg Wu!

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