The next in our series of articles on the ASCA judges, Craig Simon has been a leading Australian barista competitor for the better part of the last decade. Over the last few years Craig has also started exploring the other side of the competition dynamic, through judging. MICE recently caught up with Craig to find out more about this pursuit.
Q: Can you tell us about how you got into the coffee industry in the first place?
A: Originally I got into coffee as a second job to pay the bills, but fairly quickly it took over as my main gig.
Q: What’s your ASCA Judging experience? Have you been a judge in any World Championships?
A: I am a WBC certified sensory judge and judged the ASCA Australian Barista Championships in 2016 and 2017, the USA Barista Championships in 2016 and WBC 2016 in Dublin.
Q: Can you explain how the AMC Australian Roasting Championship works for those who might be watching for the first time?
A: The roasting competition tests all of the skills used by roasters to evaluate green coffee. This includes green grading, finding the best roast profile, and roasting beans for their best flavour expression. Roasters must also be able to describe the flavours and what their roasting choices were with their roast plan.
Get your tickets to MICE so you can catch Craig judging the AMC Australian Roasting Championship next month!