Australia’s Sasa Sestic of Ona Coffee has been announced as the 16th World Barista Champion at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) Event in Seattle, United States, on 13 April. Charles Babinski of the United States won second place, Ben Put from Canada won third place, Chan Kwun Ho from Hong Kong won fourth place, Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood from the United Kingdom won fifth place and Charlotte Malaval from France won sixth place. The Australian Specialty Coffee Association crowned Sestic, the Founder of Ona Coffee in Canberra, the Australian Barista Champion at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo in March. For his coffee, Sestic used Las Nubes – Sudan Rume varietal coffee from Colombia for its vibrancy and stone fruit sweetness. “In past four years as a barista and coffee buyer I’ve meet many producers and together we’ve experimented in how to help increase [coffee] quality,” said Sestic, during his routine. “In order to help make the experience better for my consumers I wanted to do more than just go to the farm and buy the best lots. Today I wanted to go more in depth into innovative farming and new processing techniques.” Sestic said a new processing method called washed carbonic maceration gave the coffee its superior taste. The beans were washed in a controlled anaerobic environment, pumping carbon dioxide into a sealed stainless steel container. The lack of oxygen gives more clarity to the coffee and highlights more fruity flavours. A total of 49 national barista champions competed in Seattle over the four-day competition. The baristas were judged on taste, presentation, and technical skills. They prepared and served espressos, cappuccinos, and signature drinks of their own creation to a panel of international judges. This year baristas competed on the world stage using Cafetto’s Evo cleaning product line, the 2015 – 2017 Official Cleaning Product Sponsor; Victoria Arduino’s Black Eagle machine, the 2015 – 2017 Official WBC Espresso Machine Sponsor; and Pentair Everpure’s MRS-600HE-II High Efficiency RO System the 2015-2017 Official Water Filtration Sponsor. Mahlkoenig is the 2015 – 2017 Official Grinder Sponsor and Davinci Gourmet is the WBC Gold Sponsor. To view the routines over the four days of competitions, including finals and the award ceremony, follow this link: new.livestream.com/worldcoffee. Image: Australia’s Sasa Sestic is pictured with Chris Short of Cafetto, The Official Cleaning Product Sponsor of the WBC.