Holy coffee! Malaysian baristas finally get to compete on world stage

For the first time ever, a Malaysian will be competing at the World Barista Championship (WBC) for the title of world’s best barista.

Thanks to the efforts of the Malaysian Specialty Coffee Association (MSCA), Malaysia is now recognised as a sanctioned country with the World Coffee Events (WCE) organisation, which means that Malaysian baristas are now eligible to participate in all WCE Championships, including the WBC.

The WBC is the world’s premier barista competition. Last year, Hidenori Izaki from Japan emerged as champion, the first ever Asian barista to win the WBC title.

From Jan 23 to 25, 16 Malaysian baristas will be competing at the 2015 Malaysia Barista Championship (MBC) for the honour of representing Malaysia at this year’s WBC, to be held at Seattle, US, in April.

The MBC competition will be held in Chin Woo Stadium, 10am onwards. The first day will feature a coffee workshop open to the public as well as a brew bar for top cafes in Malaysia to showcase their skills in brewing. The competition proper will start on Jan 24, with the finals to be held the following day.

During the competition, participants have 15 minutes to produce 12 drinks – four espressos, four cappuccinos, and four signature drinks – for a panel of judges who will be scoring them based on taste, presentation, knowledge, as well as their technical barista skills, among others.

“Good coffee comes from good baristas. It's not an easy task to brew coffee well, and we want to elevate the status of the barista to a more professional level,” says MSCA president Victor Leong during his speech at the official launch of the MBC, held at Berjaya University College Of Hospitality on Monday.

The previous MBC champion, Jason Loo of Red Bean Bag Café, will also be defending his title at this year’s event. Loo won the competition in 2013, but was only able to witness the 2013 World Barista Championship in Melbourne. If he wins again this year, he will be able to compete in the championship.

For more information on the Malaysian Barista Championship 2015, visit their Facebook pages here and here.

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