Trends uncovered from Compak Golden Bean events of 2015
The Compak Golden Bean has now been run successfully in two countries and has given us as the organizers a very clear snap shot of the specialty coffee industry around the world, having judged almost 2000 coffees in the USA and Australia. This competition of coffee roasters being judged on their skill is the largest event in the world using this format. Both of the US and Australian markets are similar in their positioning around quality and care of service which was refreshing to find as a coffee trainer, to see standards being followed and the pointy end of the business keeping these standards very high.
The major difference between the two nations is most of the coffees in Australia are milk based espresso drinks (95%) where in the USA and Canada you still have 50% brewed coffee served in cafes. I can see the trends for brewed coffee in Australia increasig as better coffees are being offered in this sector as quality coffee origins make their way into the Australian market and people start switching to coffee with unique flavor profiles.
Australia has always had good southern hemisphere coffees like PNG, East Timor, and Indonesian coffees on hand but did not have the choice of Central American coffees that North America does.
We did some blind testing of some PNG based coffees from Australian suppliers and they achieved very high results in the Compak Golden Bean North America and we did the same in the Australian Compak Golden Bean with introducing a few Central American coffees and they also faired well. This was a test to see how extreme differences in flavor profiles had a bearing on our judge’s palates. Our test showed that flavor is one of the major influences on you when you are judging multiple coffees and we saw this come out in the filter sections of the best in both countries where the fruity Ethiopians scored high.