For the second consecutive year, a barista from Australia’s capital city has won the country’s Barista Championship title.

After being taken out by Ona Coffee’s director, Sasa in 2015, the crown this year went to Hugh Kelly, who works for the same business.

Kelly will now travel to Dublin, Ireland, to compete in the World Barista Championships, which Sestic went on to win.

“It would be amazing for Australian to win the WBC back to back. I can't promise we'll win again, but I can promise I'll do my best," Kelly said.

Eleven Open Heat competitors entered the competition, held at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo on 17 March. Six went through to take on the four Regional Competition winners on 18 March.

As part of the Australian Barista Championship, the Ona Coffee head trainer produced espresso coffees using a freezer-processed Castillo from El Mirador in Colombia. His milk-based beverage highlighted the same varietal in a different way, presenting distinct flavours of vanilla and blueberry. For his signature drinks, Kelly combined freeze-concentrated fresh black currant with ice stones and his Colombian coffee. 

Preparation for the competition included three months of writing and refining his presentation and then four months of practising his routines for eight to 12 hours a day.

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