First off, Wow!! What a fantastic weekend!! So much great coffee and above all, great, passionate people. It was an honour to be surrounded by some the industries best. The lead up was extatic, having gotten into Mebourne on thursday, i'd had a few days to wind in, get around, and sample some of melbourne's finest!
Then watching the competitors on the saturday (during the open heat), was an awesome opportunity to let the nerves build up, and wind em back down, while watching some fantastic performances all round! The standard on the day was so amazing, and my hat goes off to con for managing to climb to the top of the pack and walk away with the gold. The opens were truly a national level comp of their own accord.
So then onto the main event, the Nationals!!
Myself and a few other competitors (Dave, Anna, Jen and Con) got in real early to scam an extra 10mins on the machine to dial in our grinders and for some, to tweak our blends. Silly me, i tasted my seasoning shot and freaked out by the inherent bitterness in my blend that i couldn't work out where it was coming from. But a few moments later (probably when the caffiene kicked my brain into gear
) i realised how dumb i'd been.
Still, it was at this point that another problem arised, my coffee. You see, one of the key points to my blend was a very rare, super delicious single origen from columbia that had been roasted and shipped from a very talented and respected roaster in Minnisota, united states. The problem was, that due to int'l shipping and customs i hadn't received my actual shipment of coffee i had panned to bring with me. Consequently i had to bring a much smaller ammount of my blend using a slightly older batch of the same coffee from columbia (just 1kilo, 14days off the roast).
Two days prior the blend was still tasting fantastic, really something special. But on the morning of the comp, tasting my shots, the blend had lost it's finesse. It was still good, but not the Wow factor i was tasting two days proir. My blend had just
passed it's prime.
I was devistated, but then that was always going to be the risk trying to coordinate a blend of coffee from several different roasters. So i shrugged off my anger, tightened up the shots slighty to sqeeze a little more juice out of them, and decided to have a bit more fun with my performance, and not take it all too seriously...