27 Jan 2023

How IKAWA’s WCC Champions used our roasters in Melbourne.

IKAWA roasters have been used in local, national and world level barista and brewer competitions for years now, and last summer we opened our Road to Melbourne Sponsorship Program to provide access to IKAWA roasters to a number of competitors on the world stage.

We wanted to support the community and give competitors the tools to really help improve their coffee for the long awaited competitions. This Two Part Series takes a deeper look at their experiences, and how their IKAWA roasters helped them along the way.

Now the competition has passed and the dust has settled a little, we’ve had the chance to talk to the competitors in our program and distil some of their experiences. Stepping right back, the main benefits international competitors experience are so similar to how roasteries benefit from IKAWA on a day-to-day basis – except in competition everything is x100.

The stakes are higher: Competition coffee is very very expensive and scarce, the pressure is extremely high, and the palate of those tasting the coffee are more refined than your everyday regulars.

The main benefits of using IKAWA in WBC and WBrC boiled down to:

> Best for Sample Evaluation
> Accessibility: Cost Saving and Simplicity
>The Power of Collaboration
> Quality of Roast: Achieving the Full Potential of the Coffee

The first post in this series is to introduce the 2022 competitors who we supported in Melbourne and share more about how they used their IKAWA roasters in the World Championships.

IKAWA supported National Barista Champions from France and Poland and National Brewers Cup Champions from Singapore, Poland and Mexico – but it’s worth noting that a lot of other participants outside of our Road To Melbourne Program use IKAWA in their preparation for the Worlds.

In fact, after a surprise conversation in Milan, we learnt that a recent World Barista Champion used IKAWA to roast his championship winning coffee – in 50g batches at altitude – more on that another time perhaps!

Introduction to IKAWA’s Roast To Melbourne 2022 Participants

Elysia Tan, WBrC, Singapore, Co-Founder Homeground Coffee Roasters 


Elysia is two time Singapore Brewers Cup Champion, and WBrC 2022 2nd Runner Up. She also competed in the worlds at Boston 2019 when she borrowed an IKAWA from a friend.

She used her favourite coffee, Cerro Azul, a natural anaerobic coffee from Cafe Granja La Esperanza in Colombia. Homeground have been buying this coffee for years and it’s one that Elysisa used in Boston 2019 too.

Her team used the IKAWA to profile the coffee and roast it for the competition from her apartment in Melbourne leading up to the final.


Elysia’s routine had a really strong emphasis on sensory experience. Her preparation focused heavily on finding the flavours that she wanted to present, then creating consistency and reducing variables – that applied to the roast, grind, brew and serving equipment and processes. Watch more on her approach here

“If you are someone who wants co kickstart your roasting journey, giving quality coffees to your consumer, IKAWA is something to invest in. It’s a good way to help you understand how your coffee roasts and reacts”

Elysia Mob2

Agnieszka Rojewska, WBrC, Poland, Co-Founder Sheep and Raven

Agnieszka Rojewska

Agnieszka was World Barista Champ in 2018 and has won pretty much all the coffee competitions out there – and in 2022 became the Polish Brewers Cup Champion.

There were just 2 weeks between winning the nationals and the World’s in Melbourne, so Agnieszka had the same routine for both. She used a Panama Geisha from Longboard Coffee and used the IKAWA to help select it, and for profiling.

Her presentation was all about bringing the everyday coffee shop experience to her presentation, but in doing so, accepted she might lose a few technical points – this meant that the coffee scores needed to be extra high!


“Take it from the basement, put it on the balcony, roast for 2 hours and just pack it away – and I don’t need to spend an hour preparing the roaster or roastery.
My friend was joking that I have a ghost roastery”


“Inlet Profiles for 50g roasters do not translate exactly to a 100g roaster. The Inlet Profile featured here is for 50g roasters. It will work well on IKAWA ProV3 and Pro50 roasters, but will need to be adjusted for Pro100.

Natalia Kwiatkowska, WBC, Poland, Owner Bless Coffee Roasters

Natalia is no stranger to barista competitions – she’s been Irish Barista Champ in 2015 and 16, and Polish Champion in 17, 20 and 21, with Melbourne her 5th time on the world stage.

She owns an IKAWA for her roastery Bless Coffee. “It brought many great successes along the way – I’ve been working with IKAWA for the past 3 years for my competitions – it’s more than a tool. We achieved at Bless Coffee way more because of our reputation from these competitions”

She won the Polish nationals with an Eugenioides coffee for both her espresso and signature drink, using IKAWA to roast both. For the Worlds, she introduced a sidra coffee from Palyma & El Tucan roasted by some friends on a drum roaster alongside the Eugenioides.

Her concept was ‘Building from Zero’ – which was particularly apt, as Natialia’s competition baggage and equipment was unfortunately lost during her flight, so she had to improvise in Melbourne.

Natalia Mob2

José Adán Gutierrez, WBRC, Mexico, Polvora Cafe


This was Adán first time in a world championship as a competitor. Prior to this, he has coached a Brewers Cup champion and competed in cup tasters, brewers and barista.

Adán’s brother is Mexican roasting champion and used the Pro100 to create the roast profile for the maragogype beans Adán used.

Adan Mob2

Kevin David, WBC, France, Co-Founder Moklair

Kevin and his partner Charity won the French barista and brewers championships respectively and both went on to compete in Melbourne.

They own an IKAWA which is used at Moklair roastery.
They have previously competed with IKAWA-roasted coffee, but this time round they used the IKAWA primarily for sample evaluation.

IKAWA Sponsorship Programme

IKAWA will run a similar World Coffee Championships programme for national champions in Barista and Brewer’s Cup, where we will organise a loan of an IKAWA Pro Sample Roaster to help with preparation for the World Championships.

If you have won your national championship and would like to apply, please complete this short form.

In the second post of this series, we’ll look at why competitors used IKAWA and how it helped them in competition.

Learn more about the IKAWA Pro Series?

Talk to the team, or read more about the Pro Series of Pro50 and Pro100 and the IKAWA Pro App here

author-img By Alex Georgiou