07 Mar 2018

WBC 2017: IKAWA ON STAGE

Innovative people will take a product and use it better than it was designed to be used, and do amazing things you never thought possible.

Ben Put competing at the 2017 World Barista Championships

We were proud and surprised to learn that 2 of the top 6 competitors at the 2017 World Barista Championships roasted their coffees on IKAWA Sample Roasters. So much so that we’re going to launch a competitor sponsorship program this year in 2018. More on that below.

Kyle Ramage competing at the 2017 World Barista Championships

Ben Put from Canada, and Kyle Ramage from USA both roasted their competition espresso on IKAWA Sample Roasters.

Andre Eiermann competing at the 2017 World Barista Champships using and IKAWA Sample Roaster

In addition, in a competition first, André Eiermann from Switzerland used the IKAWA Sample Roaster to roast coffee on stage that he then used in his signature drink! André was in 2nd place after the first round in Seoul, and placed 10th overall.

We will dive deeper into each champions story in future blog posts, but we needed to recap this. Especially because we found they all said similar things motivated them to use the IKAWA Sample Roaster.


WHY THEY USED THE IKAWA SAMPLE ROASTER

First off – batch size. Competition coffees are special, and rare and usually very expensive. Using an IKAWA allowed them to trial different profiles with almost no waste.

Second – repeatability and control. “First crack would happen within 1 second of where I expected it to be, everytime” explained Ben Put; the IKAWA Sample Roaster is probably the most repeatable and consistent roaster available so small and precise improvements in the roast profile meant, well, just that. The competitors were able to make finer, more precise, adjustments to their profiles and know that each time they roasted their coffees, that same profile would be replicated.

Third – time to peak flavour. Ben said he was pulling his espressos between 1 and 3 days off roast, whereas he normally would be waiting 7 to 10 days for coffees roasted on his production roaster. Feedback from Ben and a lot of other IKAWA users is that coffees roasted on the IKAWA seem to taste at their peak earlier than other roasters. This can not only provide flexibility (explained below), but it can cut the time in half to develop a winning roast profile.

Finally, portability. Combined with the third point here, time to peak flavour, the portability of the IKAWA makes it a competition ace up the sleeve. One of the most nerve wracking experiences is trying a coffee for competition after flying with it. If it didn’t show up well, there wasn’t much hope of flying home, re-roasting it and flying back. Ben traveled with his roaster and if his coffee didn’t taste good in Korea, he was easily able to re-roast on site.

Andre traveled with his green coffee and his roast profiles on his app, and used an IKAWA Sample Roaster in Korea in preparation for the competition.


THE 2018 IKAWA BARISTA SPONSORSHIP PROJECT

After hearing this feedback we quickly put together a project to help get the IKAWA into national champions’ hands.

IKAWA is offering to loan an IKAWA Sample Roaster to 6 national champions to use in preparation for, and if needed during, the 2018 WBC.

Our criteria is flexible, but we want to support those who will be helped most by the loan and those that can be more competitive with access to the IKAWA Sample Roaster. We will consider all applications, and up to 6 will be selected.

Applications are open here to 2018 National Barista Champions.


THE 2017 WBC PROFILES

IKAWA Roast Profiles are shareable, and the guys from WBC have been generous enough to share their 2017 WBC competition roasts. Here are 3, the rest can be found in the IKAWA Profile Library which can be accessed from the IKAWA Pro app. You can download the app for free here.

BEN PUT

WASHED PROCESS GEISHA FROM PANAMA

KYLE RAMAGE

HONEY PROCESS GEISHA FROM PANAMA

ANDRÉ EIERMANN

WASHED PROCESS GEISHA FROM HONDURAS

Thanks to Black Water Issue in South Korea for the photographs.

By Geoff Woodley