Gloria Jean’s Coffees expert Elisha Mauger has been crowned Cup Tasting Champion in her first appearance at the national AASCA Australian Specialty Coffee Championships in Melbourne.
In what was a fiercely contested final, Elisha claimed glory by correctly identifying seven coffees in a record-breaking time of three minutes, 17 seconds. Hot on her heels, her closest competitor also selected seven correct coffees, but was four seconds slower.
As a game of speed and skill, the AASCA Cup Tasters Competition sees participants faced with eight groups of coffees, each containing two identical cups and one different brew. Using their coffee expertise and attuned senses of taste and smell, competitors battle it out to identify the imposter coffee in the fastest time possible.
Elisha has long had a love affair with coffee and was first introduced to the industry through her parents’ Gloria Jean’s coffee house in Rockingham, WA. As store manager for three-and-a-half years, she learnt every aspect of the coffee business and received valuable training from Gloria Jean’s Coffees WA State Operations Manager and AASCA accredited judge, Mimma Battista.
“Working at Gloria Jean’s really helped me grow a love for coffee and an appreciation for its nuances,” says Elisha. “It was here that I learnt about the AASCA Competition and received training to develop my skills and palate to compete against the best. I’ve competed at a state level in Western Australia before, but this was my first AASCA National,” she continues.
Also competing on the AASCA circuit, is fellow Gloria Jean’s Rockingham graduate, Rie Moustakas, who claimed a silver medal in the Latte Art Competition at the AASCA West Australian Coffee Championships in October, 2012.
The AustralAsian Speciality Coffee Association (AASCA) is a not-for-profit organisation which has over 1,000 members of coffee professionals and enthusiasts. As the endorsed Australian body of World Coffee Events, its national finals offer the gateway to compete against the most accredited coffee practitioners in the world.
The win will now see Elisha represent Australia on an international stage at the World Cup Tasting Championships at the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) World of Coffee Event in Nice, France from 26 – 28 June 2013.