World champion barista Sasa Sestic is now the proud owner of some world-class coffee.
The roasting house that Sestic founded, ONA Coffee, won two awards at the World Roaster and Barista Cup held in Taiwan earlier this month.
Unlike the World Coffee Roasting Championships, which will be held next year in Shanghai, the cup was invite-only. Sestic said 15 coffee companies from around the world were asked to represent their countries. "It's a little bit subjective, you have to be invited to take part," he said. "In their opinion we were the favoured company to be invited to represent Australia."
Each company submitted beans that were made into espressos and blind tasted by judges.
Sestic, who has been travelling nearly nonstop for ONA since winning the World Barista Championships early this year, felt privileged to be asked to take part. But he admits that amid travelling to eight countries in six weeks he "actually completely forgot" about the competition until just before the deadline, when he had a reminder from the contest host.
"I rang up Sam [Corra] our roaster, very quickly, and said, 'Just casually there's a roasting competition, probably one of the most important things in your life, on ... do you have some nice single origins that we are roasting at the moment for our customers?'"
Sam did. Sestic packaged and sent two parcels of coffee beans – a washed bean from Konga in Ethiopia and another from Kotowa in Panama. The Ethiopian bean was judged Best Espresso, and the Panama bean won Best Roast.
"This is the moment that I'm most proud of, because we won the roasting competition with a roast that we serve our customers every single week," Sestic said.
Canberrans can get a taste of the two roasts at Sestic's three cafes – ONA in Manuka and Fyshwick, and The Cupping Room in Civic.