Indonesia to compete at 2018 World Barista Championship in Amsterdam

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /  Wed, June 20, 2018  /  07:16 pm

Muhammad Aga, winner of the 2018 Indonesia Barista Championship, competes at the 2018 World Barista Championship in the Netherlands.(Instagram/Muhammad Aga)

Being the fourth largest coffee producer in the world, Indonesia is proud to compete at the 2018 World Barista Championship taking place in the Amsterdam RAI Exhibition and Convention Center, the Netherlands, from June 20 to 23.

The nation is represented by Muhammad Aga, a barista who co-owns Shoot Me in the Head (Smith) Coffee Bar & Roastery in Duren Tiga, Jakarta.

Aga is scheduled to showcase his craft at the first round of the championship on Thursday, competing against 56 other baristas from across the world. He will be required to prepare four espressos, four milk drinks and four original signature drinks to exact standards in 15 minutes. Successful candidates will be announced as semi-finalists later that day.

The champion of this year’s Indonesia Barista Championship held in March in Bali, Aga received support from the country’s coffee entrepreneurs and enthusiasts. The supporters assisted him with providing quality coffee beans and training, preparation for his departure to Amsterdam, as well as a location and espresso machine for training in Amsterdam.

Earlier in June, Jakarta-based ABCD School of Coffee arranged an event where coffee lovers watched Aga’s final training session in Jakarta by purchasing tickets. The event was used to raise money for travel expenses. Tickets were sold out and ABCD created other packages that allowed more coffee enthusiasts to come and show their support.

With almost 40,000 followers on his social media account, Aga is undoubtedly one of the nation’s most inspirational young baristas. According to an Instagram post by ABCD Coffee, prior to his achievements today, Aga once felt that he almost lost direction in life. He tried to live out his passion as a musician while having different kinds of part-time jobs including "making coffee using just-press-any-button machines".

However, Aga is lucky to have tried his luck as a barista during the rise of Indonesia’s third wave coffee movement. He met prominent figures who helped him build his career and win competitions. His journey as a young emerging barista dated back to 2012 when he won the latte art throw-down in 1/15 Coffee, also a pioneer of the third wave. There were many more competitions to go until Aga finally won first place in the recent Indonesian barista championship in Bali.

A role in the movie Filosofi Kopi (Coffee Philosophy) helped consolidate Aga’s popularity, as well as a few roles in television ads.

Read also: The rise of Lawu coffee among Java's single origins

Aware that he can spread a positive message with his popularity, Aga is determined to win for the nation and his supporters. He was quoted as saying, “I’m hoping to return home from the major coffee event [World Barista Championship] with more knowledge, insight and innovation, and I will share it with my fellow baristas and specialty coffee entrepreneurs at home. For me, this is the importance of competing at an international level.” (mut)