Ona Again! Hugh Kelly is the Australian Barista Champion


When it comes to the Australian Barista Championships, Ona Coffee has just gone two for two.

After the success of the company’s director Sasa Sestic last year, Ona’s head barista trainer High Kelly topped the charts this time around.

Kelly – who helped Sestic on his march to world glory just over twelve months ago – claimed his place in the nation competition by winning the Central Regional Barista Championships last September.

According to the reports that we have been sent, the final was a hotly contested affair and it was a close battle between the top six.

Jade Jennings (Veneziano Coffee Roasters) finished second with Matthew Lewin (Axil Coffee Roasters) rounding off the podium places in third.

This year’s Australian Barista Championships took place earlier this month at the Melbourne Showgrounds and was part of prestigious Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE).

Unlike a number of his competitors, Kelly’s routine was centred on displaying a variety of techniques to create different drinks from the same coffee.

“I wanted to explore what is possible with what we already have available to us,” he said after the event.

“With the growth of the coffee market, climate change and shifts in consumption, we need to look forward at different methods and teaching practices.”

Ona’s latest member of barista royalty will travel to Dublin later this year to compete in the World Championships.

“It would be amazing for Australia to win the World Barista Championships back-to-back.

“I can’t promise that we’ll win again, but I can promise that I’ll do my best.”

And with Sestic in his corner, we think he has got a good chance.

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