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Baristas prepare to do battle at London Coffee Festival

Australia's Shinsaku Fukayama of St Ali is hoping to add to his winning streak when he competes in London Coffee Masters at The London Coffee Festival this week.

'Shin' was crowned the Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) 2018 Australian Barista Champion at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo in March. He will aim to match the winning experience of former St Ali colleague Ben Morrow, 2016 ASCA Australian Barista Champion, and 2016 London Coffee Masters winner.

Shin is one of 24 baristas named in the Coffee Masters competition, taking place from 12 to 15 April.

Other competitors include seven representatives from the United Kingdom, two each from the United States and Czech Republic, and one each from Denmark, Hungary, The Netherlands, Russia, Poland, Germany, Latvia, Romania, Canada, Germany, Italy and Ireland.

Coffee Masters is a fast-paced, multi-disciplinary global barista tournament, featuring seven disciplines and one winner.

During the competition, baristas undertake different challenges that emulated the busy working environment of a professional barista. The different category rounds include cupping, brewing, latte art, the order challenge, the signature drink, the espresso blend and the origin.

These disciplines are designed to test a barista's skill, knowledge, creativity, professionalism and presentation in a head-to-head, fast-paced battle. The Coffee Masters contestants will use a Faema E71 coffee machine and either a Mahlkönig EK43, K30 Vario Air or Peak.

Competitors have the chance to win more than £5000 (approximately US7105) as a cash prize.

This year, Coffee Masters will welcome back Anne Lunell as Head Judge. Tim Wendelboe, Freda Yuan, Kris Schackman, Mikaela Wallgren, Sonja Zweidick and David Donde will also take on judging roles.
Stepping up to the mic this year as emcees will be Gwilym Davies, Founder of Prufrock Coffee; Jordan Michelman, Co-founder of Sprudge.com; and Lem Butler, United States champion barista.

The London Coffee Masters Festival will feature La Marzocco's True Artisan Cafe, workshops, pop-up cafes, cocktails, art, food pairings and more

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