WBC 2014 Finalist 2 – Kapo Chiu, Hong Kong

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BARISTA CHAMPION OF HONG KONG
Kapo Chiu
The Cupping Room

Read our interview with Kapo here.

The second finalist of the day, Kapo’s performance is incredibly complicated and complex—in fact, he has to inform the judges about all of the details of this multifaceted performance. He begins by explaining how the fines can add to a flavor profile, or take away from it.  Kapo’s performance is actually a challenge—a good one!—to follow because it’s so dense with such a high level of coffee information and science.

Kapo uses a Mahlkonig EK43 to grind his coffee into a drum, which he uses to sift out the fines.

Kapo uses a Mahlkonig EK43 to grind his coffee into a drum, which he uses to sift out the fines.

American Andy Sprenger of Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters in Denver roasted this coffee for Kapo. Interesting story: when Andy was representing the U.S. in the World Brewers Cup in Vienna, Kapo was volunteering. He was so impressed with Andy (who came in second that year) that he contacted Andy to be his roaster when Kapo opened the Cupping Room.

Kapo sorts the fines from the ground coffee.

Kapo sorts the fines from the ground coffee.

His efforts to experiment with the grind, the amount of coffee he uses per shot, and even the way he steams milk—steaming into one pitcher and redistributing it into three smaller pitchers—is marvelous, and exciting to see.

Kapo with his steaming pitchers.

Kapo with his steaming pitchers.

He’s using a Colombian coffee that he finds so complex that he wants to dissect it and recreate it in his signature drink. He uses lemongrass, pineapple juice, sparkling water, espresso, and a few other ingredients. He prepares a pour over with these ingredients, and it’s elegant and inspired. We wish we could try it!

Kapo blending his ingredients in a pourover.

Kapo blending his ingredients in a pourover.

Kapo is both impressive and approachable: he presents all of this information humbly but intricately.

Kapo is both impressive and approachable: he presents all of this information humbly but intricately.

Hong Kong has never made it to the finals of the World Barista Championship, and if there was ever a competitor to prove to the international coffee community that Hong Kong deserves to be among this elite group of countries, Kapo is the one. His performance is a joy to watch—just marvelous both in content as well as grace. Bravo.

Kapo calls time at 14:50.

Kapo calls time at 14:50.

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