Monthly Archives: May 2008

Highlander Coffee – another great espresso & coffee experience

After the Asia Barista Championship, took some time to visit Highlander Coffee.

Here are some pictures but unfortunately I was so engross with drinking the coffee that I totally forgotten to take any picture of the coffee. But I can assure you, they are great.

Here is Cedric (left) and Phil (center).

The “sexy” Vibiemme espresso machine. Slurp (salivating).

And they have this 6 feet tall coffee roaster.

Phil made me an excellent espresso. Why is the espresso excellent? What are the ingredients?

1. Fresh roasted high quality arabica beans.
Someone said to me once, “roast your own coffee lah, it’s not rocket science”.
What image they have in mind is someone standing over a big iron-casted wok and roasting their beans. Well, if you are thinking of those cheap traditional kopi you get from any kopitiam, then yes. It is no rocket science. But let me ask you, the next time you go to any kopitiam, order a cup of kopi-O, and try drinking that without milk or sugar. Then you tell me how nice it is.

Traditional kopi has its place in the market. First, they are cheap. Then, combine them with the correct & optimum of condensed milk + evaporated milk + sugar, they can taste quite decent. I enjoyed my kopi at Kemaman kopitiam too.

But a great cup of espresso is a totally different creature.

To combine a few different regional coffee at the optimum ratio, roast them to their correct profile require great skills, patience and a discerning taste buds. May not be rocket science, but it is quite near.

2. Barista Skills.
Phil is definitely a qualify barista. Not the same as *Star$’s “barista”. Just like doctors, you got the “Dr. House” type and you got those “bomoh” type. Phil belongs to the former type.

3. Machine.
That was a Vibiemme. Though i’m proud of my Gaggia Baby, but when you compare good and great, mine can only reach the “good” stage. Sigh… I’m so jealous 🙂

So if you people are in Singapore, pay them a visit. Get the direction from they newly renovated web site here.

*Note: I hope you guys know what Star$ means.

Malaysia Barista Champion 2008 – Cheryl Lee

For the first time, a Malaysia Barista Championship (MBC) was held on the 5th of April. Organised by Coffex, it was quite a rush affairs. The Asia Barista Championship (also for the first time) was to be held on 22nd & 23rd April in Singapore. They were trying to find the most competent Barista to represent Malaysia at the ABC.

Contestant for the MBC were represented by baristas from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Coffee Connection, Dome, Glitter’s Cafe, Bakerzin and Hilton Hotel.

And the winner goes to Ms. Cheryl Lee from Coffee Connection.

Here are the photos of Cheryl at the Asia Barista Championship (ABC) in Singapore.

Judges watching over the contestant like a hawk.

Finished and relieve.

Congratulation Cheryl for making us proud. Getting 5th place on her maiden attempt and competing against veterans like Carl Sara and Scottie Callaghan is truly a great effort.

Asia Barista Championship 2008

For the first time, a barista championship held at an Asia level. In conjunction with the FHA2008, ABC took place in Singapore on the 23rd & 24th April.

Here are the contestants:

Ms. Vanessa M. Caceres, National Champion of The Philippines
Mr. Scott Callaghan,
2007 Australia Barista Champion, 2006 World Latte Art Champion
Mr. Carl Sara, 2004, 2005, 2007 New Zealand Champion and 2nd runner–up for 2007 WBC
Mr. John Ting, 1st runner – up for 2007 Singapore National Barista Championship
Ms. Sirithai Rangjanthue, 2007 National Champion of Thailand
Mr. Tassi Agustinus Yosef, National Champion of Indonesia
Ms. Cherly Lee, National Champion of Malaysia
Mr. Liu Jia wei, National Champion of Taiwan
Mr. Sa hong Kim, National Champion of Korea
and others (didn’t manage to source for their names) from China and India.

Special notes: Unlike the World Barista Championship, the ABC has a slightly different slant to it. Contestant are “forced” to use specific ingredients for their drinks preparation.

Espresso Machine – La Marzocco
Grinder – Mahlkonig
Coffee – Coffex
Flavourings – Da Vinci Gourmet Syrup & Sauce
Blender – Hamilton Beach
Milk – Greenfield


And the ASIA BARISTA CHAMPION Mr. Carl Sara from New Zealand.
1st Runner-up: Mr. Scottie Callaghan of Australia
2nd Runner-up: Mr. Liu Jia Wei of Taiwan
4th Place: Mr Sa Hong Kim of Korea
5th Place: Ms. Cherly Lee of Malaysia

Extra Categories:
Best Espresso – Mr. Liu Jia Wei
Best Latte Art – Mr. Carl Sara
Best Signature Drink – Mr. Carl Sara