I guess this isn’t going to be news to many, as it has already been tweeted, sprudged, and dublinbaristed. In case you missed it, the Irish Cup Tasting Championship took place on September 29th, and somehow, I managed to win it and take home the plaque. There are many people to thank*.
The competition involves choosing the odd ones out in eight sets of 3 coffees against a clock. Those 6 competitiors (there were 18 in total) who get the most right go through to the final, to do it all again (with a more difficult set of coffees). In the case of a tie, fastest wins.
I had planned to take my time, and did so in the first round, taking 6:59 out of the allowed 8 mins. That plan was scuppered when two of the first three finalists scored 8/8 in around 4:30 or so. I knew then I had to go as quickly as possible, and hope for an 8. All or nothing.
The standard was very high (there were two 8/8s and four 7/8s in the first round), any of the 6 finalists really would have been worthy winners, and would have represented Ireland well in London next June.
Nine months to go.
*Jackie, Damian, Julie & all the SCAE Ireland volunteers, who take the often thankless job of organising and running these events. Paul Stack, brewmaster for the event, and for being a continuing source of knowledge on brewed coffee. Bewleys for their continuing support of SCAE events. W. Wright Silverware for the (free sample) cupping spoon. Colin Harmon and Fergus Moloney for helping me crap myself with my awful practice efforts. My wife, Marie, for graciously putting up with what can only be described as a form of madness for someone who doesn’t work in coffee.