The Think Tank


Ana Pipunic - Thursday, February 19, 2015

Think Tank Coffee’s Craig Simon officially Victoria’s best barista. Sorry, coffee professional.


Reportage from the Herald-Sun on the 2015 Victorian Barista Championship, featuring our champ Craig Simon, reprinted in full below.

Craig Simon will make you the best coffee in Victoria. That’s official. Picture: Kylie Else

VICTORIA’S best barista has been crowned and in a shock twist he doesn’t even work as a barista.

Craig Simon won the hotly contested battle scoring top marks with an espresso, Italian style cappuccino (no chocolate allowed) and his controversial signature brew that included a prune reduction, dark brown sugar syrup, mineral water and earl grey tea.

The Think Tank Coffee educator, roaster and wholesaler calls himself a “coffee professional” and says that elite, world-class baristas no longer work at cafes.

“The skill level and knowledge required to be a high level competitor is so in depth that it’s become a specialised skill and moved beyond cafes,” he said.

“We used to just be transient hospitality workers on our way to other jobs but over the last ten years it’s become a profession,” Mr Simon said.

The Victorian championships feature the best baristas in the country with Melbourne’s coffee obsession ensuring that the winner is hot favourite to take out the national championship in March.

The national winner will represent Australia at the World Barista Championships in Seattle in April.

Who makes your favourite coffee in Victoria? Tell us in the comments field below, on our Facebook page or tweet @theheraldsun