When Victorian Barista trainer Justin Metcalf travelled to the inaugural World Latte Art Competition in Singapore, he packed his clipboard and pen in preparation for his role as judge at the event. However, the Box Hill Institute trainer should have packed his apron and coffee grinder because he ended up representing Australia in the competition, which had no local entrant, after being coaxed to compete in the event by the organisers.
The Australian ring-in ended up taking third place in the competition. Metcalf had never competed internationally before, although he had worked as a judge at two previous World Barista Championships, which are held each year. Despite his lack of preparation, equipment or crockery of his own, or a prepared signature drink, Metcalf progressed through the heats to finish third behind inaugural champions Canada and runner-up Japan.
In 1999, Metcalf designed, and has since presented, the Espresso Essentials short course at Melbourne’s Box Hill Institute. He also offers an Advanced Espresso course and is head of training at adult education company Cafe Learning. He is also the Victorian representative of the Australasian Specialty Coffee Association.