Meet the 2020 #ASCATop12 – Sarah Jin

The multi-skilled Sarah Jin of Extraction Artisan in Queensland has not only topped the 2020 Brewers Cup #ASCATop12, but made an appearance on the Vitasoy Barista Championship list.

When did you begin competing in ASCA championships?
My first ASCA comp (Brewers Cup) was back in October 2016. 

What inspired you to take part?
I was always passionate about specialty coffee. I was inspired by those coffee professionals I used to work with, who competed before and enjoyed the experience. Getting better at brewing was my main reason for competing. 

What were some of the challenger you faced in the beginning?
Lack of confidence was my biggest challenge. I didn’t believe I was good enough to make the coffee taste better. I wasn’t confident enough that I could finish the whole routine. 

How were these overcome?
A lot of practise! I mean A LOT! I would practise everyday afterwork in front of my team or friends. 

What is it about your main field of competition (Brewers) that made you choose it over the others?
I love manual filter brewing because it makes me feel peaceful. It’s only coffee and me. And I love drinking filter coffee. 

What have you learnt about coffee through competing?
There are a lot of things that I have learnt. I’ve built up my confidence. I have learnt to bring all the good habits from comp to daily coffee service. And I was inspired by the fellow competitors and learnt a lot of knowledge from them. I’ve learnt that it’s not about how to make the best coffee but to make the coffee better everyday. 

How has it impacted your career?
I have become a better coffee professional. I get recognised by lots of people who share the same passion. And it opens many new opportunities for both me and the business that I am working for. 

What is your best memory from competing in coffee championships? 
When I took the first place of brewers cup in Northern region 2017. I was over tasting the coffee the day before the comp. My palette was gone on the comp day. Lucky enough, my team supported me and helped me that day to make the magic happened. It was my first time winning the brewers. And the whole experience was like roller-coaster.
#nevergiveup #teamwork

What are some of the easy mistakes you’ve made early in your competition journey?
In 2018, I competed with an amazing coffee that no way I could stuff up. However, I did. I didn’t know my coffee enough, I was over confident. I felt really bad after competition as I thought I hadn’t done justice for this amazing coffee… That was the biggest lesson I’ve learnt. Hopefully, I will get to use something similar in the future and make it shine on the stage. 

What advice would you give others thinking about competing?
Don’t wait, just do it! You will learn a lot from competing. Not only about the coffee, but also about yourself. Keep getting inspired and keep inspiring others.