You might be getting a little sick of all the coffee talk that is keeping Melbourne abuzz of late, but the stakes are high when it comes to the caffeinated drink in this town, and there are plenty of makers and drinkers out there who love a bit of a show.

The Victorian Barista Championships were held over the weekend in Melbourne and the competition was fierce. Competitors agreed they had never seen a field of such talented and committed baristas. Most importantly, the quality of the coffee being served was exceptional.

The competitors are judged on their coffee ability. It must be balanced (sweet, sour, bitter) and also round and smooth. The competitors prepare each judge (there are four) an espresso, a cappuccino and a signature beverage. The signature beverage is a drink of their creation that can contain no alcohol and must taste predominantly of espresso.

The judging panel is made up of longtime industry professionals, some who also judge at a world level. These included Ben Bicknell from Five Senses and Ross Quail from Sensory Lab.

Caleb Pohcanski from Five Senses won the competition, with Matt Perger from Market Lane second and Erin Sampson from Veneziano in third place.

The next round of the competition will be held in the Gold Coast from 28-30 January, where all the winners from the state heats will be competing. The competitors will be judged on their performance, flair and stage presence. So they put on a show. There will be a live-stream to view all the action.

The finalist from this will go to compete at a world level. Here's a clip of last year’s world finalist winner, Michael Phillips.

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