Written by Rie Moustakas, Head Barista Trainer, Blacklist Coffee Roasters.

How fortunate to be invited to China as a participant in the All-Stars program! This was the first time the event has been held in Chengdu. The ‘stars’ gathered at Hotelex for a hospitality expo 11-13 August 2017. All-Stars is a unique entertainment show organised by World Coffee Events. It showcases famous baristas from all over the globe and gives the audience a chance to meet and engage with these coffee celebrities.

The All-Stars for Chengdu included Caleb Cha(2015 World Latte Art champion), David Jameson(2016 World Coffee in Good Spirits finalist), Rie Moustakas (2014 World Latte Art finalist), Shae Macnamara (2016 World Coffee in Good Spirits finalist) and Ying Hu (2016 World Coffee in Good Spirits finalist).

The Stage

We enjoyed 3 days of interactive activities and challenges.

Mystery Espresso challenge: a head-to-head challenge between two All-Stars who dial-in a mystery coffee to achieve its best taste. The All-Stars would explain their thinking behind the recipes. Following that, the audience would taste both beverages and vote for their favourite.

Mystery Milk challenge: same as the Mystery Espresso challenge but the baristas have to achieve the best tasting and looking milk beverage.

Signature Beverage challenge: another fun dual between two All-Stars who attempted to create the best tasting beverage incorporating a mystery coffee and various local ingredients. The audience tasted both signature drinks and voted for their favourite.

Spirit Bar Challenge: similar to the Signature Beverage challenge except this one involves alcohol.

Mentoring Challenge: the All-Stars taught selected audience members how to prepare a milk beverage. The newly trained novices had to prepare beverages for the audience.

Latte Art Demonstrations: Caleb Cha and I showed off our latte art skills. We poured our signature designs before letting the audience have a say in what images they wanted in a coffee. Chengdu is known for Pandas so naturally that was a popular request!

Active Bar time Espresso and Brew bar: we showcased the coffees we brought with us and prepared drinks for the audience. I showcased the Rwanda Remera Natural process roasted by Blacklist Coffee Roasters as an espresso, a milk coffee and in pour-over filters.

My Road to Champion: an opportunity for all ‘stars’ to talk about our coffee careers and share our experiences with the audience.

After each activity, the audience got to meet, greet and take photos with us.

Our poster with scheduled activities

The All-Stars (including myself) were delighted to say the least. It was such an honour to brew coffee alongside these coffee champions from around the world. What an unforgettable experience!

All-Stars having fun!

Thank you to World Coffee Events for organising All-Stars. Hearty thanks to James and Veronica who looked after us. Xie xie to Rolf, our awesome translator! Thank you fellow All-Stars!

And much gratitude to our sponsors who made this all possible:

Qualified Sponsors: Astoria Think Espresso, Anfim S.r.l., Cafetto
Product Partners: Brewista 台灣總代理雷岳科技, 味全 MyWei, Bunn
Event Sponsors: Torch Coffee, Jess Trading, Hemro Asia

Selfie with two other champions who were at the expo. Chad Wang 2017 World Brewer’s Cup Champion from Taiwan (left) and Yoshikazu Iwase Japan’s two time Barista Champion (right).