Industry legend Aida Batlle to join AICA judging panel

Salvadoran coffee farmer and Director of the Specialty Coffee Association of America, Aida Batlle will join the judging panel of the 2016 Australian International Coffee Awards (AICA) and entries are open now.

Recognised around the world as a leader in the industry, Aida has been featured in Time Magazine and described as a ‘coffee celebrity’ by the New Yorker, due to her strong commitment to quality and sustainable practices.

Aida, who was set to join the judging panel for the 2015 Awards until an unfortunate farm fire prevented her from attending, will join a list of industry experts led by Head Judge Peter Wolff.

Conducted annually by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV), the AICA celebrates and promotes coffee roasting excellence, with judging to take place in early March.

“We are delighted to have Aida join the AICA judging panel in 2016. Aida is known the world over not only for her exceptional production of coffee, but for acting as an ambassador for the industry,” said Mark O’Sullivan, CEO, RASV.

“Having a strong contingent of local experts together with international judges such as Aida on the panel, not only cements the credibility of the awards but offers producers who participate, an unmatched opportunity to have their roasts assessed by the global industry’s best.”

The 2016 AICA will also see the introduction of a new brew type and two new trophies.

The Cold Brew class will open the awards up to the burgeoning number of producers of this brew type, with a Champion Trophy on offer.

Another new trophy for Champion Direct Trade Coffee or Microlot Coffee in recognition of the growing number of coffee roasters developing direct trade relationships with coffee producers and offering seasonal microlot coffees to their customers.

The trophy can be won by any brew type fitting the criteria, bringing the total number of Champion Trophies to eight.

Champion Australian Roaster and Champion International Roaster will again be awarded in 2016, along with Champion Espresso, Champion Milk-Based Coffee, Champion Soy- Based Coffee and Champion Filter Coffee.

The awards are now open, with entries closing on 6 February 2016, with judging to take place from 8 -11 March, and the AICA champions will be presented as part of MICE on 16 March.

For further details or to enter the awards visit rasv.com.au/coffee

About the Australian International Coffee Awards:
The Australian International Coffee Awards (AICA) is Australia’s first international coffee roasting competition, conducted annually by the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria (RASV). The AICA celebrates and promotes coffee roasting excellence in Australia and around the world and is a partner event of the 2016 Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE). Entries into the AICA are judged by respected Australian and international coffee industry experts in Melbourne, Australia and entrants are provided with credible benchmarking of products, invaluable feedback from the judging panel and market differentiation with the seal of quality an award represents.
About Aida Batlle:
Aida Batlle, as well as being one of the world’s most prolific coffee producers is also a Certified Barista from the Barista Guild of America. Her range of premium coffees are highly sought after by specialty coffee roasters in the USA, United Kingdom, Europe, Asia and Australia. Aida has substantial experience cupping coffee with many of the leading third wave coffee roasters and sits on the Board of the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

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