Ryan Nguyen crowned 2024 Milklab Barista Battle Champion


Ryan Nguyen of Ona Coffee House Café in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory has won the 2024 Milklab Barista Battle and a $5000 cash prize. The competition took place at the 2024 Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) on 12 May.

Shogo Shimoji of Baby Afro Coffee Bar came in second and Thiam Seng of Kopi Stop placed third.

“I’m so happy and appreciative of the recognition. The Milklab team put so much effort into creating a fun and engaging competition which I’m very thankful for. I’m also grateful to have had the chance to compete against some really talented baristas,” Ryan says.

Ryan recreated an owl and King Kong latte art pattern that he used in the 2024 Australia Latte Art Championship.

“I love animals and wanted to create some new patterns. The King Kong is one of my favourite designs that I’ve been trying to perfect for a long time, and the pattern I poured in the final round,” he says.

Ryan says he approached the competition in the say way as the Australia Latte Art Championship.

“I believe practice makes perfect. My advice for any barista getting into latte art competitions is to keep persevering until you achieve your goal. If you don’t get the result you’re after right away, just keep at it, and your time will come,” he says.

This year Milklab brought back the knock-out style latte art smackdown in an online format. Contestants showcased their skills and creativity by posting on Instagram and TikTok from 18 March to 14 April. The barista with the best pour uploaded to Instagram or TikTok using Milklab, as decided by Milklab’s expert panel of judges, represented their state in the finals at MICE.

Judging the competition was James Paraskevopoulos of Roasting Warehouse, 2024 Australian Latte Art Champion Victor Vu, and White Horse Coffee Roasters Founder Dominick Majdandzic.

Ryan says he couldn’t have won the competition without the help of his three mentors, Victor, Australia Barista Training Founder Vincent Do, and Hany Ezzat of Ona Coffee.

“These incredible baristas have taught me how to steam my first jug of milk and pour my first ever heart latte art. They’ve given me so much inspiration to push myself through this comp. Without this guys I don’t know where I would be,” he says.

“I also want to thank my team at Ona Coffee House Café, who have been so helpful in my training.”

Ryan will use the prize money to buy something special for his partner.

“She has been so supportive throughout all my training. I want to do something nice for her to say thank you,” says Ryan.

For more information, visit milklabco.com

Source: Bean Scene Mag

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