It's competition season, and KRUVE is back with a featured story on Nisan Ağca from Turkey. A seasoned barista champion, Nisan talks about his journey since taking the competitive stage, and a little about his lessons from experimenting with our preferred beverage.
Competitions have always played crucial role in my career. My love for coffee and desire to take my passion to the world stage are why I switched occupations to enter the coffee business. Back in 2015, when I competed for the first time, my knowledge of superior brewing techniques and best practices was very limited. The competitions proved to be a steep learning curve but they are a big part of who I am today.
After competing at the 2017 World Barista Championship in Seoul, I had some time to think about my performance and how I can elevate the experience that I offer, during competition season. So I came up with this idea for 2019 national competitions: with 2 coffees, I prepared 3 different ideas- two single origins for espresso and signature beverage, one blend for a milk-based beverage.
In order to highlight and elevate the experience, I decided to support my main coffee which is a fully washed Castillo from Colombia, with another coffee, also from Colombia, but this time a natural geisha from La Palma el Tucan. Both coffees have one common taste, which is peach. But when I added one whole shot of geisha, it became very dominant and brought out different flavors. Instead of that, I decided to play with grind particle size. Thanks to KRUVE, when I pull a shot with particles under 600 microns, the geisha gives me a more dominant peach flavor and intensity. Instead of making a traditional shot, I decided to use this as an amplifier. So I pulled a 12 grams out of 50 grams, something that people call a 'coffee shot'! It worked out really well. As well as supporting peach flavors which the Castillo had, with the synergy they created another flavor as well, which was white grape.
Thanks to KRUVE, when I pull a shot with particles under 600 microns, the geisha gives me a more dominant peach flavor and intensity.
What I learned from my experiments and experience at national competitions is that there is always room to experiment, improvise and take things further. If I did not compete, I probably would not have tried sifting and attempting a very non-traditional espresso shot. But at the end, hard work paid off and I won.
About Nisan Ağca
Nisan is an authorised SCA trainer, coffee consultant, and consecutive winner of the Turkish Barista Championship in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. He also placed second at the Turkish Brewer's Cup 2017 and 37th at the 2016 World Brewer's Cup (1st round).
Nisan will be competing at the 2019 World Championship in Boston. We wish him good luck and great brewing!
Follow Nisan on Instagram: @nisanagca
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