TAIPEI - Taiwanese coffee expert Liu Pang-yu yesterday won the 2014 World Tasters Championship in Melbourne's annual International Coffee Expo.
Expressing his excitement by wearing the flag of the Republic of China on his back, Liu had finished his mandatory service in the military just last year and had won the coffee tasters championship in Taiwan before heading to Melbourne.
The World Cup Tasters Championship challenges coffee cuppers to demonstrate speed, skill and accuracy in distinguishing the taste differences in specialty coffees within a short time period. The rules seem simple, requiring contestants to recognise the different brew of coffee in a set of three cups; the cupper who correctly names the most cups from eight sets in the shortest amount of time is awarded the championship.
Liu had entered the final four on Saturday, beating American contestant Amanda Juris by providing six correct answers to her five.
Liu's father is a member of the Taiwan Coffee Association (TCA) and had encouraged his son to learn about the drink after Liu had expressed worries about finding a job, said TCA Chairman Wu Yi-ling. TCA has its own team of experts that train coffee-lovers to compete in world championships as coffee-related competitions are thriving all over the world, said Wu.