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Hugh Kelly Secures Third Place in 2021 World Barista Championship

Hugh Kelly Secures Third Place in 2021 World Barista Championship with MY LIBERICA Beans

Today marks an important milestone for MY LIBERICA as @Hugh Kelly of Australia was honoured the third place in the 2021 World Barista Championship. It is a far-reaching award that opens up the possibilities for varieties other than Arabica on the world coffee stage.

The Liberica varietals(Liberica) has long been dismissed by the world. It has also been shunned by specialty coffee practitioners and/or coffee connoisseurs because of its pungent nature and ‘wild’ flavour besides its low yields.

MY LIBERICA has always believed that this variety, which has been enjoyed by Malaysians for more than a century, exists for a reason and has since committed to exploring its potential possibilities in growing, processing, roasting and brewing.

Its sweetness, richness (body) and its harmonious blend with milk have always been our reasons of persistence, despite the high cost.

Thanks to Elvin, the owner of Cloud Catcher Roastery , for providing us the opportunity to make contact with Sasa Sestic World Barista Champion 2015 and Hugh Kelly of ONA Coffee in Australia.

My fixed perception about Liberica has changed since the coming along of Sasa and Hugh Kelly. Licorice and astringent notes have always been the hallmark of Liberica but through our first cooperative effort, we discovered that different fermentation processes had brought about significant changes in the flavour profile of Liberica, which led to Hugh Kelly’s winning of the Australian Barista Champion 2021, securing a ticket to the World Coffee Championships.

We realised that while the competition coffee was bursting with remarkable flavours, there were rooms for improvement in terms of its bitterness and licoricey notes. This was when I witnessed the kingly aura of a world-class barista. Because of the pandemic, we have not met face to face. All coffee processing matters were communicated via virtual platforms, led by the virtue of complete trust. Attempting to resolve the issue with flavours, they also invested a sum for the improvement of our coffee processing mechanism without flinching. It was a touching gesture that boosted our confidence no end.

In the second processing method undertaken, i.e. beans processed for the World Coffee Championships, we made bold improvements to the processing mechanism. It was with God’s blessing that we made it! We attained the flavours we were striving for. Liberica is no longer the ugly duckling it once was; it has turned into a beautiful swan.

As for MY LIBERICA, regardless of whether winning the world championship or not, we have ascended to a higher realm of coffee cherry processing and we anticipate more possibilities further into the future.

MY LIBERICA is grateful to Sasa and Hugh Kelly, the two brilliant judges of talents, for featuring Liberica in this preeminent international coffee competition enabling us to explore further future opportunities.


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