[Photo: (Left) MD of Monin - Christophe Bernard-Bacot, (right) Tan Ze Keng]
Student Tan Ze Keng of Berjaya University College of Hospitality took home the first prize of the MONIN Coffee Creativity Cup 2017 on 16 May.
Tan shared the podium finish with first runner up Lim Xurene of KDU University College, and second runner up Thiventhran Chinniah of Brussels Beer Cafe.
In the third edition in Malaysia, Tan beat out 16 other competitors from hospitality schools and F&B outlets across KL for the chance to represent Malaysia at the global finals in Seoul, South Korea, this November.
According to competition rules, all competitors were below 27 as a way for MONIN to encourage young talent who are willing to take risks and share their brilliant ideas. They are judged on the creativity of their drink made with a Lavazza espresso shot and a MONIN flavour, and presented to a panel of eight industry professionals, which includes Jimmy Vun (Group Barista at Ben's Kitchen), Wataru Inagaki (Barista/Mixologist in Dankoff Coffee), Boyd Yap (Lead Trainer in Dankoff Coffee), Jason Loo Hsien Yuen (Owner of Yellow Brick Road and three times Malaysia Barista Champion), CK Kho (Owner of Coley and Pahit), Jason Soon (MONIN Beverage Innovation Manager), Erik Fiza (Beverage Manager at Suzie Wong) and the food blogger Ivy Kam (Founder of FOOD Malaysia).
Held at the Dankoff Coffee Academy in Seri Kembangan, the 16 participants brewed, shook, and poured out their drinks with style and precision, and featured a number of especially impressive combinations.
Tan’s winning concoction was a fruity combination called Aloha, made with 10 ml Le Fruit de MONIN Pineapple, 10 ml Le Fruit de MONIN Passion Fruit, four espresso shots, 10 ml cold brew Earl Grey tea, 5 ml lemon juice, Earl grey mist, and garnished with and edible flower. He shared that the inspiration for this came during a holiday, and it took him a month to finalise the recipe.
Lim’s drink was the Spiced Brewleé, made with MONIN Mango syrup and MONIN Roasted Hazelnut syrup, an espresso shot, milk, cardamom and icing sugar; and Chinniah’s drink was the Lady in Green, made with MONIN Pandan syrup, espresso, milk, santan powder, selasih, and decorated with a pandan leaf wrapped around the carafe.