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Judges for the Australian International Coffee Awards (AICA) are selected from across the coffee industry and are engaged based on their outstanding industry knowledge and expertise.

AICA 2018 Judges

Adam Hills – Darks Coffee Roasters

Adam has over 20 years of industry experience, starting out in cafes and roasting in 1998. Since then, his passion for the bean has taken him around Australia, with stints at The Coffee Machine in St. Kilda, Café 396 in Melbourne CBD and Bliss Coffee in the Hunter Valley, where he established his green bean knowledge. In 2006, Adam headed the roasting team at Peaberrys in his home town of Newcastle, a role which included green bean acquisition, blend development and roasting volumes on a commercial level. Adam co-established Darks in 2012, and which have since been awarded numerous AICA medals of their own.

Michaela Gerard – Veneziano Coffee Roasters

Industry veteran Michaela returns to the AICA panel for 2018, having been involved in a multitude of competitions as a technical and sensory judge, including Golden Bean, QLD State Barista Championships, National Barista Championships and World Barista Championships. With 22 years in the hospitality industry, Michaela has honed her passion for training and education over 8 years with Grinders Coffee Roasters, and now with Veneziano. Now a WBC Qualified Technical Judge, Michaela continues to develop her expertise through involvement with ASCA.

Jessica MacDonald - Eighthirty Coffee Roasters, NZ

A New Zealand local, Jessica has acquired broad international experience over her coffee career, starting in Melbourne in 2005. In 2007, Jessica took her passion to the UK where she helped start the first in-house roasting operation for a mobile events company. Later, Jessica became head roaster at Square Mile Coffee in London whilst training for Cup of Excellence and UKBC judging. Now a qualified Q Grader, Jessica has since held several Cup of Excellence judging appointments in El Salvador, Rwanda, Costa Rica and Guatemala.

More recently, Jessica has held roles closer to home as judge for the New Zealand Brewers Cup and Community and Events Coordinator for the NZ Speciality Coffee Association.

The full judging panel will be released prior to competition judging.