Mikael Jasin of So So Good Coffee Company in Indonesia is your new 2024 World Barista Champion! A huge congratulations to Mike Jason from all of us at Sprudge.

This was Mikael Jasin’s third year competing in the World Barista Championship, placing fourth in 2019 in Boston and then seventh in 2021 in Milan. The Indonesia Barista Champion fought his way through a field of 53 competitors over four days in Busan, South Korea, wit his stiffest competition coming from fellow returning champion, Australia’s Jack Simpson. The Aussie barista posted the field’s highest scores in both Round One and the Semi-Finals, before ultimately placing second in the Finals behind Jasin—the final score was decided by a single point.

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Though he placed near the top in every round, there was a very real chance that Jasin may have never achieved his ultimate goal. But it wasn’t due to any outside forces; Jasin’s battle was with burnout. Following falling outside the Finals in 2021, the three-time champion took some time off from competing, to find the passion for it again, to see if it was even something he wanted to do anymore. “I had to use the same fire that was burning me as fuel to get me back to coffee,” Jasin said in his routine. He found that fire, and the journey to reclaim it became the focal point of his winning routine.

Jasin’s performance was a meditation on mindfulness, how it can elevate your coffee drinking experience and your life more broadly, replete with leading the judges on breathing exercises and ruminatory amblings from station to station. In a lot of ways, it hit many of the same beats 2019 World Barista Champion and Busan resident Jooyeon Jeon’s did, but with the air of informality and connection replaced with reflection. Meanwhile, in the background the music was steadily building to a crescendo, adding to the gravity of Jasin’s thoughtfully paced and coolly delivered script.

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Jasin was the only competitor to go over time in the Finals, ending his routine at 15:02, but in the post-run interview with the coaches, they stated how they would rather go over time than rush or cut out anything he had to say—after doing a push-up for each second he went long.

But this is the World Barista Championship, and script alone won’t win it; an exceptional coffee is a requirement. And Jasin had two of them: a yeast-inoculated and thermal-shocked Ethiopian landrace variety known as Aji,  grown on Finca El Diviso in Huila, Colombia, and a wash processed Gesha from the renowned Finca Deborah in Volcan, Panama. Starting his routine with the milk course, which represented “the Mind”, Jasin incorporated short shots of the Aji with a three-milk blend—60% dairy, 20% cashew milk, and 20% oat milk, all evaporated to an 80% concentration—for a 1:3 ratio beverage presenting flavors of peach liqueur, cantaloupe, and marzipan, with a coating mouthfeel and a lingering chocolate truffle aftertaste. In prior days, the peach liqueur was closer in flavor to a peach jam.

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Moving onto the signature beverage, or “the Body”, Jasin once again relied on the Aji, combining it with a lemon juice-clarified version of the same milk blend from the previous course. This was featured alongside a palo santo aromatic infusion, a palo santo vanilla syrup, and Indonesian cacao nibs, and served at a drinking temperature of 50 degrees Celsius. The end result yielded flavors of honeydew, watermelon, and sage, with a silky texture with a lingering finish of black forest cake.

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Finally, for the espresso course, which represented “the Soul”‚—”devoid of all the noise that comes from other ingredients”—Jasin switched to the Finca Deborah Gesha. He pulled his shots at a 2.5:1 ratio, expressing many of the floral and citrusy hallmarks of a Panama Gesha, including jasmine, orange blossom, orange, and honey. All this landed with a lingering silky golden raisin finish, as judges were instructed to stir their espressos while Jasin led them through an eye-closed mindfulness exercise.

To call Mikael Jasin’s routine a barn burner wouldn’t be correct, but that was never the goal. It was a moving meditation, a reflection on coffee and life and the value of being present. It’s the sort of story you can only really tell once you’ve been on the other side of it, only after you’ve lost, maybe even twice. It’s a narrative that comes to grips with the very real possibility—and the overwhelming likelihood—that the very same fate may yet await you once again. But it’s one that finds joy in the doing and not in the result, in the striving regardless of whether or not it attains.

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“I’m thankful to have gone through the fire and share my story so that others can also see the light,” Jasin told the judges in the closing moments. With his routine, that story came through loud and clear, and as the new champion, his message will only get amplified. It’s certainly a bit of kismet that World of Coffee Asia is heading to Jakarta next year, where Mikael Jasin, the first Indonesian World Barista Champion will get to play host for the global coffee community and continue his mission to bring more attention to the coffee of his homeland.

The value of the journey needn’t be about the destination or whether you ever get there or not. But sometimes, in those fleeting and rare and special moments, even when you are focusing on the journey, you ended up exactly where you wanted to be.

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Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.