Discovering Rizky’s Incredible Victory at Barista Battle AU 2023

We caught up with our Aussie Barista Battle 2023 champ, Rizky, to find out how he went from wildcard to winner and became a MILKLAB Master Barista.
Discovering Rizky’s Incredible Victory at Barista Battle AU 2023
March 18, 2024
Latte Art

An Incredible Journey from Wildcard to Winner: Meet Our AU Barista Battle Champ, Rizky

Our 2023 Aussie Barista Battle was a latte smackdown for the ages! In the end, only one barista could be crowned champion, and it was Rizky from WA who took out the grand prize.

After battling all the way to the top on a wildcard, Rizky has learned a ton and opened a new world of opportunities. Not to mention he is now a MILKLAB Master Barista teaching everyone the tricks of the trade!

Those of you keeping an eye on our Barista Basics section may already have seen some of Rizky’s stunning latte art skills, such as his epic Monkey King. Read on as we discover more about his journey to becoming our Australian Barista Battle champion. Keep reading as we follow Rizky’s path to victory.

Hey Rizky, tell us about your journey as a barista!

I’ve been working as a barista since 2014, coming up to 10 years now. I started as a Starbucks barista and did five years in the Middle East, Kuwait and Dubai.

More recently, I’ve been working in Perth at Cafe Des Delices and Offshoot Coffee.

I had no idea my coffee journey in Perth would pan out this way. What I had in my mind was simply to come and have fun. I love WA’s coffee community — it’s very supportive and there’s lots of friendly competition.

When did you enter your first latte art competition?

2021 was my first attempt at a national latte art competition which was held in Dubai. I made it through to the final round but missed out on the trophy!

Take us back to the moment you were crowned the Aussie Barista Battle champion at MICE 2023. What was going through your mind and how did you feel?

Looking further back, I never even expected to win the Western Australia title – I’d only been in Perth for two months when the Barista Battle commenced.

But then I won! And I got the opportunity to be WA’s representative at MICE. It was a privilege to not only witness a big event like MICE, but be able to compete there.

However, when the battle started at MICE, things didn’t go well for me – I was defeated in the first round. I’d never even considered this outcome! But as it happened, fortune was on my side. MILKLAB provided a wildcard, a second chance, and thankfully, my name was called.

The thrill of getting a second chance made me extra determined to win. And it worked out well, because the final outcome was me being the winner of the Aussie Barista Battle!

How did you prepare for the Australian and International Finals? Were there specific strategies you used to make sure you were at the top of your game?

For the final, I practised intensively using my supply of MILKLAB, repeating patterns that I had prepared before. And I also watched some tips from MILKLAB’s social media to find out the best techniques for steaming and mixing when using MILKLAB plant-based milk.

How has winning the Barista Battle and becoming a MILKLAB Master Barista impacted you?

It’s still sinking in. It’s way beyond my expectations to compete with champions from other states, let alone become the winner. I still feel blessed – how lucky I was to get that second chance.

Becoming a MILKLAB Master Barista has been such a great experience, it’s opened up more opportunities for me, and helped me make connections in the coffee community in Australia and beyond.

And of course I get to share my techniques with an audience, pouring latte art with MILKLAB!

Do you have any advice for people who might want to enter the online Barista Battle for 2024?

No matter how confident you are with your skill, always stay grounded.

This can be a very competitive and challenging battle, so for those who are new, don’t let it get to you. It can be terrifying being watched by other baristas and judges, but always remember that you’re doing your best.

The important part is you are always learning something new. And the final thing is just go and have fun!

What’s your favourite part of being a barista?

For me, being a barista isn’t a job anymore, it’s a passion. You can make people happy with your cup of coffee, boost their days, and share joy and creativity with your latte art!

The MILKLAB Barista Battle returns in 2024. This year is set to be epic and will feature an all-new online entry format — keep it locked right here for more details coming soon!

MILKLAB featured colLABorator

Rizky is our MILKLAB Australian Barista Battle Champion for 2023


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