Introducing our newly formed Championship events committee.

We called for voices from around the country, especially with the regional comps coming through, and those voices are from Judge, Barista and Volunteers as a starting point.The scope of the work being about future proofing our industry events and streamlining the events on the day/s of them running. This work will be on projects like streamlining the guidelines and assisting in leadership of the days of the events and pre-online workshops etc. Making them more fun and community driven and less stressful for all. Then planning new events that our community want!We feel that it’s about the Championship events predominantly to start with, then other events and the community.

Commitment: For outcomes we see the group communicating via an hour long conference call every two weeks and then working on projects between. Your individual commitment is up to you, and like all committees and boards individuals may be more heavily involved in one or more projects or assist over all. We only ask for your time when you are able to give it.

Many asked can I be involved I am competing or Judging? The answer is yes! Nothing is hidden and we aim to be transparent in all areas of what we do. We need you all as you are the future of our industry, some of you have been around longer than others though, this is also an asset as you know what we have done in the past.

In its first year, we have pre selected individuals from around the country and from the expressions of interest form, and in future years involvement will be by application or as the group together chooses.

Please see the 2024 committee members: The group is large, we need diversity, and all of the group may not be available all the time.

Michalina Sujewicz: Competitor, Judge

My name is Michalina Sujewicz, originally from Poland, and I’ve been living in New Zealand for the past 10 years. Back in Europe, I already worked in hospitality, but little did I know, I found a lot of joy in immersing myself in the world of coffee within the industry here.
My journey in the specialty segment has been rather diverse, ranging from roles as a barista and head barista to a coffee trainer and a member of a green coffee importer’s team. I’ve had the privilege of competing in and judging coffee competitions, and currently, coaching brings me a lot of fulfillment.
Sharing my coffee experiences on my YouTube channel and Instagram page, Coffee That Gives a Puck, is my way of contributing to others’ confidence in pursuing a career in specialty coffee. I aim to create a space on social media and in real life where coffee enthusiasts and professionals can come together to enjoy coffee and forge meaningful connections.
While the coffee industry can be both beautiful and challenging, my hope for this group is to provide encouragement and assurance to all coffee enthusiasts. Coffee events should be enjoyable experiences, even if victory isn’t achieved :)”

Jaye Sanders: Competitor, Judge

Hey, here is a little bio if ya need one of meeee Hey I’m Jaye. I am the Head Roaster for Firsthand Coffee Roasters in Hawkes Bay. I have been on the coffee scene since I was about 15ish. So let’s just say a fair few years now. I caught the specialty coffee buzz about 8 or 9 years ago now and haven’t looked back. I’ve competed and judged in a few of the NZ competitions and had the best time. I’ve finally found my people and like minded people who enjoy nerding out over similar things. Feeling honored and excited to be a part of this committee and can’t wait to see what’s to come!


Michele Thai: Judge, Volunteer

Ken Shi: Competitor, Judge, Volunteer & current NZSCA Board Member

Drew Mawson: Volunteer

My day job is as a Product Designer at a design consultancy (Pro-Dev), but at night (when I’m not playing roller derby) I’m an enthusiast home roaster and barista (and work the occasional charity event on a machine). I first got a bit serious about coffee back in 2011 when I bought an old commercial espresso machine (Rancilio S27), rebuilt it, and have maintained it ever since. I decided about three years ago that I needed to push things a bit further and had a “crack” at roasting with a very basic setup, and I’m really happy with what I’m achieving. After volunteering for the 2023 Barista Champs I was blown away with how much I enjoyed meeting the specialty coffee community and how welcome I felt, so I decided to give a little back and volunteer for the committee this year