Aeropress. A brewing devices which brings endless hours of coffee drinking pleasure. It looks relatively simply to use, but as we all know, brewing that perfect cup of coffee is an art! It requires skill, knowledge, time and a little creativity.
The Swiss Aeropress Championships took place in Zurich on 23. April. As a first timer at the event, I was looking forward to learning more about this brewing art, and in tasting some of the coffees. Instead, what I was faced with was participating! One participant short on the day, and with Henauer Kaffee willing to sponsor me, how could I say no? (thanks Philipp my friend!)
With 30 minutes of hard core training and tips for some of Europe’s best and most knowledgeable coffee freaks, brewers and roasters, and with my espresso brewing knowledge up my sleeve, I created my recipe and got ready to participate. I decided to follow my own advice too – just give it a go, love the coffee and have fun!
And that I did.
Each participant was supplied with a packet of selected beans roasted specifically for this event. The beans – Las Queradas from El Salvador, roasted by the masters at Gipfelstürmer Kaffee. These beans were huge! The task ahead was to bring out as many of the complex flavours and aromas as possible. The right balance of sweetness, acidity and bitterness. Tricky! Most of the participants receive their bag in advance which allows them time to practice. Me – I had the 30 mins and 1 full brew before my round. Easy. I think one of the toughest things was remembering which way to place the Aeropress parts – to invert or not to invert, that was the question.
My round arrived quickly. I found myself up against and in the middle of Swiss Barista and Brühnett, Janine Landort and coffee freak and film man Kevin Rechsteiner. At least 2 smiling faces to break my nerves. 8 minutes on the clock. 3 judges waiting to do their slurping thang and to point at that one winning cup. Was the cup mine? No, it wasn’t. It was close though, as I got 1 vote out of 3! Janine got through to the next round and ended up in the final, which was won by Felix Hohlmann. Felix is off to Dublin to represent Switzerland in the World Championship. Yes, there is an Aeropress World Championship… and I will be there live doing volunteering and reporting.
So what did my recipe look like? Very complex with no defects. Ha!
– courage, craziness, creativity, good taste buds
– high quality specialty coffee (thanks Gipfelstürmer Kaffee)
– ability to take in all possible tips of coffee brewing friends in 30 mins
– smile! Its supposed to be fun
– an aeropress – beg, steal or borrow one
– filters (same as above)
– a spoon (take a guess)
– remember its kind of like brewing espresso in a Bialetti, just different
What have we learnt Coffee Me’rs? Take the opportunities that come your way, learn, create and have fun!
As for the Aeropress.. our journey together has only just begun, so look at Brewers of the world!