Colorful abstract paintings provided a pretty backdrop for this year’s US AeroPress Championship, which took place at Kim Foster Gallery in Chelsea, New York. The competition was hosted by Brandon Tully of Under Line Coffee, a cafe located just a few doors down from the art gallery, which is owned by Brandon’s wife. A small, intimate spot hidden under the High Line at West 20th Street and 10th Avenue, Under Line serves beans from Counter Culture Coffee alongside a rotating guest roaster (currently Heart Roasters from Portland, Oregon).Erin McCarthy (Counter Culture Coffee), Cora Lambert (Box Kite), Teresa von Fuchs (Irving Farm), and Deaton Pigot (Toby’s Estate Brooklyn) judged the competition, which drew a bustling crowd of baristas and coffee enthusiasts. Guests snacked on tasty bite-sized toasts from Under Line’s own toast menu (pear and prosciutto, avocado) and a variety of delicious cookies provided by City Cakes.
Below are the recipes for this year’s top three competitors. All recipes were made with Counter Culture Coffee, and each competitor used the grinder of his or her choice.
1st Place: Rusty Obra (Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee)
A culinary arts instructor and coffee ambassador for his family’s company, Rusty’s Hawaiian Coffee, this year’s US AeroPress Champion is a home barista who just makes coffee for fun. Founded in 1999, Rusty’s Hawaiian has won a multitude of awards over the years and provides green beans for companies including George Howell Coffee Company and Klatch Coffee.
Add coffee and 50 grams water to inverted AeroPress. Pre-infuse for 30 seconds, stirring a few times. Pour in remaining water. Set timer for 45 seconds, stir coffee, and let steep. After 45 seconds, flip and plunge for 30–45 seconds.
Rusty Obra now moves on to represent the United States at the 2015 World AeroPress Championship in Seattle, Washington on April 9th.
2nd Place: Joe Drazenovich (Black Brick Coffee/Saint Anthony Industries)
Joe Drazenovich is a barista at Black Brick Coffee, a cafe serving Stumptown coffee out of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He also handles business development on the east coast for Saint Anthony Industries, makers of specialty coffee products including the Phoenix70 and an array of handsome aprons.
– 19.6 grams coffee
– 235 grams water, 185 degrees Fahrenheit
Pour 39.2 grams water to inverted press, let bloom 30 seconds. Stir 10 times. Add remaining water for 1 minute. Flip press at 2:30, finish at 3:30.
3rd Place: Kevin Rosenkranz (Blackberry Market)
Kevin Rosenkranz has been with Blackberry Market, a cafe, bakery, and marketplace in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, for the past two years. Serving beans from fellow Illinois-based company Intelligentsia, Blackberry recently introduced made-to-order AeroPress coffees to their menu.
– 19.5 grams coffee
– 240 grams water, 201 degrees Fahrenheit
Pour 50 grams water, let bloom 45 seconds. Suction coffee with top plunger to prevent water from escaping. At 2:15, press for 45 seconds, ending at 3:00 total brew time.
Joanna Han is a Sprudge contributor based in Brooklyn. Read more Joanna Han on Sprudge.