Veteran Master of Ceremonies Ben Kaminsky returned in *that* tuxedo (owned, not rented), joined by the equally fancy Katie Carguilo of Counter Culture Coffee to share mic duties throughout the night. Amid the grooviest of decorations, all 60s psychedelia and flower-child chic (straight from the genius design mind of Liz Chai), the 500+ audience supped free ales and various other concoctions as they grooved to the funkiest of DJ beats.
In the last few years, the World AeroPress Championship has grown from a scrappy grass roots contest to become a much-respected and slickly run global circuit, while still maintaining a fun air of frivolity. The event's benevolent co-chairs, Tim Varney and Tim Williams, have grown the WAC from a fringe event into an international phenomenon. From the cool posters to the wild and unique national events around the world, it's an event we're so proud to be partnered with as Official Media Bullhorns / Digital Town Criers.
An incredible 48 national competitors took part this year, the biggest field yet. If the competitions growth curve over the last few years is anything to go by, we can expect even more next year.
In addition to having more competitors than ever, this year’s WAC saw more judges than ever: 11 diverse and reputable coffee professionals from all corners of the globe. And how does one have 11 different people judging a competition at once, you ask? You spin a wheel each round to choose 3 different judges (or possibly also win a shot of Baileys), of course.
In the end, a first-time national champion by the name of Filip Kucharczyk took home the coveted Golden Aero. He's young, he's stoked, he's a bit of an unknown, and now he's the new World Champion—it's a fitting end to a remarkable 2016 run of the World AeroPress Championship circuit. Hot on his heels were national champions from Brazil and France, followed by a valiant field of pressers, grinders, pushers and inverters.
Congratulations, Filip Kucharczyk and bravo, World AeroPress Championship. Let's take a look at those top three recipes so you can Press along from home.
3rd Place: Hugo Sousa Rocco, Moka Clube; Curitiba, Brazil
Dry coffee: 27 grams
Grind: Medium coarse, like a V60
Water temperature: 82 C
Add 60 grams of water
Stir for 12 seconds
Wait 1 minute
Add 110 grams of water
Wait 2.5 minutes
Push for 30 seconds
Top up with water until you have 200 grams of coffee (the minimum required for the competition)
2nd Place: Jerome Dittmar, a journalist with no cafe affiliation; Lyon, France.
Dry coffee: 20 grams
Grind: 7.5 on an EK-43
Pour 40 grams of water during 10 seconds
Let it steep for 20 seconds
Pour water til you reach 230 grams during 40 seconds
Push for 40 seconds
Dry coffee: 35 grams
Paper filter: rinsed
Water temperature: 81 C
Start the timer
Pour 150 grams of water for 15 seconds
Stir until 30 seconds on the timer
Put the lid on, wait until 1 minute on the timer
Invert AeroPress, give it a swirl, plunge
Add 100 to 120 grams of water to taste
Wear a backpack while brewing for that little extra ✨something✨
Kucharczyk’s recipe is meticulous in parts, yet retains flair of creativity, as it allows him to adjust the final product according to taste. Clearly it’s a method that works, as it carried him to victory on this long midsummer night in Dublin.
We're already looking forward to next year’s bicep-fueled brewed coffee extravaganza in Seoul. Free from bureaucracy and bullshit, allowed to function as grassroots network of national championships with an independent spirit, there's no doubt that the World AeroPress Championship presents a compelling future for competitive coffee. It's a big deal, it's a bit of fun, and we can't see where it goes next.
Start planning your best recipes and your cleverest posters ASAP for international glory. We'll see you next year, and keep Pressing.
Kate Beard is a staff writer at Sprudge Media Network, based in London. Read more Kate Beard on Sprudge.