On Friday, May 24th the city of Melbourne was bursting, positively heaving at the seams with international coffee professionals and enthusiasts in search of a good time. Some went out to fancy dinner, many others attended the gala opening of La Marzocco‘s brand new Melbourne showroom space, and quite a few of us gathered together at the Australian Barista Academy and 5 Senses Melbourne HQ for an evening of ping pong, Huxtaburgers, plastic red wine cups, and the 2013 World Aeropress Championship grand international finals.
It's all been leading to this, hasn't it? National events in all four corners of the globe produced a roster of champions that included Sweden, Norway, Belgium, Japan, Ireland, the UK, United States, Poland, Korea, South Africa, Hungary, and more, included several ad hoc national representatives who chose to represent their homelands last-minute, as well as competitors from across the Australian states. Sprudge.com served as your humble DJ and dance-off coordinators, respectively, helping to set the stage for MC's Tim Varney and Ben Kaminsky, and a judges quorum of Tim Wendelboe, Casper Engel of Coffee Collective, and the aforementioned Mr. Kaminsky, who effectively doubled his duty.
In the end, your newly anointed 2013 World Aeropress Champion is Jeff Verellen, a barista and roaster at Caffenation in Antwerp, Beligum. Mr. Verellen is the world's first tw0-time WAC champion, having previously won the 2011 edition of this august event. Jeff wins a bloody raft of prizes from brands like Handsome Coffee Roasters, Market Lane Coffee, Baratza, OTTO, Able Brewing and Aerobie, plus travel and admission to the 2013 Nordic Barista Cup, happening this September in Oslo, Norway.
Wille Yli-Luoma of Heart Coffee Roasters placed second at the World Aeropress Championship, competing on behalf of his native Finland. Surely the pride of Portland upon his return home, Mr. Yli-Luoma's routine at WAC was surely aided by the commitment to fine Aeropress service available daily at his Heart Roasters cafe; Portland Sprudge readers curious to try an internationally recognized Aeropress service are encouraged to drop by Heart's original location on Burnside Street.
Rounding out the top three is Tibor Varady, whose Espresso Embassy cafe in Budapest, Hungary is enormously well-regarded by travelers with knowledge of the Hungarian speciality coffee scene. Mr. Varady also has the distinction of earning a Finals Sunday appearance at the 2013 World Brewers Cup, placing 6th internationally. We know where our first stop will be next time we're in Budapest.
Here's a complete breakdown of each WAC routine, with recipes compiled by the team at Kaffikaze:
Soft water (SPA) with high PH – sweet – 83-84 C
Bloom 40 sec with 50ml water
Add 220g water (total 270) at 79C
Press slowly for 30sec
Leave approx 50g in the brewer (both water and coffee)
17g coffee – coarse grind
240ml water from Voss 98C
2min brew time
25 sec pressing time
12g coffee, quite coarse
Total 200g water, 90C
Add 50g water, stir 5 times vigorously
Place cap (prewet filter)
Squeeze out air while inverted
Press at 2min
Bodyweight press, as slowly as possible
Approx 30g coffee
Approx 200g 98C
Really, really fine grind
Press with foot
A special thanks to Tim Varney, Ben Kaminsky, Ben Bicknell and the gang at 5 Senses for pulling off a smashing evening of competition and bonhomie, and to Nordic Approach for supplying the caps lock DELICIOUS Kenya Nieri used by each WAC competitor. Look for more WAC national coverage as events for the 2014 season get underway this fall, leading up to the 2014 event in Rimini, Italy.
Photography and additional reporting for Sprudge.com by Ingri M. Johnsen and Harald J. Vøyle of Kaffikaze.