The prize up for grabs was a round trip to the World AeroPress Championships in Seattle in April, thanks to sponsors Art of Coffee by coffee importer Belco and Modderne Paris, an accessories brand that makes lovely coffee paraphernalia, all of it 100% made in Paris.
The judging team was made up of: Laura Plaineau of Caféothèque; Raphaël Prime, the first Q-grader in French history; Antoine Péron, roaster at Esperanza Cafe; and as head judge, Jeff Verellen, perennial Belgian AeroPress champion and two-time World AeroPress Champion.
Competing with a washed Ethiopian Sidamo Shilicho roasted by Esperanza Cafe, no fewer than 18 contestants ground, poured, mixed, and plunged in front of a packed and energetic crowd. After stiff competition, Thomas Clément, of Cafe Cuillier in Galeries Lafayette, was declared the winner, giving him the chance to represent French baristas and the burgeoning French specialty coffee movement at the World AeroPress Championship in Seattle this April.
Here are the top three recipes from the 2015 French AeroPress Championship. These recipes are optimized for you to play along from home (although finding water from St. Georges or Montcalm elsewhere in the world might be tough). As always, we're on the hunt for more AeroPress competition coverage as it happens around the world; check out this feature for more details.
1st place: Thomas Clément, Cafe Cuillier, Paris.
18 grams coffee hand-ground in Hario Skerton; 17.5 grams in inverted AeroPress
230 milliliters St. Georges water at 64 degrees Celsius
Infuse for 30 seconds
Stir coffee for 20 seconds
Plunge to 1:35
2nd place: Steaven Marks, Cafe Coutume, Paris.
17.5 grams sieved coffee (>500µ)
255 grams water, “cuvée maison” (distilled water + 70 ppm sodium + 30 ppm magnesium)
2 paper filters, 1 with a bigger diameter
Heat water to 85 degrees Celsius
Sifted coffee in inverted AeroPress
Pre-infusion of 60 gramswater, stir 20 times
Add 195 grams water, to 1:10. Stir 20 times
At 1:40, flip AeroPress
Push slowly, to 2:50, keep 20g in the AeroPress
Chill and oxygenate
Share with your friends around you
3rd place: Antoine Aubry, Coutume Instituutti, Paris
Normal method, slow extraction
15.6 grams coffee, coarse grind (16 on EK43)
210 grams Montcalm water at 85 Celsius
Add coffee, 1 paper filter, pour in water
At 1:00, stir 5 seconds
Place the plunger at 4:00 and plunge slowly for 1:30
Chill and serve