Espresso is an essential element in the Italian way of life, so ingrained in the country’s tradition and habits that the American filter coffee never stood a chance of breaking into the market. Until now.
For the first time this year the Brewers Cup and AeroPress Championships took place in Italy, marking an important shift in the country’s approach to coffee preparation and consumption. The 1st Italian AeroPress Championship was held in Milan on May 17th, and its resulting champion will compete on June 9th at the World AeroPress Championships, held in Rimini, Italy. The Milan event gathered a fantastic response from the Italian progressive coffee scene, so much that registrations were closed after only two days as more than the required 18 participants had already signed up for the competition.
The event was organized by Alice Monti (IMS Filters) and Edy Piro (Terrone Coffee), with the support of DM Italia Srl who offered professional equipment such as grinders and kettles, the official AeroPress awards, and sponsored tickets to the world championship in Rimini. Other prizes included Aerobie Frisbees, Square Mile Coffee Roasters gift packs and Eureka coffee grinders.
Participants arrived from all over Italy to Cascina Cuccagna in Milan, a XVII century farmhouse in the centre of the city converted to a multifunctional centre dedicated to culture, environment, food, and social activities.
In true Italian style, the event kicked off with an ‘aperitivo’ buffet with charcuterie, cheese, bread, and pizza. The participants and the audience were also kept in high spirits with coffee tastings from the brew bar and craft beers offered by Birra del Borgo.
Enrico Wurm, After Sales Manager at La Marzocco (Head Judge).
Simone Pecora, 2010 Specialty Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) Italian Cup Taster Champion and green coffee importer at ARC.
Alberto Polojac, 2009 Italian Cup Tasting Champion, SCAE trainer and green coffee importer at Imperator.
Recipes of the three winners of the Italian AeroPress Championship.
All recipes were made using Guatemala Arabica coffee roasted by Simone Meriggi of Perfero Coffee, ground with a Mahlkonig EK43 machine and with a choice of two different Brita water filters.
Giulia Greta Pochettino, a Milan-based barista at Taglio Stores.
25 grams of coffee.
50ml of cold water in pre-infusion for 5 minutes.
200ml of water at 93°C, then plunge.
Simone Cattani, barista at Caffè Borsari, Verona.
22 grams of coffee.
30ml water at 85°C for 30”.
220ml of water for 1’45” of brewing time, then plunge.
David Spinelli of Work Up Academy & Lab in Cagliari.
16 grams of coffee coarser than espresso.
30ml of water at 80°C for 30 seconds.
30ml of water at 80°C for 20 seconds.
4 grams of coffee finer than espresso.
90ml of water at 78°C for 30 seconds.
50ml of water at 78°C, stir once.
50ml of water at 78°C, then plunge gently.
Mr. Spinelli will represent Italy on the home pitch at the 2014 World AeroPress Championships in Rimini next month.
The skills and enthusiasm shown by all participants in the first Italian AeroPress Championship proved that even though Italy’s tradition is all about espresso, the coffee community is ready to embrace new traditions. Italy has long been a great exporter of coffee culture, but these days, top Italian baristas are looking to other countries for inspiration, and bringing alternative methods of coffee preparation back home to this birthplace of espresso.
The Top 3 AeroPress Recipes From The 2014 United States AeroPress Championship
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Giulia Mulè (@mulia on Twitter and @mondomulia on Instagram) is an Italian food blogger and photographer, based in London. This is her first feature for Sprudge.