We’re just days away from the 2014 Australian AeroPress Championship, and the level of anticipation here in Melbourne is at a fever pitch. But one short week ago, the best baristas in the Australian state of New South Wales did battle to determine eligibility for the national competition.

The event took place at a packed out Mecca Espresso Ultimo, all raging atmosphere and competitive zeal. The NSWAC was ably organised and MC’d for the third consecutive year by Mecca’s inimitable Sam Sgambellone (a featured interviewee in Birds Of Unusual Vitality Volume 2), who provided not only a fun and well organised competition, but also dumplings, edamame and kegs of beer donated by local brewer Young Henrys.

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The competition saw 18 of Sydney’s most eager AeroPressers from 13 different companies, pitting their brewing skills against one another, doing battle with Mecca’s Ethiopia Duromina as a common bond. Judges were a who’s who of the NSW coffee scene, including Emily Oak (Sensory Lab), Russell Beard (Reuben Hills), and Mark Howard (Mecca Roastworks).

The final went down to the wire as Dylan Johnson (Paramount Coffee Project) narrowly beat out yours truly, Matt Davis (Pablo & Rusty’s) in a tight points decision, triumphing with a 2-1 split across the judges table. Below are the two finalists’ recipes–both competitors move on to compete at the 2014 Australian AeroPress Championship on Friday, May 16th in Melbourne.


First Place: Dylan Johnson (Paramount Coffee Project)

14g of coffee, 200g of water @96c
Sort and sieve coffee, do not invert.
Add 50g of water and gently stir to wet grounds.
At 30 seconds of brew time, add 50g of water, then stir.
At 1 minute add 100g water, then stir more.
Plunge AeroPress from 1.30 to 2.30.


Second Place: Matt Davis (Pablo & Rusty’s)

18g of coffee, sorted and sieved.
Inverted, preheated, double paper filter thoroughly rinsed.
Add 30g water at 80C.
Add coffee.
Add more water, wetting all coffee to take net weight of 260g.
Fix cap, steep for 30 seconds.
Flip, steep for 30 more seconds.
Plunge for 30 more seconds.
Aerate violently.

Photos courtesy of Shanndara Richardson

Matt Davis (@mattdavisau) is a photographer and videographer based in Sydney. You can read more of Matt Davis on Sprudge here.

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