The United States AeroPress Championship will take place this week in Seattle, during the Specialty Coffee Association of America's annual Event coffee-pa-looza. The event is one of many coffee competitions happening–there'll be all manner of US champions this week, from latte art to coffee brewing to the US Barista Championship–and we'll be there to cover them all.
What's an AeroPress Championship?
The World AeroPress Championship, unaffiliated with the larger SCAA-, SCAE-, and WCE-sanctioned coffee events, is a “grassroots” international coffee competition. The event was founded by a bunch of Norwegians in 2008 as a kind of joke, and now it's really very serious. There are now dozens of national championships (complete list here), with more being added in the run-up to the 2014 WAC this June in Rimini, Italy.
Wait. What's An AeroPress?
FastCo has a fantastic article up on the history and implementation of the Aerobie AeroPress, a delightfully lo-fi way to make delicious coffee. The article includes an interview with AeroPress inventor Alan Adler, and serves as an excellent primer for those unfamiliar with this brew method.
How do you play?
On the world stage, national champions gather to compete for the global crown. AeroPress competitors are allowed to bring their own grinders and water boilers and brew an AeroPress coffee into a cupping bowl. The cupping bowl is evaluated by three judges (and a head judge) who taste and score the coffees based on clarity and brew. True to the competition's wiggly-piggly free-form nature, no score sheets or forms are used. Judges just kind of “feel it”.
Can I play?
Poss? According to their registration site, “As of Friday, April 18, spots reserved for West and East region are claimed. Still a couple available in Central region, and one or two stand-bys.” Here's a complete list of competitors:
Central Regional AeroPress Champion:
Alex Fesili – Ugly Mug – Ypsilanti, Michigan
Southern Regional AeroPress Champion:
Andrew Bettis (competing on behalf of Blake Farmer) – BonLife Coffee – Cleveland, Tennessee
1. Ben Blake – Peregrine Espresso – Washington DC (East)
2. Brendon Glidden – Onyx Coffee Lab – Springdale, Arkansas (Central)
3. Simeon Bricker – The Roasterie – Kansas City, Missouri (Central)
4. Jon Ferguson – The Roasterie – Kansas City, Missouri (Central)
5. Andrew Villa – Chromatic Coffee Co. – San Jose, California (West)
6. Maxwell Hostetter – The Coffee Fox – Savannah, Georgia (East)
7. Cole McBride – @ColeCoffee – Seattle, Washington (West)
8. Jeremy More – Bonlife Coffee – Cleveland, Tennessee (East)
9. Jeremy Williamson – Coeur CoffeeHouse – Spokane, Washington (West)
10. Samuel Demisse – Keffe Coffee – Baltimore, Maryland (East)
11. Andy Sprenger – Sweet Bloom Coffee – Lakewood, Colorado (West)
12. Andrew Blumhagen – Joe – New York, New York (East)
13. Jesse Gonzales – Ritual Coffee Roasters – San Francisco, California (West)
14. TBC – (West)
15. TBC – (West)
16. TBC – (East)
17. TBC – (Central)
18. TBC – (Central)
Follow the United States AeroPress Championship on Twitter.