The 2014 World Aeropress Championship went down last week in Rimini, Italy, during the global coffee hubbub of the World Barista Championship. The event happened at the Turquoise Beach Club, with the warm sand and flowing drinks lending an appropriately festive air to the culminating event of a raucous, freewheeling year of national Aeropress championships. Competitive coffee brewing using the Aeropress has become something of a global phenomenon, with this year's World Championship attracting competitors from 27 countries.
The judges for the 2014 World Aeropress Championship were James Hoffman (Square Mile Coffee), Tim Wendelboe (Tim Wendelboe), and Tim Styles (Workshop Coffee). MC duties were shared by the Grand Vizier of Competitive Aero-Pressing, Tim Varney, and global coffee consultant Ben Kaminsky. The World Aeropress Championship site has a wonderful amount of information on all of the events, including recipes from the top three competitors, which we have shamelessly reblogged below.
Seriously though people, have you looked at their accessible and easy guide to throwing your own Aeropress competition? This ad-hoc competition circuit would not be what it is today without the tireless organization and support of Mr. Varney, and with this information being offered free of charge via the World AeroPress Championship website, we predict an even bigger field of competitors for the event's 2015 edition. We can't wait to see the poster designs.
The beach may have made for some challenges in brewing, but the ambiance could not be beat, and attendance at the party, hosted by La Marzocco, was noticeably sizable. The event was sponsored by Aerobie, Mahlkönig, Marco, Brita, Bonavita, and KeepCup, with Cafe Imports providing the delicious Ecuador Perla Chiquita competition coffee, shipped to all 27 competing countries in advance.
The beach scene also attracted a number of curious onlookers, likely entranced by the Italo disco jams provided by DJ Sprudge, featuring lost hits by Midnight Gang, Righeira, Baltimora, and many more favorites from the golden age of Italian disco.
With no further ado, here's the top three AeroPress recipes in the world.
3rd Place: Jeff Verellen, CaffeNation, Belgium
Grind: setting 8 on EK43.
Sieving: using Sowden softbrew filter, banging and shaking it to get rid if the superfines. You can also lose some of the chaff this way.
Water: Spa blue, soft 33 dry rest mineral water, ph 6.6.
17.5 grams ground coffee.
30 second soft bloom, at 82c, wet all the grounds nice and even, shake lightly around if not around 40 grams water.
1 minute extremely slow pour, 230 grams water, at 76c.
30 second soft plunge.
Extra Rimini beach version: plunge in a superchilled container, on ice if possible.
Leave enough slurry in the aeropress, about 50gr.
With this coffee I originally had my recipe at 86 bloom/ 82 pour. We calculated with the weather, humidity and bean temp before grinding that shaving 5c degrees would correct the extraction. In retrospect, even lower was better.
2nd Place: Martin Karabiňoš, Dublin Cafe, Slovakia
18.5 grams, EK43 at 6.2.
80g of water at 35C for 3 minutes, stir well and close AeroPress.
135g of water at 92C, stir once and push slowly for 30 seconds.
1st Place: Shuichi Sasaki, of Paul Basset, Japan
Rinse normal paper filter, in standard position.
40g of blooming water for 25 seconds, stir 5 times.
Add 210g of water, stir once.
Press very slowly for 75 seconds.
The final decision drew a tie amongst the judges, leaving the ultimate call up to AeroPress Ombudsman Tim Varney. As “In The Air Tonight” reached its big 80s drum sound climax, Mr. Varney ultimately decided that Shuichi Sasaki's brew was indeed best.
Thus ends the 2014 World AeroPress Championship season, but there's big things on the horizon for 2015, including plans for a Sprudge-curated WAC event at this year's United States Barista Championship. Stay tuned for details, congratulations to this year's top 3, and keep pressing those Aeros.
Alex Bernson is the Assistant Editor at Sprudge.com. Read more Bernson here.