The 2016 World Brewers Cup Championship took place last weekend in in Dublin, Ireland, and Sprudge Media Network was there to cover the event in its entirety. Over thirty coffee brewers competed in three days of grinding, manual brewing, and generous eye-contact in front of a panel of international judges. Only Sprudge has complete coverage of this event, which you can relive in its entirety over at our sister site dedicated to coffee competitions, SprudgeLive. But for today we want to bring you in to the action packed last day of service—Finals Saturday at the 2016 World Brewers Cup Championship.
This event was won by Tetsu Kasuya, a capable coffee professional hailing from Japan. But for our readers these events serve as an incredible set of insights as to how the world's best coffee brewers are building recipes and service concepts in today's hotly competitive coffee scene. Below you'll find coverage of all six of the Brewers Cup finalists, including recipes and routine details for each service. You, too can be a world-class brewer at home—just take a hint from these extraordinary pros, and don't forget to call “time”.
Odd-Steinar Tøllefsen, Supreme Roastworks AS, Norway
Odd-Steinar Tollefsen, the reigning 2015 World Brewers Cup Champion, competed in finals using Ethiopia Semeon Abay from Ninety Plus. Tollefsen hand brews at Supreme Roastworks AS with the same method he employed today at finals:
Glass Hario V60-02
20g dry coffee
90℃ 300ml natural mineral water from Norway with a “low mineral content”
40 second bloom
3:30 total brewing time
Transfer brewed coffee into another vessel before serving
Serve into handless ceramic cup
Tollefsen said that he felt the V60 offers the “cleanest, most open, and elegant” brew. Nothing too flashy for the champ from Norway, who told the judges, “I like the old school method.”
BENNY WONG, THE CUPPING ROOM, HONG KONG
Benny Wong of The Cupping Room in Hong Kong used Colombia Cerro Azul Cafe La Granja Esperanza roasted by Sweet Bloom Coffee Roasters in Lakewood, Colorado. Wong stripped the chaff off each coffee seed used in competition. We went backstage to ask Wong how long that took and he told us “with four people, it takes about thirty minutes for 50 grams of coffee.”
Melitta Porcelain One Cup Brewer
12g dry coffee
94℃ 212ml water at 85TDS and 40PPM Magnesium
Double fist two-kettle pour brewing all at the same time
20 second bloom
2:45 total brewing time
Serve in ceramic cupping bowls
Wong used the Melitta brewer and during his performance said that because of the device's slower 1.4g per second flow-rate, it brewed a cup with a “much better mouthfeel.” We love a better mouthfeel. Who doesn't?
Todd Goldsworthy, Klatch Coffee, United States
Sitting on a stool, two-time American champion Todd Goldsworthy looked up to his panel of judges as he told a story about his children, his coffee, and the thrill of discovery. The presentation of sitting below the judges eye-line wasn't intentional (at the United States Brewers Cup, the judges sat on chairs), but Goldsworthy told us that because of his height (6'2″) he's received notes about judges feeling as if he was “towering above them”. Starting the routine in a chair was an effective way of easing into the presentation and had a calming effect.
Glass Kalita Wave
27g of dry coffee
95℃ 105 TDS Water (David Beaman chemical formula)
0:45 second bloom 40ml of water
1:15 150ml pulse
2:00 250ml pulse
2:45 350ml total brew time
Served in a blue NotNeutral mug
Goldsworthy served his coffees in a blue mug. Why? Because he read a thing he saw on Facebook about a study that found that people perceived foodstuffs on blue plates/cups sweeter. “I used blue mugs in the US so why not?” Works for us!
TETSU KASUYA, COFFEE FACTORY, JAPAN
Tetsu Kasuya of Coffee Factory in Japan brewed a natural processed gesha from the Ninety Plus Gesha Estate in Panama with ceramic Hario V60s. The Japan Brewers Cup Champion clocked in over two hundred training hours for his ten minute presentation—it was enough for him to emerge triumphant as the victor of this tournament.
Ceramic Hario V60
20g dry coffee
45 second bloom
0:45 70ml pour
1:30 60ml pour
2:15 60ml pour
3:00 60ml pour
3:30 lift dripper
Serve in Japanese ceramic cup
With gracious humility Tetsu Kasuya told his judges, “I am not a roaster and I am not a farmer. I am a barista and a brewer and I'll put all my passion brewing for you.”
MIKAELA WALLGREN, THE COFFEE COLLECTIVE, FINLAND
There were exactly four factors that enhanced the sweetness in Mikaela Wallgren's coffee. The fourth factor? “Me!” she quipped to her judges, eliciting whoops, cheers, and laughter from the Danish and Finnish fans in the crowd. Wallgren brewed in the small metal Kalita Waves, one-by-one.
15g of dry coffee
96℃ reverse osmosis water from Copenhagen
0:30 second bloom
1:45 total pour time
2:35 total brew time
Served in ceramic cups
Wallgren served the coffees in handmade ceramic cups by Polish artist Magdalena Kałużna, who designed them specifically for this service.
CHAD WANG, JASCAFFE CHINA, TAIWAN
Chad Wang dazzled the judges, presenting them with a Ninety Plus Gesha from their Makers Series. Wang brewed them all at once with two Bonavita kettles. Wang trained with Stefanos Domatiotis of Ninety Plus and Taf, the World Brewers Cup roasting sponsor. Wang considers Domatiotis “a passionate barista with extensive knowledge on coffee and championships. One of a kind.”
15g dry coffee
92℃ 75 TDS water
30 second bloom
Continuous center pour until 2:05-2:10
Wang noted that his coffee had notes of “stone fruits, dark coloured flowers, caramel,” that were emphasized with pre-wetting his filters. But not just with a splash of water, 300ML of water exactly. It's this precise amount that emphasized notes of ripe, juicy apricot. “Aroma is 86% of that flavor,” he said, and without all that water? That filter sops up that juicy aroma like a nasty old sponge. Rinse your filters, friends![Ed. note: The recipes contained in this feature do not contain grind particle size information. We recommend starting with sandbox sand consistency and go from there.]