World Brewers Cup Finalist #1 is 2007 World Barista Champion James Hoffmann. When watching the video, cut to 7:28 to watch the start of his presentation.
“As coffee people, the brew method that we use the most and enjoy the most on average is probably cupping. When we cup coffees they’re very enjoyable and we don’t worry about the brew method and I think there’s something really pleasing and satisfying about just straight immersion infusion brewing.”
French Press, 60g of coffee per liter, brew time 4 minutes, filtered through cloth (“we don’t have ten minutes to let the sediment naturally drop to the bottom”).
“Paper’s great, but I feel like I’m missing something. Metal filtration: but no one really likes the silty sludgey stuff. Cloth is a lovely halfway house between the two. It’s the greedy man’s choice. I get the best of both worlds.”
On describing coffee: “The more precise my words are, the higher the potential reward. If I describe this coffee has a butterscotch quality and the customer tastes that, that’s a very memorable cup of coffee, I said butterscotch, they taste butterscotch – However, if we get so precise that we alienate them, if I say it’s Dutch processed cocoa and you go ‘what is that?’ or it’s a ‘bartlett pear flavor to this’ we can make our customers feel very stupid and we can make ourselves sound like charlatans.”
James’ coffee: The Square Mile Kenya Kangunu
World Brewers Cup Finalist #2 is Australian champion Luca Costanza. The first few minutes of his presentation were quiet Clever Dripper brewing moments… apart from that very audible nose whistle. Kalita Filters. More nose whistling… wine aeration tool…
6:25: “Okay, I’m glad we got that out of the way.” Luca talks about being an ex-coffee professional and finding the best coffees in Australia. The coffee he used was actually found on the way to Maastricht at the airport. Another great Kenyan coffee…
60g per liter “The problem with that, when it came off the brew it was too zesty, too much pith. The dinky little aerator looks stupid…” But it reduces the “zestiness”, cools it down, without depriving the “identity of the coffee”.
More nose whistling…and time!
World Brewers Cup Finalist #3 is Stefanos Domatiotis, international competition stalwart and Helenic barista superstar. Enjoy the entirety of this video, the opening interview is excellent.
Stefanos brewed an Ethiopia Silcho Coop that he notes has a crisp acidity, with notes of chocolate. Stefanos has been working with this particular cooperative for three years, and this year, he’s using their last crop – “which is giving me more chocolate in the flavor”. During barista competitions Stefanos is a very serious competitor, but his routine at the Brewers Cup clearly allowed him a chance to open up and enjoy himself. The results are a lot of fun to watch. Stefanos also competed using a ceramic Hario Dripper.
Stefanos mentioned that he loves this Ethiopian coffee in cold drinks, which are quite popular in Greek coffee culture. Did someone say washed Ethiopian frappe? Yes please.
“I am really happy to be here. Really, it is my honor.”
World Brewers Cup Finalist #4 is Keith O’Sullivan of Ireland. “I am not a coffee professional. I have been warned against saying this, but I’m an amateur. Ireland, as a country, has a long history of amateur participation in sports. For some odd reason, we love abusing ourselves and putting ourselves through grueling sporting events for no apparent reason. Except for one: passion.”
Keith’s performance was funny, casual and informative. Instead of talking about the coffee and where it came from, he talked about how, as a consumer, it changed his perspective on coffees from Latin America. He won the World Championship by doing exactly what competitors have been told not to do: he spent a large part of his time talking about himself and his experience with the coffee. And for a home barista, this was a really fun story to listen to. He also had the judges smell the ground coffee! Yes!
Keith brewed Has Bean’s Bolivia Finca Bolinda in a Chemex. Simple and to the point. It was brilliant. And how many times can someone say “gloopy”?
World Brewers Cup Finalist #5 is Miklós Gál, of Hungary – his competition routine begins at around 1:30 in this video.
Miklós used a self-made blend of 60% Guatemala Antigua La Pueblo and 40% of a PNG microlot. His routine emphasized the small size of the estates, down to the number of trees found on each farm. Remarking on the Antigua: “It has very smooth everything inside” – and for the PNG, “It has everything the Antigua has, but a little bit stronger of everything.”
He brewed his coffee using four ceramic Hario Drippers – “I have to make very gently moves” – and encouraged his judges to wait for the coffees to cool before sampling. All in all, a studied, professional routine from the Brewers Cup competitor from Hungary, Miklós Gál.
World Brewers Cup Finalist #6 was Tomasz Dziedzic, of Poland. His routine begins at 2:25 in this video.
Tomasz used a Kenyan Kianjaga Peaberry SL-28 and SL-34 – and Tomasz dropped a lot of knowledge on rain fall, harvest dates, and the harvest and drying process. Tomasz brewed on Hario Drippers, and mentioned aroma notes of lemon and rhubarb, with tasting notes of strawberry, rhubarb and blackberries – “and aftertaste is satisfaction smooth.”
The big winner was Keith O’Sullivan of Ireland! In case you missed it, check out our coverage of Keith’s big win from yesterday.