Last month the Swedish AeroPress Championship, one of many national championships taking place around the world, was held at Koppi Coffee in Helsingborg, Sweden. Twenty-one competitors came from all corners of Sweden to participate in a shop packed full of friends, family and coffee curious individuals. The grand prize was a round trip ticket to Melbourne for the winner to represent Sweden in the 2013 World AeroPress Championship. The stakes were high, and many of Sweden’s best baristas had shown up to throw down—but Dinh Nguyensson took us all by surprise
Meet Dinh Nguyensson, the 2013 Swedish AeroPress Champion, who’s inspiring coffee story has carried him to Melbourne where he’ll compete for the world title of AeroPress brewing. Below is a lovely account of Dinh and his win, written by Patrick Teasdale Jr.
++ Dinh Nguyensson – 2013 Swedish Aeropress Champion
By: Patrick Teasdale Jr
Dinh is an exchange student from Paris studying medicine at Karolinska. You may know him as the 2013 Swedish Aeropress Champion.
Dinh’s journey into specialty coffee began just last year as a regular customer at DROP Coffee in Stockholm. Johan, a barista working at DROP, first introduced Dinh to the AeroPress. Intrigued by the coffee culture of Scandinavia, and having a month-long holiday between terms, Dinh took time and traveled through Sweden and Finland. Dinh visited cafe after cafe, and in the process fell in love with speciality coffee and especially the coffee scene in Helsinki (namely Johan & Nyström Helsinki and Kaffa Roastery). After Dinh’s pilgrimage, he invested in his own Aeropress, Hario travel grinder, and a bag of DROP Coffee. The home-brew coffee adventure had begun.
Three weeks after receiving his Aeropress, Stockholm’s monthly throw down was being held. However, this month’s gathering was special due to the addition of a brew down. Dinh planned to attend in order to meet new people, but when he saw there was a lack of brewers competing he thought, “yeah, why not?” Showing up merely to have fun, Dinh was surprised to find himself the winner of the night’s brew down. In the process he did meet new people and walked away with new coffee and a smile on his face.
Riding on a shot of confidence and caffeine, Dinh signed up for the Swedish Aeropress Championship at Koppi later that month. Dinh remembered Johan telling him about the competition, “you never know Dinh, maybe you could compete in the next one?” So with much the same attitude that led Dinh into the brew down, he signed up as one of the twenty-one brewers competing in the championship.
Early morning, on the day of competition, Dinh piled into a car with six Stockholm baristas for the trip down to Koppi in Helsingborg. Upon arrival, Dinh was shaking with anxiety. He was surprised to find everyone with mechanical grinders and sifters to extract the best sized coffee grounds. Dinh’s kit consisted only of his Aeropress, hand grinder, scale, and a scientific thermometer.
After a few practice rounds, the competition began. Dinh was selected to compete in the first round with two other baristas from DROP. Dinh’s last words before it started, “okay, I’m gonna die!” To his relief, the judges chose his cup to advance. From there, he gained some confidence, but felt sorry for the DROP baristas he had just beat. So to honor the cafe that introduced him to the speciality coffee world, Dinh hoped to advance to the Finals along with Johan—and he did. Even with an electric kettle malfunction, he advanced past round 2, placing him within reach of the win.
The final round of three competitors included Dinh, Lisa Raeder from Johan & Nystöm Stockholm, & Johan Moren from DROP Coffee. Each competitor was given eight minutes to brew their best cup. Dinh began boiling his water as he weighed and hand ground his beans, then brewed and pressed into a metal pitcher, swirled to cool and then presented his cup to the judges. Still with plenty of time left, Dinh calmed his nerves by keeping busy cleaning his station. After Lisa and Johan presented their cups the judges tasted and debated which cup was the best.
The judges first awarded 3rd place to Lisa. Then 2nd place to Johan. In the excitement of the reveal, Dinh thought Johan had won. But Dinh was surprised once again to realize that he took 1st place! He couldn’t believe it, he actually did it. In his own words, “then I really began to shake,” shake with excitement. After a couple of beers, the shaking subsided and he piled back into a car to head home as the new Aeropress Champ.
This week Dinh will represent Sweden in the World Aeropress Championship. Although he’s feeling some pressure, he doesn’t plan to change his routine much at all. Dinh’s only desire is to brew a cup that he would enjoy & hopefully the judges will too. DROP coffee not only inspired Dihn, but is also home to this year’s Swedish Barista Cup & Brewer Champions: Oskar & Nico. DROP invited Dinh to practice together with them for Melbourne; where Dinh will be visiting for his first time.
Dinh’s first motivation is still what propels him in the coffee world today—to meet new people. He is grateful for all those he has met so far. To him, the AeroPress is the door into the specialty coffee world, and it’s open to everyone—just like the community of welcoming coffee people.
Dinh’s winning AeroPress method:
15g of coffee
200g of water, 82°C
50 second steep time
30 second press
Stunts, explosions, & coffee. This may be the greatest coffee brewing video ever. From the same people who brought you syphon brewing in the dark, comes this explosive 80′s throwback to my favorite brew method—the AeroPress. Huge thumbs up.
After a long day of back-to back AeroPress competitions here in Portland, a new World AeroPress Champion has been crowned—Charlene De Buysere from Belgium. Charlene’s triumph continues Belgium’s reign after last year’s win by Jeff Verellen.
All of the participants competed with the same washed Ethiopian Sidamo from Heart Coffee Roasters and following a passionate effort by the final two ladies, Charlene’s was decided to be the best. After receiving her trophy, Charlene thanked Alan Adler for inventing such a wonderful coffee machine and told him how excited she was about winning a ticket to the Nordic Barista Cup.
The runner up was Ingri Margrethe Johnsen from Norway who came in second place—followed by Emil Ericsson from Sweden, who came in third.
Congratulations to all the finalists and thanks to the organizers, judges and sponsors who made this the biggest and best WAC yet. Next year we’ll need bleachers as well.
For the first time on US soil, the World AeroPress Championship 2012.
Registration is now open for this year’s World AeroPress Championship. It will be taking place at this summer’s SCAA Event in Portland, Oregon between April 19 – 22. I competed in last years WAC and had a great time—this years will only be bigger and better. If you’re interested in competing, space is limited, so register early and often! Visit the official WAC website for all of the registration details.
A bit delayed, but I wanted to share a recap as well as my recipe used at the World AeroPress Championship that took place last weekend in Milan. Overall, the event was a lot of fun (things always are with good people) and there was a surprising turnout for the audience. Marco’s generosity in handing over their booth for most of the day was greatly appreciated and the organizers did their best to keep things organized.
What I love most about this competition is seeing how many different ways people use the same brewing device. Everyone has their own unique twists to the method and of the 18 competitors, almost everyone used a different coffee. I was envious of the judges position to taste them all.
I choose to compete with the Kieni from Nyeri, Kenya, roasted for me by Linus at The Coffee Collective (you can read about his trip to the farm here & here). I tried this coffee at Vandaag in New York a few weeks ago, and even though it was old, it was one of the best Kenyan coffees I’ve had all season. Since I was passing through Copenhagen on my way back from the States, I stopped in to get some coffee right out of the cooling tray.
While I had tasted the coffee, I hadn’t had much time to spend brewing it myself before the competition. The morning of the competition I brewed two AeroPresses—one with paper, and one with a new Able Disk. The paper was under-extracted and the disk was over-extracted. But I liked the way the disk emphasized the big, round mouthfeel of the coffee. I made some notes on how to adjust and waited until I was called to compete.
My AeroPress method:
Inverted AeroPress & disk filter
16g of medium(+) ground coffee (6.75 on the Über Grinder)
218g of water (92.2°c on the Über Boiler)
15 seconds to pour 100g of water
Stir 5 times, then add remaining 118g of water
Put on pre-heated disk filter and cap
At 1:10 flip AeroPress onto vessel
At 1:15, begin pressing
Finish pressing at 1:45 (leaving the last few grams of water unpressed)
Let cool and enjoy!
This method won me a spot in the semi-finals where I put up another good coffee that challenged the judges, but it ultimately lost to Alex Artemov who went on to place 3rd and Joshua Wismans—another American currently living in Sweden—who went on to take 2nd place using Koppi. I finished in the top 6, which was encouraging in itself, and I learned a lot in the process. I’m looking forward to the next WAC, but also to brewing on a Chemex for a change.
See Jeff Verellen’s winning method here.
See more photos from the World AeroPress Championship on Flickr.
To follow yesterdays re-announcement of the World AeroPress Championship, I’d like to say I’ve found my new training regiment. I’m ready to don an oxygen mask and start making inverted AeroPresses at 20,000ft! Who’s with me?
Last week, while flying 60km/h and geared up to stay warm in the -20°c air, three coffee lovers in Lithuania set a new world record for preparing coffee in a hot air balloon above 20,000ft. Barista Nidas Kiuberis from Coffee Inn, roaster Grazvydas Vilcinskas from Kavos Bankas and pilot Vytautas Samarinas from Orobalionai took to the skies with a thermos of hot water, an AeroPress and fresh roasted coffee from Kavos Bankas (which they ground while on the ground) up into the Troposphere to make history.
After brewing, they each took turns removing their oxygen masks to taste their epic cup of coffee, which sadly was only “as tasty as it is on earth.”
Congrats on the achievement! I think we’ve got our new WAC venue for 2012.
This fall, a test of precision timing and perfected plunger pushing will result in crowning a new World AeroPress Champion. The event is set to take place on the 23 of October at HOST (International Exhibition of the Hospitality Industry). This year’s WAC will be graciously hosted by Marco & Über at their exhibition booth along with the support of Aerobie, maker of the AeroPress, in tow.
The AeroPress is one of my personal favorite brew methods and yours truly will be headed to Milan to represent DCILY in the event. I’m excited to be WACing next to an impressive lineup of international coffee talent.
The 2011 competitor list:
Robert Benge, Cafe Cesura - Seattle, USA
Alexander Paull, White Horse Coffee – Sydney, Australia
Colin Harmon, 3FE – Dublin, Ireland
Megumi Ueno, Brew Bar Cafe – Belfast, Ireland
John Stubberud, Kaffee-Alchemie – Salzburg, Austria
Steve Souphanthong, Social Coffee Company – Ontario, Canada
Ben Toovey, Genovese Coffee – Melbourne, Australia
James Hoffmann, Square Mile Coffee Roasters – London, England
Matthew Davis, AIR Coffee Roasters – Sydney, Australia
Tim Wendelboe, Tim Wendelboe – Oslo, Norway
Noriko Sunaga, Manly Coffee – Fukuoka, Japan
John Gordon, Square Mile Coffee Roasters – London, England
Pavol Csiba, Green Plantation Coffee – Komarno, Slovakia
Joshua Wismans, Alterra Coffee Roasters – Milwaukee, USA
Brian W. Jones, Dear Coffee, I Love You – Göteborg, Sweden
Jeff Verellen, Caffenation – Antwerp, Belgium
Paweł Trzciński, Java Coffee Company – Warsaw, Poland
Gwilym Davies, Prufrock – London, England
The 2011 judges:
David Walsh, Marco - Ireland
Mark Dundon, Seven Seeds – Australia
Anne Lunell, Koppi – Sweden
The rules are straight forward and what matters above all is how the coffee tastes. Each round will be 8 minutes, with 5 minutes of prep time and 3 minutes to brew 2dl of coffee for the judges. The coffee used is up to the competitor, but it must be of Kenyan origin and served along with a written explanation of the technique used. Each coffee will then be judged blind and scored accordingly.
Until then, I’ve got a lot of Kenyas to sample and a technique to perfect.
If you haven’t heard of an Aeropress, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to brew your coffee. This relatively new invention has been rapidly rising to prominence in the coffee world recently, it even has its own World Championship. While, its initial popularity was among home brewing coffee geeks, many cafes serving specialty coffee now have one behind their counter as well.
The Aeropress was invented just 5 years ago by Alan Adler, who also invented the Aerobie flying disc. To be honest, when I first heard about the Aeropress, I dismissed it as a gimmick destined for SkyMall and late night infomercials, precisely for that reason. Afterall, what could a guy who makes frisbees and yo-yos, know about brewing coffee?
Apparently quite a bit. The Aeropress has made some of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had—and in some of the better cafe’s I’ve visited, it’s used exclusively to brew drip coffee. Adler’s intent for inventing the Aeropress was based on his personal desire for a cup of coffee that was as full in flavor as a French press, but created a cup that was cleaner, smoother and less acidic.
Adler’s solution was to affix a thin paper filter, which allows for a fine grind, to a plastic tube a svelte 2¼ inches in diameter. (The smaller surface area is easier to plunge.) In many drip methods, the size of the grind dictates how long the coffee brews. But with the AeroPress, you choose the grind, and you decide when to plunge. –New York Times
While the Aeropress is extremely simple to use, it is also open to a wide range of experimentation. One great aspect of the Aeropress is the ability to play with various grinds, brew times, and water temperatures to achieve new results. However this can unententionally lead to endless hours of trying to dial in the “perfect” cup. The clean up is also remarkably simple, it packs well for travel or camping and it only costs about $30. Just add coffee grounds, hot water and plunge.