One of the coolest new products at the HOST conference was at the very same booth where the World AeroPress Championship took place. The prototype of the Marco Pillar was an eye-catching centerpiece to the company’s showroom display.
The pillar stood proudly above the bar with three hoses hanging down from the top. The hot water bubbled in a transparent window at the top, while magnetic connectors kept the handles firmly positioned near the base. I imagine the idea for something so brilliantly obvious as this comes while washing your Chemex with a sink hose and thinking, “wouldn’t it be great if…”
Sadly, I didn’t get my hands on the hose (Anne was hogging it all for herself) before the WAC began. However, I’d be more than happy to let Paul come install one in my kitchen for lots of beta-testing love.
Video by Noriko Sunaga at Manly Coffee
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.
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.
More info at World AeroPress Championship
If you have no idea what an AeroPress is, here’s a good introduction.