People who use AeroPress love Aeropress. The handheld espresso maker is revered by some as a game changer, and it’s been at the centre of many robust online discussions. In other words, it’s a coffee device for coffee nerds – sorry aficionados.
Now the hunt is on for Australia’s AeroPress Champion, and the winner of the national competition will go on to represent the country in the 2018 World AeroPress Championship, which takes place for the first time in Sydney in November.
The World AeroPress Championship began in 2008 and was held in Oslo between three competitors. Now it attracts 3000 people in more than 60 countries.
“An AeroPress Champion is someone who can take a bag of coffee, some water, an AeroPress and turn out a super delicious cup of coffee,” says Kershia Wong, co-ordinator of the World AeroPress Championship. “We love that AeroPress champs come from all walks of life. We've had professional baristas, home coffee enthusiasts, even journalists, winning championships.”
There are seven regional events around the country, kicking off in Canberra in late July, with the Australian final held in Melbourne at Seven Seeds Coffee mid-September. The winner of the Australian final then competes for world-title glory.
“The competition is a multi-round elimination tournament, with around 120 regional and national competitions taking place in more than 60 countries every year,” says Wong. “Each competition is made up of knock-out rounds, where three competitors will face off against each other, simultaneously brewing a single cup of coffee using the AeroPress brewer.”
From there, competitors have eight minutes to prepare, brew and present their coffee to a panel of three judges. Those adjudicators then answer one question: Which cup would I prefer to drink?
“On the count of three, the judges simultaneously point to their favourite coffee, moving the winner on to the next round while eliminating the losers,” says Wong.
So what’s the trick to surviving the cutthroat world of AeroPress battles?
“There's no one 'perfect' approach, but there is lots of room to experiment, taste and adjust. At the end of the day,” says Wong, “it's whatever makes the most delicious cup of coffee.”
Apart from the kudos and the coffee glory, the country winners are sent to the world final and, depending on their placing, receive a gold-, silver-, or bronze-painted AeroPress. “For the past two years, we’ve sent the World Champion and a friend to Colombia to spend a week touring coffee farms and meeting producers,” says Wong.
Australian AeroPress Championship
Fri July 27 – Red Brick Espresso, Curtin
Sat August 4 – Pilgrim Coffee, Hobart
Sat August 11 – Five Senses Coffee, Stanmore
Wed August 15 – Wolff Coffee Roasters, Hendra
Thu August 16 – Coffee Supreme, Abbotsford
Fri August 17 – Soho Coffee Roasters, Adelaide
Fri September 7 – Laika Coffee Roasters, Perth
Wed September 19 – Seven Seeds Coffee
November (date and venue TBA), Sydney