Last month we opened the doors of our Holborn Coffeebar to a throng of competitors and coffee lovers, playing host to the 2014 UK Aeropress Championships. For the uninitiated, the Aeropress is a single serve coffee brewer that is escalating in popularity dramatically of late. Invented by Alan Adler (of the Aerobie Flying Ring fame), the Aeropress is the method that we use for by-the-cup coffee brewing in our stores, and we were subsequently very happy to co-host this year’s competition to find the best of the ‘Pressers in the UK, alongside our friends from Square Mile Coffee and CoffeeHit.
A whopping forty-two competitors, and as many onlookers again, showed up to an afternoon of disco, Kernel Brewery beer and Aeropress mayhem, all tightly scheduled and operated by a team of our retail managers and supervisors. Bags of a blend of African coffees from ourselves and Square Mile were waiting for competitors to collect and serve to judges James Bailey, James Hoffmann and special guest Klaus Thomsen.
Some took the challenge of brewing a blend of two coffees to heart, separating out the components and pairing each with a distinct grind size, before blending again to achieve a more uniform extraction when brewed. Others selectively picked and ditched one component entirely, defaulting to what they are more used to working with, not really entering into the spirit of the competition.
Excessive cooling of the brewed coffee didn’t generally pay off. Some competitors iced their cups, or decanted and aerated for a significant portion of their brewing time. Most of these suffered from flattened aromatics and murkiness. Several bowls were barely recognisable due to the choice of brewing water, especially in the case of a magnesium rich water which altered the aromatics and the acidity of the coffees entirely. There was a wide range of degrees of clarification, with some competitors intending to increase suspended solids, emphasising the length and weight of the brewed coffee. Others opted for more clarity, using cloth, multiple Aeropress filters, or thicker bond paper filters for better clarity and definition. Broadly speaking, the less ‘murky’ bowls cupped better.
After many rounds, and far too much coffee tasting for a Saturday afternoon, Gabrielle of Square Mile Coffee won 1st place, Oli of Workshop Coffee Co. placed 2nd, and Pete (also of Square Mile) placed 3rd.
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For more information on the World Aeropress Championships, visit www.worldaeropresschampionship.com
** Tickets on sale 9:00am Thursday, May 1st through CoffeeHit **
Good news, lovers of coffee,
The team at Workshop Coffee Co. are very pleased to be hosting this year’s UK Aeropress Championship, alongside our friends from Square Mile Coffee Roasters and CoffeeHit. We’ll be opening up our new Holborn Coffeebar to host the event on May 24th, starting at 3:00pm, with spectators welcome to attend.
Bigger and badder than last year’s competition, the 2014 event will be open to 36 competitors, vying for the chance to represent the United Kingdom at the World Aeropress Championships being held in Rimini, Italy during the World of Coffee event in June.
This year’s event will see the introduction of a competition coffee that all competitors must use for their brews. Half will be roasted by Workshop Coffee Co. in Clerkenwell, the other half will be roasted by Square Mile in Bethnal Green and the roasters will meet somewhere in the middle to blend the roasts together. Maybe on the Old Street roundabout, we’re not sure yet.
At the judging table will be Workshop Coffee Co. Head of Quality, James Bailey, Square Mile Coffee Roasters Managing Director, James Hoffmannn and, special guest judge all the way from Copenhagen’s venerable The Coffee Collective, Klaus Thomsen. Sweet funk tunes all evening long from DJ Wet Process, and compere duties from the incomparable, Ross Brownsofbrockley will ensure it’s an unmissable event.
Our first place winner will receive return flights to Italy to represent the UK in the World Aeropress Championships, with accommodation and a little spending money for Aperol spritzes and Caprese salads by the beach. Second place will receive a twelve month coffee subscription from both Workshop Coffee Co. and Square Mile, while third place will take a six month coffee subscription from both the roasters. All three place winners will also receive prizes from CoffeeHit and trophies from Aerobie.
Tickets for competitors cost £10 with the entire amount being donated to CoffeeKids. Tickets will go on sale May 1st through the CoffeeHit website (www.coffeehit.co.uk). Competitors will be furnished with more detailed rules, practice coffee and a competition schedule closer to the event date.
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May 24th, 2014 @ 3pm
Brought to you by:
Workshop Coffee Co.
Square Mile Coffee Roasters