Taking the Plunge: The World Aeropress Championship
Previously on Taking the Plunge, we dove into the story of everyone’s favorite coffee plunging brewer, the Aeropress.
Having developed a cult following of sorts before it really started getting mainstream attention in the mid-2010s, with over a million units sold by 2014 and growing since then. The versatility of it is definitely a reason for its enduring popularity, but one particular event has managed to take the Aeropress’ popularity even further: the World Aeropress Championship.
It’s really only being competed for between teams from the US and Canada. In a similar vein, the World Aeropress Championships started as a brew-off between 3 people in Oslo at the roastery area of Tim Wendelboe’s café and organized by him and Tim Varney. It was precisely because of the World Series that they decided to call it the World Aeropress Championship to begin with. The following year, they wanted to take the concept of a World Championship to the next level, so they asked baristas and brewers who wanted to join to send their recipes over where a surrogate barista would brew their recipe for them. Around 20 people joined that year, and when you consider that in 2019, thousands of brewers the world over got summarized into 65 countries competing at the Worlds, you know that you’ve got something special.
Here’s a fun fact: In the US of A, the World Series of Major League Baseball isn’t technically a worldwide competition.
The great thing about the aeropress championship is probably that participants don't necessarily follow with it and it is meant to be a fun and lighthearted event.
We say this because when baristas prepare to compete, you’ll see a plethora of grinders big and small, chemicals being mixed into water for just the right mix, and unusual techniques making their debuts on stage. Despite the seriousness of the competitors, the event itself is made to be a party, with each country’s main competition being held in a large space to accommodate friends and industry pros alike to mix, mingle, and party. Of course, at the center of all this is the Championship itself, where one brewer will get a chance to represent their country at the World Aeropress Championship, which has moved at times to be held independently or alongside other major coffee events.
This year, the Philippine leg was set on September 25, where surrogate brewers brewed recipes sent over by this year’s contestants, similar to how it was done back in 2009.
Certain brewing parameters such as the choice of grinder and the water to be used have been set by the organizers to ensure that surrogates can brew without having to worry about too much. The winner may or may not be heading to the Worlds in March of 2022 depending on how the global travel situation will look like, but whether it’s done virtually or in person, the spirit of the Aeropress Championship will continue to excited home brewers and baristas alike.
Words by Ryan Uy
|Taking the Plunge is a special three-part series on the Aeropress to celebrate the first ever virtual Philippine Aeropress Championships.|