Northern Ireland’s inaugural Aeropress Championship took place in Established Coffee, Belfast on March 19th. Jonathan Hickinson who works at Established triumphed on an exciting night for the growing coffee community in Northern Ireland. The competition was judged by James Bailey from Workshop Coffee, Bridgeen Barbour from Established Coffee, Daniel Henderson from Lost & Found, with Jan Komarek from Bailies Coffee acting as head judge.

The twenty four competitors travelled from all around Northern Ireland to take part and brew up their tasty Aeropress recipes for the judges. The coffee they used was Colombia Tolima Gaitana provided by event sponsor Bailies Coffee who had this to say;

“Competitors should be aware this is not a primarily aromatic coffee like you might be expecting; the flavours are subtle yet remarkably refined. But rather than steer competitors in a particular direction by providing cupping notes, we’re looking forward to seeing which notes and tones they choose to bring out most through their brewing skills.”

Prizes for the winners included Aerobie flying rings which also fizzed around the room all night, a Twelve Month Coffee Subscription for third place, a Baratza Encore grinder for second place and the big prize money of £1000 and a place at the World Championships in Seattle for the winner.

Prior to the competition, detailed updates about the judges, competitors and sponsors had been posted on their own webpage; and during the event, all the action was live-tweeted and live-streamed online… is that an Aeropress Competition first?

As well as beer, pizza and sound & lighting the competition included support from TKC, Marco, Ground Espresso Bars, Coffee NI, Prohibition, Baratza & Little Wing Pizzeria.

And the results…

1st Place: Jonathan Hickinson, Established Coffee
2nd Place: Stephen Arnott, Common Grounds
3rd Place: Rachel Snowden, Established Coffee
The Recipes:

3rd Place: Rachel Snowden

  • 16g of coffee (EK43 grind at 11.5)
  • 240g Water
  • Fill pour over kettle with water at 75 degrees celsius,
  • 1 filter paper rinsed
  • Preheat aeropress and serving vessel
  • Preinfuse coffee with 50g of water and bloom for 40 seconds, stirring 6 times
  • Add additional water to 240g, stir twice, secure filter cap and allow to brew until 1 minute 30 seconds
  • Discard the water that was preheating and flip the aeropress on top of it.
  • Slowly plunge for 30 seconds
  • Total time: 2 minutes (stop plunging before a hissing sound occurs).
  • Decant, serve and enjoy!
  • Rachel used the inverted method!

2nd Place: Stephen Arnott

  • 16.5g coffee (EK43, Turkish burrs)
  • 240g water
  • Sort through beans and remove any broken or tiny ones
  • Rinse aeropress and filter paper, also run water over rubber bung at sink!
  • Add coffee and level out.
  • Add 30g water, stir briefly and wait to 30s
  • Slowly add further 210g water until 1 minute, stir briefly
  • Plunge for a further 50s
  • Leave 30ml in Aeropress
  • Decant
  • Stephen used the non-inverted/standard method!

1st Place: Jonathan Hickinson

  • 16.5g coffee (12.1 on EK43 Coffee Burrs)
  • 260g water
  • Pre-Wet Filter Paper
  • 40g water at 82C for 25s bloom
  • Stir 7 Times with bamboo paddle
  • Add 210g Water at 79C
  • Plunge for 50 secs for total contact time of 2min 40s
  • Jonathan used the non-inverted/standard method!