THROUGH THE YEARS
In the inaugural event, Chris Kolbu, Tim Varney and home coffee enthusiast Anders Valde gathered in the cupping room of Tim’s Oslo cafe and each brewed their best cup of AeroPress coffee. Of the three competitors, Anders was judged by Tim Wendelboe to have defeated the seasoned professional coffee industry craftsmen. The competitors shared cake and wine as a celebration.
The second championship took place in Oslo, again. Having caught wind of this strange undertaking, Alan Adler — the inventor of the AeroPress — made a special one-off “bronze”, fully functional brewer as a prize for the winner. For each season since, and now for every single national competition, Aerobie produce a gold, silver and bronze AeroPress as trophies for the top three competitors. Of the 22 competitors Lukasz Jura — a barista from Stockfleths Kaffe — won first place.
Perhaps in part inspired by the success of the World AeroPress Championships, the Brewers Cup was held as an official championship. There was a certain overlap, and the World AeroPress Championship temporarily ceded ground. The Championship was invited to be held in London at the WBC Brew Bar, and the interest had grown to the point where it became necessary to limit the number of contestants. Of the 24 entrants, Marie Hagemeister of Cafe Europe in Denmark was crowned as victorious – famously using the supplied brewing instructions on the AeroPress box.
The 2011 championship was held in conjunction with the HOST industry convention in Milan, Italy, and was limited to just 18 competitors. Entrants were instructed to bring a Kenyan coffee of their preference for use, and the title was won by Jeff Verellen of Belgium, a barista at Caffenation, and his 2nd attempt at the crown. Jeff would go on to become the most celebrated AeroPress barista on the globe.
Held to coincide with the Specialty Coffee Association of America trade show, the 2012 championship was co-hosted by La Marzocco and Marco at their show booth in Portland, Oregon. Competitors were provided with a washed coffee from Sidamo, Ethiopia to compete with, roasted by local outfit, Heart. A total of 18 competitors entered, and the title was taken by Charlene de Buysere of OR Coffee Roasters in Belgium.
Heading to the southern hemisphere for the first time, the 2013 championship was held in Melbourne, Australia and constituted the first time the event was held in the evening amongst a party environment. Alongside La Marzocco and Five Senses at their “Brews ‘n’ Bats” coffee and ping-pong event, a field of 18 competitors was topped by Jeff Verellen of Belgium, taking home his second world title.
In what will always be remembered as an amazing final, the 2014 competition took to the beach in Rimini, Italy for a sun and beer soaked celebration. With some extra help on board to deliver the competition, and the third consecutive year of hosting support from La Marzocco, the number of competitors expanded to 27. As the sun set over the ocean, the barbecue sizzled and the DJ’s turned up the volume, Shuichi Sasaki from Japan was crowned champion.
The 2015 championship was nothing short of a mammoth undertaking, with the event operating as a standalone affair for the first time. Hiring our own 3,000 square foot venue space, food trucks, DJs and craft breweries allowed the competition to jump into top gear. And just as well, with a field of 35 competitors, a panel of 10 coffee industry judges and an audience of 500 spectators the night of April 9th was the biggest championship to date. The quietly spoken Lukas Zahradnik of Green Plantation Coffee in Sloakia progressed through all rounds, emerging triumphant.