Hot off the Press - The Canadian Aeropress Championship

Every once in a while the designer / inventor of your favourite flying object makes something that makes coffee and also flies but usually only in your carry-on luggage. I’m speaking, of course, about the Aeropress by Aerobie. Buy an Aeropress from us and buy some flying frisbee type objects at Canadian Tire or here! Look at those geeks on the front page! You know who else is that geeky in the Aeropress. Well, let me tell you. Stephen thought he was but he isn’t. Here is the story of the Canadian Aeropress Championship at Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roaster headquarters in Calgary. 

Last weekend, if you visited us here at Parlour or sought a caffeinated bevy at Little Sister Coffee Maker, you may have been disappointed to not see me, Stephen, Kailey and Vanessa. Why? Because we travelled to Calgary to compete (Stephen did) and act as cheerleaders / pit crew and give high fives to competitors. Also we drank the equivalent of Marine World’s water in coffee. Gross, but also amazing! Did you know Killer whales are the number one mammalian consumer of coffee?! Well, they aren’t; that’s false. 

I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret: Some of my coffee colleagues have not been particularly fond of the Aeropress. They claimed that they were unable to achieve a nice tasting cup of coffee with one of these little tubular things. I told them that I had made some totally tubular coffee while I rode in a big rig with my pops down to Arizona last February. Click that link for a pic and a brief little story. Coffee can be brewed in big rigs, even while driving … I promise you that (just don’t let the driver do it). 

ANYWAYS, I should probably mention that we visited a few cafe’s the day before the competition and Vanessa ordered a “coffee by hand” or whatever they called it. We sat down, waited and watched. There was a look of uncertainty on her face when she noticed her coffee was being brewed via Aeropress. That kind of coffee probably would not have been ordered had we known. So, in Barista nerd fashion, we all started sipping and sharing beverages, tasting as much as we could. Vanessa looked shocked. It was Deeelicious. Possibly, nay, probably the best coffee tasted on the entire trip, brewed via the method we feared as inferior, despite being there for the competition. That struck fear into our hearts for what lay ahead on competition day.

Stephen stepped up and decided to try to beat Ben Put and a whole bunch o’ other cool cats who thought they were Aeropress champion material (click Ben’s name to find out how rad he is at coffee). Stephen lost in the very first round. What’s worse was that he was up against two independent brewers — that means, people who didn’t work in a cafe. Turns out one of the brewers, middle aged fella, was entered into the comp by his daughter who informed him he’d be competing. He was there with his daughter and wife cheering him on. Ready for a twist in the story? Perry, the dad, brewed up a mean cup. He won a few rounds in the round-robin style tourney and then came up against Ben Put. The Judges (Phil from P&S, Sam from P&S and Josh from Transcend) blindly tasted and cupped the coffees from each competitor. Here is what judging looked like when the moment came to decide. And Here! It was so intense, my photo’s were blurry. So, Perry was up against Ben and some other guy and the judges all pointed at one single cup, meaning there was a clear winner rather than 2 against one. “For sure that’s Ben’s brew” thought every single person in the crowd. “He’s the National Barista Champion, for goodness sake!” I said to no one. The competitors names were written on the bottom of the cups so the judges could not see them. They lifted the winning cup and …. “PERRY!” Perry beat Ben. Who is Perry anyway? He’s a guy who likes coffee and brews at home with a decent burr grinder and a few other simple tools including the Aeropress. So, after having handily dispatched the Canadian Barista champion, he soon found himself in the final up against … wait for it … another independent home brewer. You heard me. Home brewers! Perry’s true underdog fairytale didn’t end with the Championship gold Aeropress trophy and the all expenses paid trip to Seattle to try his hand in the world competition. That award went to another home brewer, who brewed under the Banner of Eight Ounce Coffee Co. named Nick Hatch. You can find their winning recipes on Phil & Sebastian’s Facebook page. It’s worth a look! 

The moral of this story? There are two. First, Stephen was less a failure than we thought, having been beaten by some of the best, so we continued to hang out with him for the rest of the weekend and even gave him a high five and let him eat Ramen with us. Secondly, brew at home! But also come into the shop for a coffee. But … Brew at home, you champion. Also, when you come up with a winning recipe, come buy a coffee from us and tell us your recipe. We are learning all the time. Let’s chat, ok? 

Brew On! 

- Bryan