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Lesh go - 2022 NZ Aeropress Champs
PLUS Formula 1's Valtteri Bottas
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Plunge towards glory
I’ve signed up to compete in the 2022 New Zealand AeroPress Championship!
What’s this got to do with Formula 1’s Valtteri Bottas? Keep reading to find out.
What’s this all about?
The AeroPress was designed by Alan Alder back in 2004. Alan is the inventor of the Aerobie - the amazing flying disk, . Alan wanted to brew a superior cup of coffee. That simply - it was about easily making a cup of coffee.
Unlike other methods of coffee making, you don’t need fancy kettles, fancy scales, fancy grinders or fancy skill. It’s as easy as filling the AeroPress with coffee, adding some water, stirring and pressing.
What sort of coffee does it make?
The AeroPress merges two types of coffee making - percolation and immersion. Think the plunger meets stovetop mokapot.
While it’s really easy to use, there are actually a bunch of things you can tweak to make coffee taste different. You can easily change how much coffee you use, how much water you use, the temperature of the water, the time the water and the coffee hang out, and the amount of times you stir it.
All of these things change the taste of the coffee, and means you can use a huge range of different types of coffee.
Since it’s launch, it’s become a world wide hit, selling millions of brewers across the world. I own three!
It’s so popular, there’s even a World Championship. And that’s what this is all about!
Yay! So, how do you win?
The AeroPress Champs are all about flavour.
In a three person round robin competition, each brewer has 5 minutes to make a coffee with the AeroPress. Judges then blind taste each coffee, and which ever one tastes the best goes on to the next round.
Until there’s a winner.
Unlike other coffee or barista competitions, it’s less about pure skill and expertise, and more about being thoughtful about how the coffee tastes. This means it’s way more approachable to home brewers like myself, and it also means it’s a really fun time.
I competed back in 2019, and I made it to the quarterfinals. And I had a blast.
So I’m in full prep mode, making AeroPress’ day and night to dial in the magic of the brewer. We will be sent some competition coffee in a few weeks that we get to play with before the big day in October.
I can’t wait.
The winner of the 2022 NZ AeroPress Champs gets a trip to the World Champs. In Canada! That sounds like me.
So what does this have to do with a Formula One legend?
I interviewed the winner of the 2021 World AeroPress Champion Tuomas Merikanto back in March (check out that interview on The Magic Roast).
Tuomas is from Finland, and for the Finnish regional champs, Formula 1 legend Valtteri Bottas (also Finnish) was a guest judge.
So, I hit up Valtteri for a few words on his experience for the world’s best coffee blog based in Wellington, NZ.
And he replied. Too late for the blog post unfortunately, because he was preparing for the start of this year’s Formula 1 championship, so I couldn’t include it in the original post. But he did.
Turns out Valtteri, when he’s not hooning around a race track at 300 km/h, owns the roastery that Tuomas works at. Valtteri is also a massive coffee nerd. I know that, because we’re friends now.
To be honest, I can’t even believe he replied. It’s been the actual highlight of this blog. I have peaked.
So, these are Valtteri’s words:
TMR: What was it like to be a guest judge at the Finnish AeroPress Champs?
Mr Bottas: It was a fun experience, and it’s nice to see so many people passionate about coffee, putting a lot of effort into brewing it.
TMR: How does it feel to know he played a key part in helping to make a Finnish barista the World Champion?
Valtteri Fucking Bottas: It’s a lot of pride! Tuomas now works in our coffee roastery, Kahiwa Coffee Roasters in Lahti, Finland, so it’s a huge pride to know we have the World Champion with us – it speaks about the quality we are aiming for.
TMR: What is your favourite thing about coffee?
VB the legend: It’s a simple thing, yet so much care needs to go into it. If you put effort, knowledge and passion, the rewards are great.
What a legend.
Maybe, if I win, he’ll have some kind words about me… I mean, of course he will.
We’re friends now.
Plunge towards glory
Come October, I’ll be plunging towards glory, hopefully.
The #NZAC2022 are being held at Ozone Coffee Roasters in Auckland. If you’re in town and want to come support me, get yourself a supporters ticket!