World Brewer's Cup! June 22 2014, 0 Comments

Hey guys! 

For any of you who have been wondering where this irascible young scamp has been, the answer is simply... Italy! After competing for the first time ever in the New Zealand Brewer's Cup and coming in first place, I packed my bags and took off around the world to compete on the world stage at the World of Coffee event in Rimini, Italy. For those of you who don't know, the Brewer's Cup is a coffee competition comprised of two rounds. The first round is the "compulsory service" where competitors are all given the same coffee and they have to make 3 brews through any brewing device they want, so long as it isn't an espresso machine. The second round is the "open service", which is where competitors use their own coffee and deliver a presentation to the judges based around their coffee and their brew method; similar to the Barista Championships, but with filter coffee instead of espresso. 


We made it!  

Being my first time overseas to the big wide world, basically everything was a new experience for me; travelling, experiencing a totally different culture, competing on the world stage, drinking Italian wine in Italy, seeing Dustin Hoffman on the plane, everything. Going over to Italy with judges: Emma Markland Webster, David Green, Chris White and Kim Boyd as well as the New Zealand Barista Champion, Hanna Termamoto, New Zealand was definitely 'repping. Finally getting over to Rimini, a few Swiss Golds in LAX and 36 hours later, we caught up with Flight's very own Richard Corney, who ended up judging the finals round of the World Barista Champs. 


Rimini! The bridge is over 2000 years old!

After getting settled in and over jet-lag, the evening before the Brewer's Cup got under way I competed in the World Aerorpess Championship, which was held on the beach in true Rimini style. The sun was beating down on singlet clad and barefoot competitors, with the most bizarre setup on a beach you'll ever see. Coffee grinders, hot water towers and Aeropresses were set up among spectators and confused looking locals. Like the "compulsory round" of the Brewer's Cup, competitors from around the world all made Aeropresses with a given coffee, provided by Cafe Imports; the winner: a very stunned looking Aerorpess Champion of Japan. Shortly after the competition the beach turned from a competition arena into one of a series of epic beach parties hosted by espresso manufacturer, La Marzocco. 


On the beach competing at the World Aerorpess Championship.

The following day was the first day of the Brewer's Cup, which was held at the World of Coffee event along with the Barista Champs. Despite the atmosphere backstage being slightly tense with everyone getting ready for the competition, all the competitors were incredibly supportive of each other and just seemed super excited to be competing at worlds; so a great atmosphere to be competing in. For my "open service" round, I used the Los Arboles from Colombia again – a coffee I'm starting to feel a bit sentimental towards – through the Aeropress, just like at the national competition. The main difference in my brew method was brewing the coffee for significantly longer and double-plunging the brew through a second Aeropress. What?! Double-plunging?! That's right! After brewing the coffee, I plunged it on top of another Aeropress – effectively creating an Aeropress Tower, with the second Aeropress having a cut to size V60 filter in the bottom. The main reason for this was so I could brew the coffee for longer, bringing out the sweetness, while having a relatively clean cup. 


Taking the plunge.

All in all the level of professionalism of the competitors was amazing and there were so many amazing coffees in one place, it was something truly eye-opening for me. In the end the winner was Stefanos Domatiotis from Greece, with second and third place going to Ruebens Gardelli of Italy and Asli Yaman of Turkey. Even though I didn't place this time around, it was an amazing experience in general and I met a lot of amazing people, all just as passionate about coffee as I am. My mind was blown constantly over the course of the event, and I'll definitely be doing my best to get to Sweden, for the next World Brewer's Cup.


Mic'd up and read to go.

I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who made it possible and all the support I've had along the way. Thanks to the New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association for funding me over to Italy, as well as the team at Flight Coffee for encouraging me, providing me with coffee and gear, as well as all the effort they've put in to helping me know more about one my passions. Also thank you to Meg, who once again roasted my coffee, which tasted amazing! And to Sarah, who coached me, burned the midnight oil with me and supported me the whole way. 

Once again thanks everyone! 

Nic "New Zealand Brewer's Cup Champion" Rapp

Chow!