The second Singaporean Aeropress championships went down with a bang on Thursday night at Common Man Coffee Roasters, as 18 competitors went head to head for the top spot. I was honoured to be invited back to act as head judge for the second year running, and was once again impressed by the amount of interest shown in the Aeropress competition and the high standard of competitors.
This year, each competitor used a honey processed coffee from Panama (Lerida Estate, Lot 10). The coffee had plenty of fruit, milk chocolate, floral and jammy honey-processed goodness; the brews which won rounds had great body, high sweetness and balanced acidity while retaining some delicate floral and fruit elements in the cup.
The competition comprises 18 competitors who compete against each other in rounds of three. In each round, competitors had eight minutes to prep and brew an Aeropress with their chosen recipe. From the three brews, three judges evaluated the coffees and pointed to the winning cup on cue, sending the winning cup to the next round. We were lucky enough to have three excellent judges again this year — Charlize Kang (Santino Coffee), Josh Willis (Jones the Grocer) and Isaac Loh (the Malaysian Aeropress champ, The Brew Orchestra). As head judge, I had the job of selecting the wining coffee in the event of a draw during a round, as well as steering calibration in the right direction.
This year the competition was tight, with a very high standard of brewing. After the initial six rounds, we had two rounds of semi-finals from which emerged our final two competitors — Marvyn Tan and Muhammad Fareez Bin Selim who are both home brewers. The four knockouts from the semis then threw down, which led to Cedric Tan (from Jewel Coffee) winning the trophy for 3rd place with his lighter, balanced style of brew
In the final round, home brewers Marvyn and Muhammed went head to head in a one-on-one battle. Muhammed put forward a great brew, but after much scrutiny from our three judges, the decision was unanimous – Marvyn's big bodied, juicy brew took him home to win 1st place and won him the big prize: a ticket to Seattle, USA for the Aeropress finals.
It was a pleasure to act as head judge again for this competition in the heart of the burgeoning specialty coffee scene in Singapore. The next Aeropress Championships is only a year away, so get brewing people! Hope to see you there next year.
Here are the winning recipes from the top three competitors:
1st place – Marvyn Tan (home brewer)
- Dose – 20 grams
- Grinder – 4.25 on a Marco Uber grinder
- Technique – 50ml pre-infusion at 93.5 degrees for 2 minutes (no agitation). Followed by pouring 92C up to 200ml. Stir vigorously and press.
2nd place – Muhammad Fareez Bin Selim (home brewer)
- Dose – 15.5 grams
- Grinder – 4.5 on an EK 43
- Technique – bloom for 30 secs at 94C. Then slowly pour up to 220mls followed by a 50 second press. Leave 10mls in the Aeropress.
3rd place – Cedric Tan (Jewel Coffee)
- Dose – 18 grams
- Grinder – 4.5 on an EK 43
- Technique – Pre-infuse 40g of water at 90C for 30 seconds. Then pour water up to 200mls followed by one quick stir. Steep for 1min 45 seconds, stir 5 times and plunge.