A word from Jeff Verellen…

photo copy

A while ago the WAC Headquarters asked me to write something about Aeropressing – the tarte tatin of coffee brewers, never meant to be taken seriously, but actually an ingenious idea. I’d just won the World Aeropress Chamoionship for the 2nd time and people were keen to figure out my secrets.

The first time I saw an Aeropress was on Boing Boing, thinking it was a joke, however Tim Wendelboe contributed to proving everyone wrong, embracing it and using it in service, and in turn creating the World Aeropress Championships.

Initially, the way to get to the recipe was classic trial and error. Kaizen way of improvement: Every morning 2 Aeropresses, 1 ‘best’ method a standard, and 1 challenging method, if the challenging method was better than that one would be the next days ‘’best’’ method. There are many variables to play with to make a challenging method: grind, ratio, water, temperature, time. A few things will always improve a coffee; picking out bean defects, using better water, using a better grinder, sieving the fines, not pressing all the way through (the Ketel one technique) so that’s a given to improve these to the fullest.

What still might be most shocking to all is the use of the water temperature. This is my recipe from this year’s WACs.

17 grams of quality controlled coffee (pick out the dud beans) ground 5.75 on the uber grinder, little courser than paper filter.

Rinsed normal filter, aeropress in regular position.

50 grams of water at 83c for the bloom.
 Bloom for 40s. Nicely wet all grounds and lightly agitate holding the Aeropress by shaking it a bit around.

Very slowly add 215 grams of water at 79c for about 30 sec

Press very gently for about 30 seconds.

Leave about 50 gram slurry in the press and discard.

Put the rest of the brew in the gob.

Looking through the recipes of the previous years, one thing might become apparent; The use of a low temperature of water. Why this works I don’t really know, I’m no scientist. All I really know is that it’s the tastiest way to make an Aeropress.  I was lucky to taste many recipes over the years through competing and judging 2 Dutch competitions.

Taking a guess why lower brewing temperatures are desirable: certain tasty solubles extract at 80c and other less desirable solubles and bitters extract (faster) at higher temperatures. The brew is served at drinking temperature so that it’s instantly enjoyable and had less time to oxidize, also aromatics won’t evaporate as quickly.

In the roastery where I work we don’t have many tools, the only way to make coffee is through an old Aeropress bought in 2008 at Kontra from a certain Troels Poulsen. I remember coming home to Belgium with it and Rob, my boss instantly making a very nice cup with it. Every roasting day I used to make at least 4 sometimes 15, trying every roast. Offering cups to visitors, the best way to learn if you’re doing it right is gauging their reactions.

Filter coffee has always been enjoyed in Belgium, mostly at home. There’s a big amateur scene for this and the Aeropress is a serious component for that. My boss at Caffenation, Rob, has organized this event already 3 years and every time there have been more people. We like hobbies and bizarre fringe sports in Belgium.  Good example of odd pursuits is the vertical bow and arrow – look it up, it exists. The Aeropress now seems far removed from the World of the obscure, and has become almost the norm. And for good reason.

About these ads

The real winners… a post from the team at 5 Senses…


Wonderful news from the team at 5 Senses regarding the WACs and the contribution everyone has made to a super excellent cause…


Held back in May this year, Brews ‘n’ Bats was such an awesome night! Great burgers, seriously high-end Aeropress skills, some high quality pong and general high vibes all round. It was great to see specialty coffee people from a range of different companies and different countries rubbing shoulders and enjoying each other’s company. But beneath the fun and frivolity, there was a more serious undertaking being played out. Thanks to the generosity of our wonderful sponsors (in particular HuxtaburgerLittle Creatures Brewery and Innocent Bystander Wines) and the blood, sweat and tears of the hard working Five Senses crew, we were able to raise $4400 for the Nanhi Kali foundation. The Nanhi Kali group work in rural India where having a daughter is often considered a burden and limited family resources are directed towards the male children. The foundation steps in to redress the balance and give these beautiful girls the opportunity to experience an education free from repression or discrimination.

The fine gentlemen at Standing Room Only in Perth have been running an annual event which has allowed us to sponsor 23 girls for the past two years. With the additional proceeds from Brews and Bats, we’ve been able to extend this to another 32 girls – making it 55 in total! Education is one of the primary vehicles for improving lives regardless of colour or religion.

So a heartfelt THANK YOU for playing your part – and keep your eye out for next year’s event. If you want to know more about the good people at the Nanhi Kali Foundation, check out the Nanhi Kali website.

Thanks again to the 5 Senses crew and all mentioned above…

2014 Chinese Aeropress Championships



Something, something Chinese Aeropress Championships!

Victorian Aeropress Championship Highlight Reel

2013 WAC Competitors


More images here.


2013 WAC Recipes


Jeff Verellen’s winning recipe :

17 grams coffee ground 5.75 on the uber grinder, little courser than paper filter.

Rinsed normal filter, aeropress in regular position.

50 grams of water at 83c for the bloom.
Bloom for 40s. Nicely wet all grounds and lightly agitate holding the aeropress and shaking it abit around.

Very slowly add 215 grams of water at 79c for about 30 sec

Press very gently for about 30 seconds.

Leave about 50 gram slurry in the press and discard.

Put the rest of the brew in the gob.

Extra tips for supreme brew:

Picking beans, lights out, heavies in. Too big and weird, also out.

Use a cocktail pitcher to grind in and charge up static electricity so light particles stick to the walls, try to discard them.


Wille Yli-Luoma’s 2nd place recipe :

17 grams of coffee
240 water right of boil
2 min steep with 3 stirs.


Tibor Varaday’s 3rd place recipe :

Place 12g quite coarsely ground coffee into aeropress (set grind to taste),
pre-infuse with about 50g gramms of 90 degrees celsius water,
stir vigorously, 5 times,
add remaining water to a total of 200 gramms,
place cap on without stirring,
press out air while still in inverted position, until drops appear on top,
turn aeropress into a non-inverted position onto a pitcher, but do not press yet.
After two minutes of brew time have past, press gently using body weight, as the Aeropress allows.

World Aeropress Champions 2013

WAC Champs

Thanks to everyone for an amazing night at the WACs, thanks to everyone who came and supported and thanks especially to 5Senses for hosting and the incredible generosity of all the sponsors. Music and dance-offs were provided by the boyz of SPRUDGE.

Thanks also to the judges, Tim Wendelboe,  Casper Engel Rasmussen and the multi-talented Ben Kaminsky who was also MCing.

A massive congratulations to our top 3 competitors in the now two-time World Aeropress Champion, Jeff Verellen from Caffenation in Antwerp, Belgium, the 2nd place getter all the way from Finland, via Portend Oregon, the wonderful Wille Yli-Luoma and taking 3rd place was the charming Tibor Varady from Espresso Embassy, Budapest.

Jeff will be flown all the way to Oslo to attend the epic Nordic Barista Cup in September and will be paying a tonne of money for excess luggage due to the giant smorgasbord of prizes from Baratza, Handsome Coffee Roasters, Market Lane Coffee, Able Brewing, OTTO and Aerobie.

All the snaps from the night were composed by the skilled Abigail Varney.

All their recipes will be published soon… so stay tuned!



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 412 other followers

%d bloggers like this: