World AeroPress Championship. Plunging to glory!

Member Company, Ozone Coffee Roasters have organised and run the NZ AeroPress championship for the last two years. A fun fast paced competition, brewing on the iconic AeroPress only, the winner gets to compete at the World Championships this year held alongside the World Barista Championships & the World of Coffee in Dublin.
New Zealand Champion Woo Hyung Lee (Lee) talks about his love of the championship and his time in Dublin:
The Aeropress Competition: A Bridge between Specialty Coffee and Consumers
In hindsight, I think I have been dreaming of competing in the World AeroPress Championships since the day I came across specialty coffee in 2010 and this year that dream came true. This hair-raising opportunity was gratefully offered by the 2016 New Zealand AeroPress Championships. In New Zealand, our very own Ozone Coffee Roasters graciously sponsors this amazing competition and this has been our 2nd year. And for a ‘self-acclaimed’ AeroPress fiend, there is no surprise that this is my 2nd time competing.
The first inauguration of the World AeroPress Championships began in Tim Wendelboe’s establishment in 2008. Starting off with only 3 competitors and token prize being a small piece of cake to more than 50 countries and over 2000 global competitors competing this year round, the World AeroPress Championships is now a different story altogether. Personally, the World AeroPress Championships has immensely alluring characteristics that no other championships possess. First, the certified judges all blind taste the competitors coffee and chooses the winning cup, thus no other forms of scoring other than flavour are judged. Also, you don’t necessarily have to be a professional barista in order to compete in the championships. As a matter of fact, Jerome, this year’s 2nd place, is a Professional Journalist. I truly believe that a specialty coffee tournament that allows any individual to compete would act as a perfect bridge between specialty coffee and consumers.
Lee with second place champion, Jerome Dittmar
This year, I have been honoured to represent New Zealand in the 2016 World AeroPress Championships. While competing in the Nationals, I deliberately focused on a couple of aspects with my recipe. Since the competition has one official coffee that all the competitors must use, it results genuinely depend on how each competitor expresses the flavour using their own recipe. My primary focus was choosing the right water for the coffee, considering that more than 98% of brewed coffee consists of water, water is unarguably the most crucial part in influencing the flavour of coffee. When I first received the official coffee 2 weeks prior to the competition, I first cupped the coffee with over 10 different types of bottled waters. Next, I directed my focus to come up with a recipe that had distinct and different nuances to other competitors’ recipe. Surely, tasting GOOD goes without saying. I imagine that these two key elements assisted me to win the competition. Unfortunately, the outcome for the 2016 World AeroPress Championship did not paint a pretty picture. There are really no excuses other than to introspect and devote myself to specialty coffee more and endeavour vigorously to compete again in the World AeroPress Championships in the future.
Once again, I am grateful and honoured to have represented New Zealand in the 2016 World AeroPress Championships and would like to express my sincerest gratitude to Ozone Coffee Roasters for sponsoring the championships. Also, I would like to express my deepest gratitudes to Emma, Jessica, Tom and Kim from the New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association for supporting me during the preparations.
Finally, I would like to dare all of you reading this! Why don’t you give it a go next year and celebrate with us together in the specialty coffee framework.
I look forward to seeing you all there.