First-time competitor Apisit “Art” Boonliang won Veneziano Coffee Roasters’ Aeropress Cup Competition on 23 March and its Richmond roastery.
Independent barista Louis Cheung placed runner up, Ohkyung Kwon of St Ali placed third, and Hugh McDonnell of Slayer Espresso placed fourth.
“I just wanted to enjoy the moment really, but winning is the bonus,” says Art. “I’m very happy.”
Art, a barista at Schmucks Bagels in Melbourne, heard about the competition via his sister, and signed up straight away.
“I wanted to get a glimpse of what the coffee community, particularly Melbourne’s, was like, and play a small part in its disaster relief event,” he says.
Proceeds from the event will be donated to the Red Cross disaster aid for Türkiye, Syria and New Zealand.
The competition consisted of 19 competitors and five elimination rounds. It involved four rounds of five baristas, with the winning baristas from each round competing in the final round to decide the champion. Each round involved 10 minutes of dialling in with the Mahlkonig X54 Allround Coffee Grinder, before competitors served their best brew to judges.
As the night’s winner, Art won $1000 in prize money courtesy of Veneziano Coffee Roasters.
“Maybe [I’ll] invest in coffee knowledge/education to prepare myself for another competition I might join,” he says.
Other prizes included a Mahlkonig X54 Allround Coffee Grinder, a one-night stay for two at any Oaks Hotels in Australia or New Zealand, and a 12-month Veneziano Coffee Roasters subscription.
Art’s strategy to his winning routine was to achieve an “easy to drink” cup of coffee to begin with, in terms of brew strength and extraction yield.
His brewing recipe included 35 grams of coffee with a water temperature of 90°C, and a
grind size of 9.5 on the Mahlkonig X54 grinder (dial 11).
Art used two filter papers and the inverted method. He started the timer at the same time he poured 100 millilitres of water, then gently stirred around 15 times.
At 40 seconds, he placed the plunger on top of the brewer, and let it brew until 1.15 minutes. He then “flipped, wiggled, and pressed the brewer” and finished at 1.50 minutes.
Finally, he bypassed 100 millilitres of water into the coffee for the judges to enjoy.
“I was pretty nervous as other competitors are really, really good, but I tried to focus on the routine I’ve practiced. My execution in the semi and final went well. I’m pretty happy about it,” he says.
The event included food, drink, cupping of Veneziano’s Pinnacle coffee range, and a raffle with prizes from Brewtech, Alternative Dairy Co, Oaks Hotels, La Marzocco, Ratio chocolate, Brogans Way, Mountain Goat, Barista Supplies, and more.
For more information, visit venezianocoffee.com.au