Ben Toovey of Genovese Coffee wins Victorian AeroPress competition

2023 World AeroPress Championship

Australian Roasting Champion Ben Toovey of Genovese Coffee has won the 2018 Victoria AeroPress Championships, held at Coffee Supreme’s Melbourne roastery on 16 August.

Ben previously won the competition in 2016.

“In my competition attempt I wanted to emphasise an example of making good coffee whilst keeping it light-hearted and fun,” Ben says.

“My recipe was simple and repeatable, but similar to 2016, the main area of focus in my preparation was constructing a water recipe to suit the coffee and roast. It ended up being 170 parts per million (ppm) total hardness, with 90 ppm magnesium chloride, 60 ppm calcium chloride and 20 ppm potassium bicarbonate.”

Takuni Masaki was runner up and Kiyong Jung placed third.

Though winning the Victorian Regionals earnt Ben a spot in the Australian AeroPress Championships taking place at Seven Seeds on 19 September, he will not be able to attend due to other commitments.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to compete in the National Aeropress Finals because I won’t be in the country, but I understand that I can send someone in my place to compete for me,” Ben says.

The competition is a multi-round elimination tournament. In each round, three competitors face off against each other, simultaneously brewing a single cup of coffee using the AeroPress brewer.

Competitors have 8 minutes in which to prepare, brew, and present their coffee to a panel of three judges. Drinks are presented in identical vessels, so judges can’t know who brewed which cup.

The judges evaluate each coffee and make their own assessment as to which is the best.

“We love hosting the AeroPress competition because it brings baristas and home-brewers together on a level playing field,” Coffee Supreme’s Sophie Evans says.

“It’s a super approachable competition, which often ends with competitors putting down their AeroPress, picking up a beer and having a great night.”

In Ben’s case, he even had time to prepare a light snack.

“When I won last time, I ate some chips on stage with my remaining time so I decided to keep the theme going, this time taking it to the next level,” he says.

“I made a sandwich, complete with ingredients to pair with the tasting notes of the washed Ethiopian coffee. Wild blueberry jam for the fruityness, peanut butter for the nutty flavour and creamy texture, and a squeeze of lemon for the citrus acidity.”

More than 200 people attended the event at Coffee Supreme, including 53 competitors and 10 judges.

The World AeroPress Championships will be held in Sydney later this year.

Photo credit: Coffee Supreme

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