On the morning of 17 March, Georgina Lumb went to work at Patio Coffee Roasters in Adelaide a Training Manager. That evening, she left Proud Mary Coffee Roasters in Melbourne as the Australian AeroPress Champion.
“How did this happen?” Georgina asked BeanScene post win. “This is crazy. I only get to see my sister in Scotland once every two years and now that I’m going to Dublin I’m so excited I’ll get to see her.”
Call it luck or pure talent, either way, Georgina’s win at the national event was unique considering the extreme set of circumstances that led to her attendance, let alone win.
That morning, Georgina went to work at Patio Coffee Roasters in Adelaide. She did three practice run-throughs using an AeroPress. At 2pm she left work to catch a 3pm flight to Melbourne, which she thought would leave her with plenty of time to arrive at Proud Mary Coffee’s for the start of the AeroPress competition at 6pm. However, her flight was delayed.
She touched down in Melbourne at 5pm, and hurriedly made a dash to a city hostel to check in. She arrived at Proud Mary’s 40 minutes late and within seconds to spare before her scheduled competition time.
“I really didn’t think I was going to make it. I rang my friend to tell her to get ready to compete instead of me,” Georgina said.
However, she made her way through the knockout prelimary rounds and semi finals before the grand final.
Georgina’s brew recipe included 20 grams of coffee ground at 5.3 on a Mahlkonig EK43. She used the original method of AeroPress: 95 grams of water bloomed for 30 seconds. Add 115 grams of water from 30 to 45 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds, then at 55 seconds press for 30 seconds. Her brew finished at around one minute and 25 seconds.
Georgina has worked as Training and Retail Manger of Patio Coffee Roasters for the past six months. She will now juggle preparation for the World AeroPress Championship in Dublin with hosting nationally-accredited filter brewing courses, and rehearsals for the musical Nunsense for Blackwood Players, in which Georgina is a performer.
“It’s going to be a busy few months but I’m so excited. I still can’t believe it,” she said.
More than 500 people gathered at Proud Mary Coffee Roasters for the event, hosted by Aunty Peg’s and Condesa Co.Lab. The party atmosphere was enhanced with beers, food trucks and DJ mixes
Competitors did their best to stir, steep and press coffee in the tightly contested event. Condesa Co.Lab supplied the coffee for the competitors to use, and Proud Mary Coffee roasted the beans.
In a close battle to the finish line, Rummy Keshet of Small Print Perth was runner up, and Conan Felix O’Connor of White Horse Coffee was third place.
Event Co-Founder Tim Varney and St Ali’s Matt Perger emceed the event, while baristas had to impress a panel of judges including Muki Yeung of Condesa Co. Lab, Anne Cooper of Equilibrium Master Roasters, Mike Sullivan of Proud Mary Coffee Roasters, a representative from Dinner by Heston, Real Wines, and an international coffee producer from Brazil.
“We had such an amazing turnout and some really great coffee served up by our competitors,” Tim said. “Georgina swept through the rounds to the finals and she impressed everyone with her coffee. Five out of the six judges selected Georgina’s as the preferred coffee. Now she’s off to Dublin for the world championships.”
Tim helped launch the AeroPress Championships back in 2007. It is now an event held in more than 50 countries, with 96 competitions held in the past year, and more than 2500 competitors trying their luck in the cateogory of AeroPress preparation.
“More than anything else it’s a competition like none other. It’s fun, it’s inclusive and there’s no pressure. If you feel like vaguely taking it seriously however, there is the opportunity to do really well and represent your country at the international level,” Tim said.
As for Georgina, she’s still not entirely sure if the win was a result of her commitment to the event, or an omen for wearing a green skirt on St Patrick’s Day, but she’s excited to be representing Australian on the world stage.
“I still can’t believe this has happened to me. Bring on the worlds,” she said.