A few weeks ago, I was sharing with my friend about the Singapore AeroPress Championship that I had just gone to. I wrote in my post about that, “I hope that one day I will be able to enter into one (an AeroPress competition)…who knows what could happen.”. Then my friend shared about this competition coming up. Who knew my opportunity would come so soon! My mind immediately started thinking, “Could I really compete in this?”.

I kind of shrugged it off because of language barriers that could lead to confusion, and the fact that I have zero equipment (except an AeroPress). But later, I got to talking about it with some friends that work at Opique, and they convinced me that I should do it. One even offered to sign me up and for me to train there! Count me in!

Unfortunately, registration filled within an hour of opening. They even reopened it, expanding the field to 81, but even that filled within fifteen minutes. Boy is the coffee community alive here or what! While I didn’t make it into the competition (maybe next time!), I did go to watch, and I must say, it was awesome!

Competitors

Within the 81 contestants, there were people of all different experience levels. From head baristas to people that seemed like they had only used an AeroPress a couple of times, the range was wiiiiide. That’s part of what made it so great. It was open and accessible to everyone, even more so than the already welcoming AeroPress championship where the least experienced might shy away. From beginner to home barista to head barista, all were welcome.

From Tragedy to Triumph

There was one girl that I particularly remember. She was going through her routine, looking a little lost. She was way behind on time and clearly nervous and a bit rattled. With shaky hands she began to increase her tempo. Press time. She flipped the AeroPress onto her server and began to press. She was having a difficult time pressing as it was, but on top of that, time was running out.

Then the first signs of concern began popping up…water was spilling out. I was a bit confused where it was coming from or how, but my questions were soon answered. The black filter cap came off. Coffee…everywhere. People around me gasped. I think everyone felt bad for her.

I know I probably would have just given up and started cleaning. Honestly at that point, her chances of winning were slim to none, but what she did next really surprised me.

She picked the cap out of her server,

poured the coffee sludge into the competition cup,

added a little hot water,

and placed it to be judged.

#fearless #buzzerbeater #clutch #truechampion

At that moment, I leaned over to my friend and said, “How awesome would it be if she won?”. Even as I said that though, I felt a little bad for the judges that were to drink that. I wonder what they thought…Anyways this was not a story book ending. As expected, she did not win, but I will not forget that.

Amidst what must have been a wave of embarrassment, disbelief, frustration, and maybe anger, she finished. If I ever do compete, I will carry this experience with me.

A Few Other Points

There was some awesome free coffee there brewed by BaristaKoffieLovers. I don’t care if it’s just a single drop. Free coffee is free coffee, and it was awesome! Note: they also give out free coffee every Sunday morning at a different coffee shop around town. Follow their Instagram for more information.

LIVE MUSIC. Between the rounds, there definitely wasn’t a lull. There was live music, and I must say, the bands that played were great. Wow…free coffee AND and a free concert? What an event!

The winner’s routine was a bit strange. For one, he used two kettles. He also brewed into a cup already partially filled with a bit of hot water. At the end, he touched it off with a bit more hot water as well. Looking back now, perhaps it wasn’t that weird, but the two kettles definitely threw me off at first.

Jogja’s coffee community is the real deal, as seen by how fast the registration filled up and the fact that there were 81 competitors. I bet there would have easily been 120 if there was room and time for that. Anyways, it really did seem like a giant coffee club of people from all different ages and places. Maybe I’m biased, but I find coffee community to be one of the friendliest and most open out there. Honestly, I think this event would be enjoyable for everybody, regardless of whether they give a hoot about coffee or not.

Overall, I found this event to be far better than the Singapore AeroPress Championship. Perhaps the competition aspect wasn’t as good, merely because it was harder to view, but as an event, it was far superior. It began at 9am and the champion was crowned around 6pm. Of which I was there for all but two hours, and I can say that there was not a dull moment.

 

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