The learning started before even getting on the plane. Did you know it is practically impossible to fly directly to Rimini if the summer season has not started yet? I did not.
On the plane itself I was also taught that flight attendants look at you funny when you ask for hot water to brew your own Aeropress. And although the Facebook Page 'Mile High Aeropress Club' might give you a different impression, doing this is a challenge. Not only is the table very, very small, but plunging down your Aeropress is also very, very difficult. I think it has to do with the cabin pressure? But if anyone has any more information on this, I am very willing to listen.
Besides the non coffee related knowledge I attained later that day (such as there is a via Rossini and a viale Rossini in Rimini, please make sure where you need to go, as they are not near each other), I also got to breathe in the atmosphere and Aeropress recipes at the World Aeropress Championships held on the beach. Which turns out is the best place to have them. La Marzocco provided drinks and food barbecued on the Linea BBQ (awesome!), Aerobie gave out free frisbees, the Rimini ferris wheel and sunset gave the perfect backdrop and Tim Wendelboe, James Hoffmann and Tim Styles kept slurping and pointing out the best tasting cup. Want to read more on how the Aeropress Championships work? You can read all about it in a previous blog post or check out the official website.
|ready to point out the winner|
|and the winner is...|
|Aeropress Championship views|
The results of the ultimate Aeropress battle?
1st. Shuichi Sasaki (Paul Bassett Coffee) - 2014 Japanese Aeropress Champion
2nd. Martin Karabiňoš (Dublin Cafe) - 2014 Slovakian Aeropress Champion
3rd. Jeff Verellen (CaffeNation) - 2014 Belgium Aeropress Champion
Want to read all about their recipes? You can. Do keep in mind that a different coffee will react differently to the same recipe.
During my week in Rimini I also learnt the Japanese are not only good Aeropressers, they are also good Baristas.
Hidenori Izaki of Maruyama Coffee in Nagano, Japan became the first Asian World Barista Champion. He used a red bourbon and a typica both grown in Costa Rica and processed at the Monte Copey mill in the Tarrazu region. The honey processed red bourbon ended up in is espresso, while the washed typica landed in his cappuccino. He fused the two together in his signature, together with apple syrup, apple blossom honey and peach nectar, served in rounded cocktail glasses over sphered ice.
You can see his run here, where you can also find the runs of the other finalists. Personal favourite was the UK, so make sure to watch that one too: I learnt a lot more from Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood's 15 minute presentation than I did during the entire World of Coffee event. If you want to learn more on how to present yourself, check out Laila's run (USA). Her knowledge of and passion for coffee shone through brightly.
Overall it really was the year of Asia, with Taiwanese Jacky Yu-Chuan Lai taking home the Roasting Cup. Which you can also win, while placing fifth at the World Brewers Cup held at the same event. Talk about dividing your attention successfully. First place for the Brewers Cup went to Stefanos Domatiotis from Taf Coffee in Greece this year. Which taught me that Stefanos is just ridiculously good at coffee competitions, performing well in almost all disciplines in the last years.
Other than that I learnt a lot by cupping coffees from different roasters and green coffee suppliers. I got to scramble together many posters, flyer's and booklets on coffee training that I can use in the future as inspiration for my own trainings. As a volunteer at the Barista Championship semi-finals I was taught how to clean an espresso machine, oh no wait, I knew how to do that already. But it was fun all the same. I also learnt, thank God from others and not from experience, to not leave your wallet and phone unattended on the beach when you go swimming at night. And of course I got to learn the names of many new people, whom can all teach me other new cool coffee stuff in the future.
|the nice gut mill (?) by Kalita|
|the Dutch Barista Championship bus photobombed|
|cycling through Rimini like real Dutchies do|
Check out these pictures and others on the Coffee Strides Facebook Page.