AeroPress Competition Tips

hi hustlers,

just wondering if anyone in here has experience with competing in AeroPress competitions? I’m getting ready to compete in my first event in a couple days, the 2017 Toronto AeroPress Championships and was looking for any feedback or tips + tricks that you’d like to share…

my competition recipe is close to being final and I’ll post the specifics here once it’s over. however, I’ll be brewing inverted + using AESIR filters.

thanks in advance, looking forward to some discussion + comments.

IG: @shawnthacker

This might be over the top, but once I nailed my recipe down I put some time into my workflow to ensure nothing was missing or in an awkward position.

I also know that I get a little nervous competing so I kept a second aeropress preheated on the side of my work station.I even kept a few more doses of coffee already weighed to the side too. This meant that if I made a silly mistake half way with my pour our bloom etc I could quickly start again with no fuss.
It turns out I didn’t even need this back up and I did quite well in the competition but other competitors observed that it was a clever move to be prepared for mistakes or spills.

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Dial coffee to your idea of delicious. Record solubility if possible?

Brew comp coffee on the day in practice to match solubility and see if it still tastes the same. (Hopefully it will)

Use your own water. Use your own clean kettle. Use your own grinder if possible.

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Hey there! It’s my first time at Aeropress comp and I have a few questions:

  1. The grinder used at the comp is an ek43 and I have a baratza encore at home. I can’t bring my own grinder as the comp rules only allow us to use our own hand grinders, and I have no access to an ek43 to practice. How do I overcome this?

  2. Is there any benefits to brewing regular (instead of inverted). I feel it easier to brew inverted and I feel I can make it more consistent, but if regular brews a better cup then i’ll practice with that,

  3. I’ll only be getting 200g of beans to practice with, how do I make the most of that?

Thanks in advance!

(a) Buy the Lido 3 Orphan Expresso Hand Grinder. The only grinder I use for the Superlative subscription.
(b) Get the Kruve sifter and sieve your encore to the same particle size profile of an ek43. It actually won’t do this, but will get close.
© Find a coffee shop with an EK43 and grind a bag there, take home and test. Remember the grind setting as a rough estimate for the competition. Adjust your brewing method to that grind until competition.
(d) Find a similar method of aeropress brewing method to yours and try to find what the ek43 grind setting was, then adjust on the fly during the competition. Not a preferred method, but better than nothing.

There are many approaches for aeropress and honestly, all of them can work, just some provide a broader window of an optimal brew. Inverted, IMO allows a broader window due to:

a) Almost no dependency on bloom inverted, since immersion style, blooming doesn’t seem to matter.
b) Inverted allows a predictable amount of agitation to be added to the aeropress through “swirling”, this helps deepen the extraction during the brew which immersion style is always challenged with. “Swirling” after the first pour, middle of brew, and slightly at the end for evening grounds and removing from top of plunger once flipped seems to work best.
c) Allows for max fill of aeopress, for example 17 grams at 230g brew water, just maxes out the liquid capacity to achieve a more typical brew strength for consumption.

That… I don’t know and can’t even guess. I would just continue with the 17g batches (or similar) but I would adjust brew time vs. grinder setting. If you don’t have an ek43, then playing around with that will likely just leave you lost.


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hi @Dilski,

I had similar criteria for the grinders at my competition although we were allowed to bring our own electric grinders. In any event, to get ready for this, I went to a local shop where they had an EK and asked them if I could grind a few grams of beans at different settings to get an idea of where I might want to be and they were more than receptive. I was able to find some information online relating to EK grind settings for AeroPress and that was the range I used as my sample grinding at the shop. That said, even the same grinder in a different environment, or depending on burr alignment (especially with the EK), can produce dramatically different results. What I might suggest is that you see if you can get your hands on a sieve (Kruve or similar) so that the particle size is more similar no matter what grinder you end up using.

In terms of brewing regular or inverted, ~75% of the competitors in my event, including myself, utilized the inverted method. For me, it’s just preference but I think you can make an excellent brews either way.

to best make use of only 200 g., I would decide early on on a brew ratio or recipe and then simply adjust grind settings and water temperature to suit.

lastly, I think there’s a lot of luck involved in AP competitions as the scoring is based strictly on taste. it’s important to remember that the vibe at these competitions is usually pretty loose with a fun atmosphere. by the time the 2nd round rolls around, there’s enough beer flowing that the coffee becomes secondary to the experience. (read: as an attendee, it’s not “I’m going to a shop to watch a serious competition…”, it’s more along the lines of “I has an amazing time last night at a coffee shop and there was a competition going on while we were there!”).


I said I would post my recipe here after the competition, so here goes…

method: inverted
coffee: 18 grams
water: 200+ grams (**see recipe)
grind: fine to medium-fine (7.6 on EK43)
filter: AESIR (highly recommended…)
water temperature: 93C / 200F

  • pre-heat your AeroPress, decanter, + serving vessel with water
  • rinse AESIR filter with lots of water + re-set filter in cap as required
  • place coffee in AeroPress
  • add 40 g. (ml) water in 15 secs.
  • swirl aggressively to saturate fully (no tools yet!)
  • add 160 g. (ml) water slowly to 1 min.
  • whisk aggressively 3 times
  • push out excess ‘headspace’ from chamber so that when you place the cap, it’s touching the crema
  • place cap tighly
  • flip AeroPress over after 1 min. of all the water being added
  • push firmly + slowly for 20 secs. (stop before the ‘hiss’) into a milk jug or decanting server
  • place warmed serving vessel on scale and tare
  • swirl milk jug to cool slightly and pour into serving vessel on scale (should be ~180 g.)
  • add water from your kettle to 200 g.
  • drink hot (like espresso, cold AeroPress coffee is not generally a good thing…)

that’s it. after that, you can collect your golden AeroPress and have bragging rights for a year!


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Hey everyone, thanks for your responses!

  1. I’ve considered purchasing the Lido 3, but I don’t have the cash to splash! I do like the idea of asking to use one in a shop, and I know the event organiser has at least 1 EK43, so I’ll reach out to them to see if they can help.

  2. It sounds like inverted will be the way to go for me! With limited coffee, I’ll stick with that method to eliminate a variable.

  3. I guess limited supply only makes my practice more challenging. I’ll enjoy the fun of being precise and scientific.

@shawnthacker I’ve just had a look at the filters you recommend and unfortunately cannot get them in my country (easily and fairly cheap), but are there any other filters that you could recommend if they can make a difference? I’ve heard of the metal ones, but didn’t think they would make a difference. Thank you for your recipe too! I’ll avoid copying, but will take your methods into account when developing my own!

Thanks again for your contributions