On Friday night, Café Imports hosted the Minneapolis AeroPress Championship. Twenty-seven baristas from throughout the Northern Midwest competed to win a trip to LA for the National AeroPress Championship at the end of this month. In each heat, three baristas served a single cup to the three judges, who selected one to advance to the following round.
Production Roaster Jake Underwood preparing his judges' cup
The coffee for the competition was selected by the Café Imports staff, and they asked me to do the roasting for the event. They chose a naturally processed yellow Caturra from La Chumeca in Costa Rica. La Chumeca is owned by Martin Ureña. Spyhouse has worked with the Ureña family since our first sourcing trip where we were the first buyers to be able to taste Cesar’s Naturals. He has since convinced friends and family to build their own micro-mills, giving them more control of their product, and as a result, increasing their quality and earnings. We have featured coffees from both Cesar’s Don Pepe and Edgar’s El Pilon micro-mills in the past and visited all three mills on our last trip to Costa Rica.
For me, it was an honor to be able to roast the competitor's coffee. Before the finals, I was asked to share a bit about working with this coffee. It was a special moment to be able to share the little pieces each person had in making this coffee what it is today. Being the first coffee buyer to visit Cesar and tell him he truly had something special, it instilled a deep pride in his product and build a whole community of exceptional producers. There are a million moving pieces in bringing a coffee from farm to customer. Many of these stories are years in the making. I hope that the small role I played in this family’s story of producing some of the best coffees in the world acts as an encouragement to others to give their best, even in the little moments. We often don’t know the impact we make.
Our own Kathie Hilberg took home the crown that night and had the following to say about her experience as the champion:
The Minneapolis AeroPress Competition was a ton of fun. It was great to see familiar faces from the local community, as well as folks from out of town coming out to be a part of the event. There were so many great competitors who put a lot of time in to preparing their recipe and practicing, so it was truly an honor to win. Café Imports is always a great supporter of the community here in the Twin Cities, and this event was no exception—thanks to them, the awesome judges, Tony for roasting the coffee, and all of the other competitors for making the event what it was. I look forward to representing the Twin Cities at the US AeroPress competition later this month in Los Angeles!
Here's Kathie winning recipe from the competition:
Kathie will be competing for the National AeroPress Championship title on September 29.
Images via Café Imports