Indian Aeropress Championship heads to Chennai

Indian Aeropress Championship heads to Chennai
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The Indian leg from five cities to 13, and is coming to Chennai for the very first time. The goal is to select India’s representative for World Aeropress Championships, to be held in Australia in 2022

Many people have spent half the lockdown playing barista, sitting at home. Some have even tested their gradually growing skills with different roasts, pitted themselves against different devices and played with experimental brewing styles. But have you ever wondered how good you really are, outside of your home kitchen and friends circle?

As the Indian Aeropress Championship comes to Chennai, non-professional coffee brewers finally have a chance to pit their prowess against others in the city and the country — and the world, if they are good enough.

Originally a brand known for sports equipment, the name AeroPress in 2005 became synonymous with the coffee making device, AeroPress, developed in the US and introduced to the market by the same firm. Today, AeroPress is among the popular home-brewing methods for coffee lovers around the world.

In December, Chennai will be one of 13 cities and regions to choose three talented amateur brewers for a final, national-level showdown, from which will be selected the Indian representative for the World Aeropress Championships to be held in Australia in 2022.

The Indian leg of the contest is put together by the country’s growing fraternity of independent coffee roasters, planters and experts.

, Indian Aeropress Championship heads to Chennai,

A participants at the Bengaluru round of Indian Aeropress Championship earlier this month
| Photo Credit: alien

In Chennai, the venue is being provided by Divya Jayashankar, founder of Beachville Coffee Roasters, and the raw ingredients by Akshay Vaidyanathan, founder of Kapi Kottai. Judges are Auroville-based independent coffee pioneer Marc Tormo, and Viggnesh V who documents the country’s growing coffee industry on his Instagram page Roast Brew and You.

Says Divya, “The Chennai round will be held on December 5 at 11am. The idea is that the people who brew with an Aeropress will be given one coffee, uniform across all contestants, and will have to use it in a way they like, to create a concoction that they prefer. They will be given 10 days to test and brew at home with the same coffee, and figure out what works best in their opinion — what their brew ratio is, what water temperature they prefer.”

Registrations close around November 25, after which organisers will ship the coffee — 250 grams of whole bean — out to participants. “Typically, most contestants will have a grinder at home and can fine-tune the grind according to their preference. Participants may also come over on the day of the event, and take a couple of tries getting the grind right on our in-shop grinder,” adds Divya.

The team behind the Indian leg of contests is Bengaluru-based Benki Brewing Tools, whose founder Suhas Dwarkanath has been organising coordinating with roasters, planters and others in the fraternity, to conduct regional rounds since 2017.

“We started very small, with 38 contestants in total across the Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore rounds. When we last did it in 2019, before the pandemic, we were the second biggest competition in the world, with 221 participants in five cities. Spain was the biggest,” says Suhas over a phone call, between flying from city to city with each round.

The scope of the contest in India has grown as steadily as the fraternity itself. Most major cities now have a community eager to experiment with bean to bar coffee.

Each city chapter is supported by a different roastery sponsoring the venue, and startup sponsoring the coffee, be it Roastery Coffee House that hosts the Hyderabad and Kolkata contests, or original bean to bar brand Blue Tokai, which provided beans for Delhi. “There is no minimum requirement for the number of participants in a city,” says Suhas, “As long as a roastery can provide 650 square feet space, enough tables and electricity, and basic equipment including a grinder, they can host a round.”

For details and registration, visit www.indianaeropress

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