It’s been almost 2 years since the first Vietnam Aeropress Championship (VNAC) took place in Vietnam. As a co-host of this competition, my job includes a final report for the event.
2016 must be highlighted as the year of breakthroughs in the Vietnamese coffee community with the first two globally-standardized competitions leaving a restless excitement to all coffee enthusiasts and professionals. If the Vietnam Barista Championship (VNBC) in May was considered as the official gateway to WBC 2016, meaning a serious competing atmosphere, 4 months later, the national AeroPress Championship was promised to be a striking playground where fun, fast and fair are the top priority. What to expect? Free entrance, funky music, available craft beer, homemade food and stunning AeroPress knock-outs .
A design from Branda presents the “not-too-serious” spirit with a spin on propaganda poster and the slogan “For the happiness of people” in Vietnamese.
The minimalism concept of Bosgaurus Cafe seems to be a huge advantage turning it into the best venue for a fast, fun and light-hearted event. Thanks to the logistics support from The Workshop team, the flying bar was then transformed into the main performance stage where everything is transparent and easy to follow up. A wide on-stage screen with projector and camera was also set up for on-site and high-speed online live-stream. The whole competition was ensured to reach all coffee lovers regardless to their geographical position.
Along with the airy open space is the cozy atmosphere with no borders between competitors and judges, audiences and sponsors. While individuals grabbed some waffles and beers to begin their small talks, teams swing by each other’s counters for self-introduction, making friends and swapping their specialties. An amusing playlist was played along not only turning on the ambience but also keep it steadily hot throughout the event. It might be rare and weird in a coffee shop to see a barista putting their hand up and dancing while brewing their coffees, but not in this explosive event. If there was any event that best reflected the restless energy, unique craziness and passion of the youth in coffee community, Vietnam AeroPress Championship 2016 nailed it.
The competition is also a reunion day of big guys in town with the collaboration of well-known names in third-wave market of Vietnam. While Klasik and Bosgaurus served attendees with their signature homemade cakes, doritos and waffles, crafted beer and brewing equipment, Shalom and Kok impressed the crowd with their wide variety of coffee beans showcases. Behind the stage, The Workshop team did their best job to bring to the competitors well-roasted beans and a neat and professional organization of the whole event. More than just fun, it was a rare occasion for the whole community to gather and connect, to share their vision and enhance the core value of coffee industry.
Prizes & Awards
Certificates were prepared for all competitors and volunteers for their attendance and contribution to VNAC 2016. To congratulate the top 3, a fancier prize list was announced as below with a deep appreciation to all sponsors: Kok, Baratza, Shalom, La Viet, Branda and Vietnam Coffee Republic.
- 2nd runner-up: A Copper & Timber Piston Cup (made by ArtisanSmith) + Baratza Encore Grinder Machine
- 1st runner-up: A Copper & Timber Piston Cup (made by ArtisanSmith) + SCAA Coffee Map T100 Aroma Kit
- The Champion: A Copper & Timber Piston Cup (made by ArtisanSmith) + VND 3,200,000 in cash + a trip to watch WAC 2017 (or VND 10,000,000 in cash + Baratza Sette 270W Grinder Machine)
And a big thank to Charlie from ArtisanSmith for the special stainless steel AeroPress kit for the Champion.
The Top 3
Let’s give a round of applause to Thi Le (Le Dan Nha Thi) from Bosgaurus Café for beating up the rest 31 competitors to become the Vietnam AeroPress Championship 2016. The lady succeeded in not only brewing the most outstanding cup of coffee but also proving that a little smaller could be a little stronger.
Huy Hua (Hua Tuong Huy – the man in light coral blue shirt with with hands on the trophy), with his incredible calmness and simple brewing method, was announced as the 1st runner-up of the competition. The freelance competitor brought a refreshing breath to the whole showcase when finished his performance in just 1 minute. Too fast, too furious!
It seemed to be a big winning day for Bosgaurus café when their second barista, Huong Quach (Quach Thi Thanh Huong – the lady in red with her signature sun-bright smile), brought home her 2nd runner-up prize. Want to know their secrets? “Don’t think much. Just have fun!”
Party don’t stop
Despite of the championship announcement, the crowd was then heated up by the epic closing knock-out where judges and The Top 3 swapped their positions. Revenge time! Congratulations to Phi-Long Ngo from Drago Coffee for his best cup and also bet winning!
|Origin: West Province, Rutsiro District, Rwanda|
|Altitude: 1500-1900 masl|
|Process: Fully washed|
|Roast date: September 1st (10 days before the competition)|
|Le Dan Nha Thi
|Hua Tuong Huy
|Quach Thi Thanh Huong
|Temp (Celsius degree)||85||85||81|
|Brewing time||3 min 30 seconds||1 minute||1 min 39 seconds|
Crafted metal filter
|Instructions||Ø Blooming: Pour 30 grams of water over coffee grounds within 30 seconds
Ø Add water until it reaches 234 grams within 1 min 30 seconds.
Ø Pushing starts at 2:30 and last until 3:30
|Ø Blooming: Pour 34 grams of water over coffee grounds within 15 seconds
Ø Add water until it reaches 240 grams within 30 seconds.
Ø Pushing within 15 seconds.
|Ø Blooming: Pour 60 grams of water over coffee grounds within 30 seconds
Ø Add water until it reaches 230 grams within 1 min.
Ø Pushing within 39 seconds.
Reported and written by Trang Nguyen – a coffee enthusiast
Photos credit: Adam Nguyen, Oanh Truong, Kennee Nguyen