Hipster heaven was to be found in Dublin 8 yesterday as coffee buffs from all over Ireland flocked to The Fumbally to partake in the Irish Aeropress Championships.
Expert baristas mingled with aspiring amateurs at the event where 24 competitors battled it out for a chance to partake in the World Barista Championships to be held in Rimini, Italy later this year.
A bustling crowd gathered to watch a series of intense heats, where coffee enthusiasts had eight minutes to brew the perfect cup of Joe before presenting it before a caffeined up judging panel.
“We have three judges and they each taste the brews prepared by the competitiors and on the count of three they all point to the one they like the most. Hopefully we have unanimous decisions and if not we’ll call in the services of a tie breaker judge,” said organiser Lorcan Fagan.
The Irish Aeropress Championships, which are in their second year, offer both professional and home brewers the chance to win, which is unusual.
“This competition is kind of different to all other barista competitions in that it is judged solely on taste and it’s not just baristas who can enter. Of course, the opportunity to go and represent Ireland in the World Barista Championships is a huge draw and it’s a great opportunity,” said Lorcan.
Last year’s Irish Aeropress Champion, Mark Ashbridge said events like this one are further evidence of escalating coffee culture in Ireland.
“I think events and competitions like this are brilliant and they bring everything together.
“I’ve been knocked out by my own member of staff Nathan already today but it just shows how addictive this coffee community can get.
“He began working in my coffee shop Established late last year and really had never made coffee before, had never known what it was all about. Now, he’s gotten so into it, so passionate about it. It’s nice to see and I hope he does well today.”
Resident barista at Capel Street’s Brother Hubbard, Bruno Ferreira is a regular on Dublin’s competitive coffee scene.
“Entering these things is an addiction. It pushes you to better your communication skills, to try to innovate yourself and to encourage you to try different things and maybe create something that you wouldn’t have thought of before,” he said.
“Everyone in this community in Dublin knows one another. It’s a great chance to get to know more people, to see what other people are doing and spread a bit of the coffee culture and make it stronger.”
Coffee Angel’s Monika Winiarek was crowned 2014’s Irish Aeropress Champion and will travel to Italy next month to compete in the World Barista Championships.