On Monday 19 May 2014, Fragments Paris was hosting the very first French AeroPress Championship. Technically, rue des Tournelles was actually hosting the event. The weather was amazing. With 18 participants and even more supporters, we were simply all over the place for this big coffee reunion.

In the words of Chung-Leng Tran: “On n’a jamais été aussi  nombreux à Fragments” (We’ve never been so many at Fragments).


So what is the AeroPress®? It is a device invented in 2005 by Alan Adler, for brewing coffee. It looks like a giant syringe and is composed of 2 cylinders. Coffee is steeped for between a few seconds to 1 min (depending on grind and preferred strength) and “then forced through a filter by pressing the plunger through the tube.”
And for the coffee geeks among us: “The filters used are either the AeroPress paper filters or disc shaped thin metal filters. The maker describes the result as an espresso strength concentration of coffee, but its most frequent use is more in the filter brew strength.” Source: Wikipedia.

The coffee selected for the competition, was an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Chelelectu roasted by Stéphane Cataldi. He came purposely from Brittany to Paris for the French championship.

RXCHAU-20140519-00136

We saw many baristas sorting out their beans for their recipes. But I must point out that our two finalists were among the ones who did not. As far as I am concerned, I like the taste of this coffee just the way it is, with its visual irregularities and uneven beans.

The 3 judges who were in charge of selecting their favourite cups and thus, the winners, were no other than the gentlemen on the podium of the 2014 French Brewer’s Cup. From left to right: 1. Sébastien Racineux (vice-champion 2012, vice-champion 2014), 2. Chung-Leng Tran (Champion 2012, 3rd place 2014), and 3. Dinh Phong Nguyen (Champion 2014).

We got even a little bit of action, when the judges got splashed by the neighbour, who was watering his plants just above their heads.

After a long night of brewing, tasting and selection, 2 rounds, 2 finals, and the visits of very comprehensive patrol officers, we have finally got our very first French AeroPress champions!!

1. Melodie Knight
2. Nestor Grace
3. Nina van Kampen

Melodie is going to represent France at the World AeroPress Championship, in Rimini, Italy next month. She will be competing against 23 other champions on Monday 9th June, 2014, according to this WAC’s post.

For more photos, the full album is now available on flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjYhfp9o

UPDATED with the winning recipes and some technical details:
– Nestor used the Montcalm water,
– Grinder settings on the EK43 + 3FE Dial: (1) Melodie: 12,5 ; (2) Nestor: 11; (3) Nina: 13,5.

Poster by Gwen Poulet.

Poster by Gwen Poulet.

MANY THANKS to all competitors, organisers, judges, supporters and everybody who came and made the night!

This post is dedicated to Peta Glaister, who made me discover the AeroPress back in 2011, Pascal ‘FatBag’ Glaister, and Astri Kvåle: you have been missed a lot, my Darlings!