On May 25th the good coffee people of Toronto gathered for an epic night of community and competition at Quantum Coffee Co. on the corner of King and Spadina. The 2018 edition of the Toronto Regional Aeropress Championship kicked off with a bang—quite literally—when the kettles, emcee, and DJ got way too hot for the breaker to handle and blew out the venue's electricity! Luckily the good vibes kept rolling and the packed house enjoyed a delicious dinner courtesy of IQ Food Co., while the amazing team at Quantum resolved the issue. In no time, the Toronto Aeropress competitors were back at their brewing stations and ready and eager to plunge their way to glory!
Btw, most of the pictures you see here were taken by the incredibly talented Britney Townsend. You can learn more about Britney from a Q & A we did with her earlier this year HERE. A few of the photos were also taken by yours truly!
As usual, this event was a MASSIVE community effort, so we have lots of people to thank for making it possible. Rachel Rava and Gemma Morrison-Hunt both from Pilot Coffee Roasters were key in volunteering their time and effort to bring the #TorontoAeropress2018 to life.
In case you didn't know, for the past two years our Toronto Aeropress coffee sponsor has been chosen in a blind cupping. This year, the folks from Beanstock and the Canadian Specialty Coffee Association hosted a cupping at Propeller Coffee Co. and selected the 2018 coffee sponsor out of over 20 coffee submissions from around the country (thank you to everyone who sent in coffees!). After tirelessly slurping and tasting, their expert panel chose local roaster Hatch Coffee as the favorite on the table. This was Hatch Coffee's second year winning the blind cupping. Boris Lee, Hatch's roaster submitted a "curve ball" blend of 80% Ethiopia Guji Mokanisa Natural and Costa Rica Tarrazu La Cuesta Honey Process. We were so grateful to have their continued support.
Gaya Lou, Alex Castellani, and Vica Pelivan were the esteemed judges for the evening (pictured above & below). They graciously lent their well-tuned palates to the community by tasting coffee brewed by 27 competitors over the course of 3 rounds of elimination (yes!...that's a ridiculous amount of coffee!). Andrew Long (also pictured below) was our fearless leader and MC. Andrew kept the good vibes flowing along with Boxcar Social, our generous beer sponsor, who were a huge help in making it possible for us to sell their beer at a cheap price so attendance was fun and free for all. Oh, and thanks to the folks at National Cappuccino & La Marzocco, DJ Decaf Wolf showed up with a crowd pleasing playlist for the competitors to press to and kept the sweet tunes rolling all night.
Our very generous prize sponsors: Eight Ounce Coffee Supply, San Remo Canada, Soul Chocolate, Fika Cafe, Marco Beverage Systems, Hatch Coffee, Pilot Coffee Roasters and The Roaster's Pack made sure the top three Aeropress competitors went home with some sweet, sweet brewing gear, chocolate, coffee, and swag. Thank you again to these companies for making the night extra fantastic!
The third and final round of the 2018 Toronto Aeropress Regional Championship saw three awesome baristas go head-to-head. Graham Hayes was the wild card of the night. He stepped in to the competition at the very last minute to fill the spot of a competitor no-show. With zero preparation for the comp, and borrowing some gear from other competitors, Graham ended up bringing home the gold! Chad Staunton, and James Bayford placed 2nd and 3rd respectively. A massive congratulations goes out to Graham, Chad, and James!!
Although we are only mentioning the top three finalists in this post, THANK YOU to everyone who competed and made the night a huge success! We were overwhelmed with the community's enthusiasm for this event this year... and still can't believe all 27 competitor spots sold out in less than 24 hours.
Also, FYI, The Canadian National Aeropress Championship is taking place in Hamilton on September 7th find out more information by following along on the official facebook event page! X