A coffee with the 2017 Australian AeroPress Champion Jen Argyle
Our Head Barista Trainer Rie Moustakas chats to Jen about her wins at the State and National competitions, and how she will represent Australia at the World Aeropress Competition in Seoul, South Korea on 9th November 2017, against champions from 50 nations, for the converted title of 2017 World Aeropress Champion.
Jen still finds it so surreal that she will be going to Seoul to represent Australia in a coffee making competition. She has spent many years as a barista in Perth, honing her craft but never imagined it could lead to this!
This year was the first time she entered the Western Australian Aeropress Championships which were held on 10thAugust at Locally Crafted in Burswood. Few days before, she had never brewed coffee on an Aeropress. She got her practice beans, brewed couple of coffees the morning of the competition, and was not happy with her result. On stage she realised she better make a drastic change with her recipe and improvise. Thank goodness she did. She finished the night with a trophy, Aerobie ring, grinder, and a ticket to Sydney for the National competition.
The National competition was a huge event on the night of 9th September, with 300 people in attendance and 25 competitors at Single Origin Roasters. The winner would receive a trophy, La Marazocco Linea Mini and return flights to Seoul.
When asked about her approach to competing at Nationals Jen said she doesn’t take herself too seriously, she was just really happy to be there. She was not expecting to get past the first round but was so excited about the whole experience and delighted to share the stage with all these great baristas from all over Australia. She felt so honoured when the judges picked her coffee as the best tasting one. Her coffee was described by the head judge as “…the winning cup managed to balance flavour intensity, clarity and vibrancy in a profile exceptional to the other cups without sacrificing the body great aeropress coffee can provide”.
A funny memory for Jen was in her first round she had a pack of Oreos stashed up her sleeve. Everyone gets 8 minutes to brew an aeropress but her recipe only takes about 2. So when she finished and was waiting for the other competitors, she opened her pack and munched on Oreos. Some thought “is this a tactic to psych the others out?” but no, she just wanted to eat Oreos.
Jen’s highlight from the competition? Besides winning and being covered in champagne? Was when she was in the preparation room, feeling like she’s earned her place there alongside passionate baristas. Her highlight of her trip to Sydney? Was watching the sun rise on the East coast, flying back to Perth, and watching the sun set on the West coast on the same day. Her lowlight? After finishing her winning interview and going back to pack up her stuff some of it had gone missing 🙁
So how will she prepare for Seoul? Jen said her experience with coffee was more than enough. She will keep brewing coffee and strive to improve her knowledge. The ultimate outcome for her, is the experience.
How has this changed her life? She’s found she walks into a lot of Perth cafes and people are recognising her. When asked how she feels about being champion she said its “ridiculous” and is “still having trouble accepting” as it was unexpected.
Did Jen brew me an aeropress with the winning coffee beans? Yes she did. It was juicy and sweet. Did she tell me her winning recipe? Yes she did. Would you like to know? You’ll have to ask her!
More links about the Aeropress competition: