2019 W.A.C. emcees Michelle Johnson and Marcus Boni. Photo by Abi Varney, courtesy of W.A.C.

More than 700 coffee-obsessives turned out to the sold out World Aeropress Championship this past weekend in Sydney, Australia.

For the first time in the event’s 11-year history, the winner hailed from the United States. Native Colombian Carolina Ibarra Garay, now based in Los Angeles where she manages Café de Leche, beat out a remarkable field of 56 national Aeropress champions. Xiaobo Zhang of China placed second, and Evgeni Pinchukov of Belarus placed third.

World Aeropress Championship

Photo by Abi Varney, courtesy of W.A.C.

Co-hosted by the World Aeropress Championship and Australian coffee company Single O, the event underscores the cult-like following for the tubular manual brewing device invented by Alan Adler, yet it also characteristically turned into a freewheeling party, with a host of beer and food sponsors.

New features in this year’s competition — the 11th since the humble first event at Tim Wendleboe in Oslo, Norway, that featured three competitors and a cake — included a competitor brew bar, where guests could taste recipes, and a compulsory coffee. In years past, competitors were given weeks to tinker with their chosen coffees, but this year everyone received competition quantities of Kenya Mugaya AA from Single O just four days in advance. 

We’ll have more on Carolina Ibarra Garay’s winning recipe shortly.

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