IM 4.02 Interview with Jeff Verellen, Two-Time World AeroPress Champion

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Belgian roaster Jeff Verellen initiated a far-reaching trend for brewing with the AeroPress by using far cooler water than is normally suggested for the device. His World AeroPress Championship winning recipe begins with blooming his 17.5g of coffee with 40 grams (1.4 oz.) of water at 82°C (180°F). Then he slowly pours in the rest of his brew water at only 76°C (169°F). Since Verellen won the World AeroPress Championship for the first time in 2011, and again in 2013, many other baristas have had success with brewing the AeroPress using the lower water temperature. You can read Verellen’s recipe from 2013 here

Picture: Jeff Verellen.

 

Barista Hustle – What gave you the idea of using such a low water temperature in the World Aeropress Championship? 

Jeff Verellen – A lot of trial and error, and trying to differentiate from other recipes. Almost everybody used 92–95°C. This higher brewing temperature can be good but gives little room for error on stage. I’ve seen many probably good recipes fail because they were so exact that they were executed wrong under duress.

 

In your opinion, what is the upper limit for water temperature in Aeropress brewing? Is there a maximum water temperature that you would never go beyond; or does it depend on the style of coffee? If so — can you give us an idea of what sorts of coffees and roasting styles might suit cooler or warmer water temperatures?

I personally don’t think there is an upper limit! How about a 45 sec extraction at 99 degrees?
Surely roasting has been lighter since 2014, so a high temperature is needed to extract properly. This also gives more chance for harshness and dryness. I’ve judged many Aeropress competitions over the last few years and these two off flavors seem to be punished the most.
A nice, little bit more developed Kenya is great at lower temperature, (but longer) extraction.

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