Seriously though, where the hell do I start with this one!
Born out of bitterness that the Aeropress competition wasn’t held in Vancouver, my small idea quickly spiraled brilliantly out of control….So roll back a few months, to when I asked the guys at nemesis if we could host an Aeropress event, in response to the annual Aeropress competition not being in held Vancouver this year. Straight away they agreed (Nemesis kind of has a “YOOOO, WE NEED TO DO THIS SHIT” policy). It’s at this point this tale stops being boring and turns into a shit tonne of FUN…..
Joey, James, Maddie and myself all sat down one night after work with a few beers, and I pitched them my idea. I thought my idea was pretty dope, but then like every great meeting of daft minds things quickly shifted into “why don’t we make this less serious”.
A second meeting with Jess to confirm he was down, quickly went in the same direction as the first and it then turned into a 90’s HIP HOP Theme.
And with that NEMESIS BARISTA BATTLE was born………
Game one: Latte Art Throw Down
One roll of two dice!! The first dice decided what pattern you pour. The second decides what you pour into / out of…….. So stupid, right!!
We had the generic avocado skins, a gravy boat, a wooden pineapple, a kind of trophy style looking jug and a beat up milk pitcher (that I took great pleasure in smashing up, but did nearly hit my toe with a brick!! Not sure that’s covered on my health insurance haha…..) Oh and a childs wet shoe that I thought was water proof, but it turned out it wasn’t in the slightest. Obviously being super organised we tested the shoe 5 minutes before people were due to arrive, only to find that it might as well have been a sieve.. So with a quick bit of thinking we just put a piping bag inside! It looked shit, and that’s because it was, but it actually made for a pretty difficult challenge.
This made for such a dope event and probably the most entertaining one to watch. We had Laura and Nate of Lüna Coffee and Kris from Coffee Potluck judging. They scored the pour on difficulty of the pattern and the object, and to be fair then did a HELLA great job of it! It was stupid and even more messy than I ever imagined.
Game Two: CUPPING / PIN THE TAIL ON THE DONKEY
Or as it should have been called…… Pin some coffee dude’s head on a map, WTF!!
For this we enlisted the help of some big hitters. Matt Perger (Barista Hustle), Chris Baca (Cat & Cloud) and The Hoff! No not the one from Baywatch, although that would have been hilarious, it was infact……James Hoffman (Square Mile).
The concept was simple, or maybe it wasn’t….?
- Cup THREE coffee’s from THREE different origins. (Columbia/Ethiopia/Sumatra). *They didn’t know this at the time.
- In front of each coffee was a large face (the mask/blindfold) and a small face (the tail).
- The contestants then cupped the coffee’s and decide as a team, which coffee was from which origin.
- One at a time the contestants picked up the small face.
- Put on the mask.
- Got spun 3 times and then stumble over to the map.
- And placed the face on the map (their mates could shout directions to them from a distance).
Easy?? Try explaining that when you’ve had a few beers….
The Spinning combined with a belly full of ale made for some tragic efforts, but a LOT of laughs….
One thing I didn’t account for was everyone’s complete lack of geography skills.
(James’s coffee was Sumatran, see… Exactly my point)
Game Three: THE HIGHEST EXTRACTION % FROM AN AEROPRESS
This was Joey’s jam, the Nemesis super geek (sorry J Dawg). Honestly though no one could have done a better job than joey with this one, it was definitely his vibe.
- Each team had a set amount of coffee,
- An allocated time
- And a minimum amount of brewed beverage had to be produced.
All the teams had to do, was to extract the coffee as much as they could.
I thought that Eldric of aubade would walk away with this hands down, as he’s pretty much the king of Vancouver Aeropressin’. His team’s performance was crazy… They brought along an electric whisk and another Aeropress plunger to make for some mad agitation, have a look for yourselves…
However…….. despite their best efforts, it wasn’t meant to be. Steve’s team BEASTIE BREWS came up with some dope ass idea to use 2g of coffee and just extract the hell out of it!! He ended up with a winning Extraction % in the high 30’s…
The rules where loose and open for interpretation and some made a great job of making the most of that. The main point of the game and the night tbf was for everyone to have fun, and im pretty confident that happened.
So what started as a serious competition turned into “how can we do something that the Vancouver coffee community has never had before”. I don’t feel it would be arrogant to say we put on an incredible night, brought people together, laughed and partied HARD…
It was so heartwarming to see so many people, all in one great place, having the best time. So thank you to everyone that took part and who came through in support of our family.
Well that’s not quite the end…..
Unfortunately by complete accident our glass pastry cabinet got broken. Which did to some small extent put a sour taint on the evening. But what happened next just re-enforced just how beautiful the Vancouver coffee community are. 22 people in 22 hours raised the money to replace the glass. So a huge thank you to everyone who donated or wanted to donate but didn’t have time to because it happened so quick. Also an even bigger thank you to Stephanie who was at the event and set up the Go Fund Me Page.
Lastly, this event wouldn’t have been possible without the help of A LOT of people (Honestly too many to name) and I just want to let you know that I seriously appreciate everything you did to make this happen, including donated prize’s,money and beer.
I LOVE YA ALL…….
P.S. Shout out Nemesis for being so RAD.
See you next year???
Always a vibe
Coffee. Creating. Culture.
All picture credit to Alexey