Romeo Chimunya of Tribe Coffee was recently crowned the 2018 winner of the South African leg of the World AeroPress Championship. We caught up with him afterwards to find out more about his victory…
How did you feel in that moment?
“I was gobsmacked. I still can’t believe it; I can’t believe that I won. The feeling is awesome, indescribable!”
What’s the one thing about competing that you enjoy the most?
“I love competing against the best, and wanting to beat them, even though it’s so nerve-racking.”
Can you tell us about the recipe you used and your process?
“First off, I used the inverted method. You add 35g of coarse freshly ground coffee to the AeroPress. Wet the Filter. Then, add 100 ml of 84ËšC water. Let it bloom and stir for 30-40 seconds. Then add about 20 ml more. Put on the filter, flip, and press. Then I added 100 ml of water to the final brew.”
As the Head Trainer at Tribe Coffee, what does your job involve?
“I train all of our customers; from the Baristas to the Managers. Both in our Training Room and in their respective shops. I also visit all our clients and check that the coffee is tasting as awesome as it should and that the equipment is being maintained. I love working with people.”
How did you prepare for the Championship?
“The trick was that I didn’t prep too much. I found a recipe that worked for this coffee and stuck to it. I’ve found that you can over prep and then it becomes a head game. You start doubting everything you have worked on. Competitions are a real mental challenge.”
You’ve been competing at SCASA competitions for years – was this one any different?
“Absolutely. This competition was loads of fun and a lot less stressful. People didn’t take themselves too seriously.”
Did you enjoy the competition format? What was expected of you?
“Very much. I was expected to make a great tasting coffee, and it seems like I did!”
You’ll be competing in the World AeroPress Championship in Sydney in November 2018. What are you most looking forward to?
“It has always been my dream to share the stage with the world’s best coffee lovers, be it Barista champs or AeroPress champs. I want to use that opportunity to learn and expand my understanding and knowledge of the brew we all love – coffee. I have read that Australia is beautiful; I am really looking forward to seeing some of the country and exploring its great coffee scene!”
More than 60 national champions will travel to Sydney, Australia for the 2018 World AeroPress Championship in November, each trying to brew the world’s best cup of AeroPress coffee. We wish Romeo Chimunya the best of luck!