• Todd Souter

3 Things I Learned at the 'First Australian Comandante Championship'

Updated: Nov 15, 2020

I competed in the 'First Australian Comandante Championship' on the 27th of May 2019.

The event was held at ONA Marrickville in Sydney, 30 Competitors took part in an elimination style Competition broken down into two rounds. With the first round competitors use a drip style brewer (eg. V60) and immersion style brew (eg. Aeropress) for the final round.

All Competitors had to use a Comandante Grinder to grind their coffee.

What did I learn?

1. I learned a new method for the Aeropress:

'The Bypass Method'.

By brewing with a higher strength (low brew ratio) filter and then diluting the brew with room temperature water.

This does two things:

- It cools down the Filter to a comfortable drinking temperature for the Judges, (the Judges only assessed the Competitors brew hot - so this was ideal!).

- Reduces the strength, adding more flavour clarity; making the flavours more distinct but still maintaining a big juicy mouthfeel.

2. Higher temperature water is not necessarily better. In preparing for the Competition and experimenting with different water temperatures, it came to my attention that the Competition Coffee (later revealed to be Ethiopia Masina Peaberry) had very fresh and juicy qaulities across different grind sizes.

To control the intensity of these flavours and after tasting different temperature brews, I discovered that 90oc for V60 tasted the best: this highlighted ripe yellow stone fruit qualities, red grape and caramel sweetness with a round syrupy texture - it was really delicious!

For Aeropress 85oc (with a room temperature bypass) tasted best: this softened that fresh acidity and tasted like ripe apricot, kiwi and dried red paw paw, with a big juicy texture.

3. What did I learn: Never assume.

The Winner of the Competition was Raven Wu (@raven_wry).

Raven's Aeropress Recipe:


- 35g Dose @ 42 Clicks

- 110g Water @ 91 oc

- 1:10 Brew Time and Press

- 100g Water added to final brew for Dilution (Bypass)

Cielo (@cielo_n_coffee) from ONA Coffee placed 2nd.

Cielo's Aeropress Recipe:


- 40g Dose @ 31 Clicks

- 120g Water @ 92 oc

- 1:10 Brew Time and Press for 20 seconds

- 150g Water Bypass

Simon Jaramillo (@reformatorycoffeelab) from 'Reformatory Coffee Lab' placed 3rd.

Simon's Aeropress Recipe:


- 20g Dose @ 28 Clicks

- 100g Water @ 90 oc

- 1:00 Brew Time and Press

- 50g Water Bypass

*Simon's Aeropress tasted better than a lot of V60s I have had in cafes.

A big thank you to ONA Marrickville for hosting the event, as well as Bombora Coffee Supplies and BWT Water - it was an amazing night of all things coffee.

I'll see you at the next one.

#neverassume #youcannotbuyexperience #brewmethods

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