Barista Magazine

JUN-JUL 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 21 of 103

Champion for the Cause Something truly remarkable happened in the 2019 U.S. Brewers Cup Championship, and for once it had nothing to do with the taste of the coffee— unless you count the taste that competition coffee leaves behind for many who are on the "outside" of what is considered successful or even worthy of entry. Last year's champion, Rose Woodard of Night Shift Roasting in Boston, entered the 2019 contest not to win top honors, but to make an enormously important statement: She brewed the judges an AeroPress in a flash, but then focused the full final three minutes of her competition time on a message that both resonated with and made ripples throughout the captive audience of specialty-coffee pros both in-person and online. "The standards these competitions are held to are that of a white, male, heteronormative perspective. That's a major issue that needs to change before we can make progress in this industry," she said during her routine, after mentioning specific examples, such as when Erika Vonie "spoke with passion and purpose, she got labeled 'aggressive' and 'intimidating,'" or when Adam JacksonBey "used A.A.V.E. and played hip-hop music, he got marked as 'unprofessional.'" For a former champion to call out the very competition she won is a divisive and bold move, and certainly one that makes an impact: Many cheered and shared her message, while others rolled their eyes and were unable to see how a non-male past winner could "bite the hand that feeds her," so to speak. Could the latest competition trend be challenging the system from the inside? We love the idea of people using the privilege and position that comes with taking top honors to try to make competition (and, subsequently, specialty coffee in general) more accessible to the valuable and completely worthy voices that are often overlooked or marked down for not conforming. Rose Woodard, you're our champion for taking a stand, and we can't wait to see where the conversation goes from here. Brava! Follow Rose on Instagram @chaff_basket A Brewing Gem from Greece It's fair to say that past World Brewers Cup Champion (2014) and multi-time national Greek Barista Championship competitor Stefanos Domatiotis is more than obsessed with coffee. In fact, he recently said, "I am certain that you can smell coffee on me, anytime and miles away." That obsession doesn't just drive him to find the best coffees in the world, it also has inspired him to create a better brewer for them! After observing people around the world brewing coffee all kinds of different ways with mixed results, as well as "seeing consumers who love brewing feel a bit intimidated from the result," which is often inconsistent, Stefanos says, "It was at that moment when I realized that I would love to enable people to be able to prepare and enjoy a great and consistent cup of coffee, no matter their skills." Meet the GEM by Stefanos, made in collaboration with Brewista. There are several features that make this drip brewer special and unique—starting from the top, or, in other words, the lid. "The secret was in the lid," Stefanos says. "The lid is a fundamental element as it gives coffee makers total control over pouring." Not only does the lid with a hole offer more consistency with contact time, it also disperses the water more evenly than with a purely manual pour. "The hole also works as a protection layer enabling a stable water flow and minimizing the risk of turbulence," he says. In addition to the super special lid, the brewer has not just one but two sets of drainage ribs: The vertical ribs allow water to pass through the coffee and into the brewing vessel, while the horizontal ribs control the rate of flow more consistently. The brewer is also a fancy-looking diamond shape, which Stefanos says is "a symbol of perfection and illumination … opening the mind to the new and possible." Well, our cups are definitely open: Bring on the GEM dripper! 2014 World Brewers Cup Champion Stefanos Domatiotis has spent years developing his perfect pourover brewer, and it's fi nally here. The unique lid on the GEM brewer controls the water fl ow for optimum extraction. PHOTO BY ROBERT RODRIGUEZ Continued from page 20 Continued on page 24 22 barista magazine

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