The Birth of Creators Cup.
Finally I am writing about Creators Cup. It happened! After months of thinking about it and then months of putting it all together the event happened and finished, and although I say so myself it went well.
Let me start from the beginning.
What is it?
Creators Cup is a different style of brewing competition. In this event competitors must turn up with a a manual brewing device they have built themselves. It cannot use anything from an existing brewing device and must only use a paper filter.
The competition is much like the compulsory round of Brewers Cup and the competitors are scored on the quality of their brewed coffee as well as the brewer they use.
This is something I have had to answer a few times now and it is rather simple.
For me the most fun of Brewers Cup is the compulsory round. In this part of the event there is a level playing field between the competitors as they use the same compulsory coffee. The challenge is their brewing skill and nothing more. This is something I wanted to highlight but I also realised that many people brew with the same devices and have similar approaches. So my second idea was that I wanted to have something that would cultivate innovation while testing brewing skill.
This idea of combining inventiveness and brewing skill went though many forms before settling into its final format.
The night itself.
Firstly I must thank Bunn, and Paul for their UK team as they have been super excited and on board from the first moment I started going public with my intentions of making Creators Cup an actual event. Bunn were there with water and grinder solutions for the event and helped fund trophies.
Secondly I must thank Origin Coffee roasters a lot. They supplied a fantastic venue and also were kind enough to throw in some beers for our thirsty audience.
And Finally Panama Variatles for supplying the green coffee that will be used for Creators Cup events this season.
Thanks to Origin, Bunn and Panama Variatles I was able to hold an event that went down rather well. There was a niggling worry that the competitors may all just turn up with some toothpicks and a v60 paper. But this was absolutely not the case. The inventiveness and determination of the competitors was fantastic. Every brewing device was original and made a good coffee.
The Judges were a mix of sensory specialists (green buyers & roasters) and industry specialists (barista, machinery and media). Together they debated each brewer and coffee to score each competitor.
This in fact was much harder than it sounds. The range of designs all made delicious coffees and as such the points were very close. This did lead the judges to have a rather long and heated debate over the who should receive the prizes.
Now to add some suspense... I will discuss the other side of the competition (results come at the end).
The spectators point of view.
During the event it was great to see how engaged the crowd got. They would cheer and sympathise with all the contestants. This style of audience enthusiasm is not seen often at WBC events. And it is understandable why.. there is a lot of stress and many have detailed speeches. Creators Cup was quite the opposite. As there are not planned speeches and the focus in on the sensory or visual the the event had the buzz of a latte art throw-down. This is the type of event that you can bring non-coffee people too on a Friday night and they will (unless there were bribes I was not aware of) stay until the end.
Where to start?
The devices is where!
As you can see the devices came in many shapes. Some were 3D printed others sculpted and one made with a hammer (and I presume the help of Thor). Some had multiple functions and others had pre-infuion.
What was interesting is that nothing is unnecessary. No one made a pretty device full of visual accessories. These are all beautifully crafted brewers that are functional and brew a tasty cup.
This was hard but eventually the results came in and the names were announced. The awards are for
Overall Winner: this is the person who got highest scores for brew and design.
The Best Brew: This is the person who had the best tasting coffee.
The Best Design: This is the person who had the best designed brewer.
Overall: Oliver from Volcano.
Brew: Brittany from Vagabond.
Design: Ant from Black Chapel.
Plans are in discussion about holding more Creators Cup events around Europe in 2017. So keep an eye open.
Creators Cup ProtoGrinderOne (I decided the grinder should also be in keeping with the theme) could be making its way to your city!
So see you at the next one!
Until then here is a selection of photos.