We talk to the Australia-based coffee roaster and pitcher designer, who recently won the World AeroPress Championship in Vancouver, Canada.
BY CHRIS RYAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE
Photos courtesy of the World AeroPress Championship
Earlier this month, coffee competitors from around the globe flocked to Vancouver, Canada, for the 2022 World AeroPress Championship, which tested participants to make the tastiest brew using the world-famous cylindrical brewing device.
At the end of three action- and fun-packed days, one competitor was left standing: Jibbi Little, a Sydney, Australia-based coffee professional originally from Thailand. A Q Grader, competition judge, and longtime coffee competitor in latte art, Brewers Cup, and more, Jibbi focused her competition attention on AeroPress this year, and it paid off in a big way.
We talked to the new World AeroPress Champion about getting interested in competition, approaching the global event, and more. (Anyone wanting to relive the 2022 World AeroPress Championship can check out the archived livestream here.)
Barista Magazine Online: First, how long have you worked in the coffee world? What is your current coffee job and focus?
Jibbi Little: I have been working in the coffee industry for 13 years. Currently, my focus is more on roasting with JIBBI Little Coffee Roasters, and continuing to offer the JIBBIJUG Milk Pitcher.
I see from your Instagram that you’ve participated in many coffee competitions. What do you like about these events that you keep coming back to?
For a decade, my goal has been to focus on personal growth because I want to live a more purposeful life. Every year, I like to join a coffee competition, as I learn lessons through my mistakes. For me, coffee competitions are about self-growth and self-improvement. The mistakes I have learned from them have been worth it.
What drew you to compete in the AeroPress competition, first in nationals and then at the global event in Vancouver?
I took part in the Brewers Cup competition this year and got third place in my state, so I was looking for any competition to challenge myself to be a great brewer. The AeroPress competition is quite similar to a compulsory round in the Brewers Cup competition, where all competitors have to brew the same coffee as best as they can, so I was drawn to that.
Once you qualified for the World AeroPress Championship, how did you prepare for it?
I stuck with the same method I used in the national round and practiced a few routines before going to Canada. However, I also practiced a lot at the hotel the night before the competition. I also researched more on coffee customers in Canada just to get myself to understand the judges’ preferences.
I saw your winning recipe on Instagram (it’s listed in full at the end of this article). Can you share some insight into how you developed it?
My AeroPress recipe is quite a similar concept I used to present in my Brewers Cup competitions. I used two grinders to grind the same coffee to get more complex flavor. For the competition, my aim was only to find the right grind size to suit that coffee, and I would tweak the recipe a bit to get the best flavors out of it.
What was your experience like at the competition in Vancouver?
I would say it was one of the best experiences in my coffee competition career. As I went there alone without my coach, I felt great that I did not make any mistakes this time. I spent three hours on practice days and felt very confident and trusted in myself.
I had the best time in Vancouver—I love the city. The coffee community here is very supportive.
What are your reflections on winning the championship?! What does it mean to you so far?
Winning the world title means so much to me. I competed in latte art back in the day, when latte artists were sometimes perceived to have less coffee knowledge.
This shows I can win a coffee-focused competition. My winning represents the people who have sometimes felt like they failed in life—but the truth is you only fail if you stop trying. Never give up … but give it your all.
Finally, what do you enjoy doing outside of coffee??
Watching Netflix … Korean drama is my thing. 🙂
Jibbi Little’s Winning Recipe: “The Thunder From Down Under” (Source)
Brewer Position: Inverted
Water: @perfectcoffeewater, 92°C
Filters: 1 AeroPress Classic Filter, Rinsed
Grinder: Two grinders. Timemore at a very coarse grind, followed by a Kinu grinder at setting 4. Sift the fines out (those fines at 100-200 microns)
Coffee: @quietlycoffee x @cafeimports Colombia Finca Juan Martin, Natural, Striped Red Bourbon
1. Pour coffee into chamber.
2. Pour 94ml of water and stir 35 times gently.
3. At 1:20, screw on cap and press out remaining air.
4. At 1:30, flip and press for 30 seconds from 1:40 to 2:10.
5. You will have about 58-64g of concentrate.
6. Bypass 90°C water to 150g.
7. Aim for TDS of 1.3 to 1.35 (it is amazing at this strength).
Optional: Use extract-chilled ice balls (three at the bottom and one on top for total of four). It will give you a smooth mouthfeel.