Dinh is an exchange student from Paris studying medicine at Karolinska. You might know him as the 2013 Swedish Aeropress Champion.
Dinh’s journey into Speciality Coffee started just last year as a regular customer at DROP Coffee. Johan, a barista at DROP introduced Dinh to the Aeropress. Intrigued by the coffee culture of Scandanvaiva, and having a month-long holiday between terms, Dinh traveled through Sweden and Finland. He visited cafe after cafe, and in the process fell in love with speciality coffee and the coffee scene in Helsinki (namely Johan & Nyström Helsinki and KAFFA Roastery.) After his pilgrimage he invested in his own Aeropress, Hario Travel Grinder, and a bag of DROP Coffee. The home-brew coffee adventure had begun.
Three weeks after receiving his Aeropress, the monthly Throw Down would be held. Only this get together was special due to the addition of a Brewdown. Dinh was planning to attend in order to meet new people, but when he saw that there was a lack of brewers he thought, “Yeah, why not?” Showing up to have fun, Dinh was surprised to find himself the winner of the Brewdown. In the process he did meet new people & walked away with new coffee & a smile on his face.
Riding on that shot of confidence and caffeine, Dinh signed up for the Swedish Aeropress Championship at Koppi later that month. Dinh remembered Johan telling him about the competition, “You never know Dinh, maybe you could compete in the next one?” So with much the same attitude that got him into the Brewdown, Dinh signed up as one of the twenty-one brewers in the championship.
In the early morning, the day of competition, Dinh piled into a car with six Stockholm baristas for the trip down to Koppi in Helsingborg. Upon arrival, Dinh was shaking with stress. He was surprised to find everyone with mechanical grinders and sifters to extract the best sized ground coffee. Dinh’s kit consists only of his Aeropress, hand grinder, scale, & thermometer. After a few practice rounds, the competition began. Dinh was placed in the first round with two other baristas from DROP. Dinh’s last words before it started, “Okay, I’m gonna die!” To his relief, the judges chose his cup. From there, he gained some confidence but felt sorry for the DROP baristas the he just beat. So in respect for the cafe that introduced him to the Speciality Coffee world, Dinh desired to get into the Finals and wanted Johan to get in as well. Even with an electric kettle malfunction, Dinh advanced past the 2nd round, placing him in the Finals.
The final round of three was Dinh, Lisa from Johan & Nystöm Stockholm, & Johan from DROP Coffee. Each brewer was given eight minutes to brew their best cup. Dinh started boiling his water as he weighed and hand ground his beans, then brewed and pressed into a metal pitcher, swirled to cool and then presented the judges with his cup. Still with plenty of time left, Dinh calmed his nerves by busying himself with cleaning his station. After Lisa and Johan presented their cups the judges tasted and debated the best cup.
The judges awarded 3rd place to Lisa. Then awared 2nd place to Johan. In the anxiousness of the reveal, Dinh thought that Johan had won. He was surprised once again to find that he took 1st place! He couldn’t believe it, he actually did it. In his own words, “then I really began to shake,” shake with excitement. After a couple of beers, the shaking subsided. He piled back into the car to head back to Stockholm, as the new Aeropress Champ.
Later this month Dinh will represent Sweden in the World Aeropress Championship. He is feeling the pressure. Dinh doesn’t plan to change-up his routine much at all. He desires to brew a cup that he would enjoy & hopefully the judges will too. DROP coffee is also home to this year’s Swedish Barista & Brewer Champions: Oskar & Nico. Dinh was invited by them to practice together for Melbourne; where Dinh has never visited.