The World AeroPress Championships: Izzy Willis
Our next interviewee is Izzy Willis, from Ipswich (Australia), who won the Australian AeroPress Championship. Izzy started her journey at Sprocket Roasters; you can follow her AeroPress journey on her instagram: @mrsisabellastorm
Why did you choose to enter the AeroPress Championship?
To be completely honest, I entered the AeroPress championship partially because I wanted to hang out with some other rad coffee folk and party, and partially because I wanted to prove to myself that I could. For me, just having the guts to enter, then drive down to Melbourne and get on the stage was an achievement. I just made the kind of coffee that I like to drink so I could spend the night drinking it. I never ever ever expected to do well.
What’s your favourite way to make coffee (other than AeroPress of course!)?
Chemex for sure! My Chemex travels everywhere with me. I love it's simplicity and how, when all your parameters are right, it can be such a light and complex cup.
What led you to using the AeroPress?
I wanted something I could take camping with me. Something I could chuck in a backpack with some coffee and brew in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and it still tastes good. The best AeroPress I ever brewed was made at 5am, using a blow torch to boil the water, in the middle of the bush just south of Adelaide.
Which grinder will you use for the competition and why?
My nitro commandant. It is super simple to use, has great particle size consistency and it gets a real work out at home. If it's good enough for me to make my friends coffee, than it's good enough for the judges.
How did you get in to the coffee industry?
Me being a pest, seriously. There is this rad roaster in Newcastle called Sprocket Roasters and 17 year old me desperately wanted to work for them. I used to work at the Gloria Jeans near them and would buy Sprocket coffee on my break and pour it into a Gloria Jeans take away cup so I could still drink it on shift. I used to spend so much time hanging around them that when they were hiring (by this stage I was 18) the manager, Rick, suggested I apply. They hired me and to this day, Rick is still one of my biggest mentors. Those guys taught me so much and had so much faith in me. By the time I finally moved on, I was managing their headquarters in town. If I hadn't moved to Singapore, I probably would never have left them.
What are you most excited about in coffee?
Oh this is so hard! I really love how consumers as a whole are starting to connect with the process of cherry to cup. As a barista we are no longer just making the brown stuff come out of the shiny metal thing, we are brewing someone's livelihood and consumers are starting to understand that.