Pair's 4-Year Anniversary Brewing Throwdown Competition

Pair's 4-Year Anniversary Brewing Throwdown Competition

Pair is turning 4 years old! Every year on our anniversary, we host a coffee competition to celebrate our awesome community and foster enthusiasm for specialty coffee. This year we are excited to hold a pour-over brewing throwdown competition!

This competition has a $15 participation fee, but the event is free and open to the public for non-competitors who just want to hang out. Sign up and pay here:

This will be a head to head brewing competition.

  • Maximum 16 person bracket.
  • Brewing equipment including brewers, water, kettles and serving vessels, etc., will be available on location, but competitors are allowed to bring and use their personal equipment if they prefer to use those instead.
  • There will be 4 rounds, head to head brewing.
  • Each round, competitors will be given 24 grams of mystery coffee beans and must prepare a pour-over beverage with a minimum volume of 300ml.
    • If competitors will be using their personal equipment, the staff will work with you to get it set up before the start of the round.
    • The following time limits apply to each round:
      • 2 minutes of preparation time for tasks such as rinsing filters, grinding coffee, and adding grinds to the brewer.
      • 6 minutes for extraction (starting when the greenlight is given). Within this time, the competitor must complete their brew and hand over to staff before the time is up.
      • Time limit violations will result in disqualification.
    • The final brew will be taken and split by staff for blind judging.
  • The beverage must be an extraction from particles of whole bean coffee, using water as the solvent. No other additives of any kind will be allowed, aside from those contained within the relevant definitions of whole bean coffee, brew water, brewing devices, and service vessels. Additional water may be added (including “bypass” or "dilution") to the beverage before serving to alter concentration.

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Judging Considerations:

Three judges will pick the brew that they prefer and the chosen competitor will move on in the bracket. There is no quantified scoring criteria, however the following may be considered by the judges when tasting:

The “Overall” criteria is meant to reflect the holistically integrated rating of the sample as perceived by the individual judge. The perception of “balance” or how the various aspects of Flavor, Aftertaste, Acidity, Mouthfeel, and Sweetness of the sample work together and complement or contrast to each other may factor into this score. A judge’s perception of the stability of the sample or how well it “holds” its character over time as it cools may also factor into this criteria. A sample with many highly pleasant aspects, but not quite “measuring up” would receive a lower rating. An exemplary example of preferred characteristics not fully reflected in the individual attributes might receive even higher consideration. This is the step where the judges make their personal appraisal.

“Mouthfeel” is defined as the tactile sensation of coffee in the mouth, based solely on a coffee brew’s thickness and texture (not flavor). “Thickness” refers to the perceived weight or viscosity of the brew (e.g., “thin” or “light,” “thick” or “heavy”), while “texture” refers to the perceived sensation of grittiness or smoothness (“rough,” “creamy,” “smooth,” “mouth-drying”).Judges will evaluate the quality of the tactile feeling in the mouth and whether it compliments or enhances the brew.

Closely related to “Flavor,” “Aftertaste” is defined in coffee cupping as the combined sensation of basic tastes and aromatic qualities that remain after coffee has left the mouth, either via swallowing or spitting. Judges will evaluate Aftertaste based on the length of positive flavor (taste and aroma) qualities emanating from the back of the palate and remaining after the coffee is expectorated or swallowed. If the Aftertaste detracts from the experience of the cup (e.g astringency or bitterness), lower opinion may be given; whereas if the aftertaste contributes positively to the experience of the cup, higher opinion may be given.

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