Akio Teramoto

Interview with Akio Teramoto, winner of the New Zealand Aeropress Championship!

Congratulations to Akio Teramoto @atf417!
The winner of the 2023 Aeropress New Zealand Championship! We are absolutely thrilled to have had the opportunity to taste the winning cup, which truly embodied the incredible flavors of Brazilian coffee!

For this New Zeland Aeropress Edition Hannah, head from Yellow Rooster NZ sat down with August, the head roaster at Atomic Coffee Roasters @atomiccoffeeroasters and they decided to give the competitors a challenge. Looking for a coffee that is not always celebrated in the specialty coffee world, they chose a beautiful pulped natural Brazilian.

The selected coffee was from Alex Sandro @alexsandrogeraiscafe, a producer member of our partner Coopiata Coop. @coopiata from Chapada Diamantina in Brazil, a region known for its high altitude coffees.

Akio let his cup of coffee speak for him. In each round his preparation was precise and the balanced cup of coffee was undeniable.

The results on the night higlighted the challenge competitors were given, sometimes too much acidity was highlighted, sometimes not enough, and a few were beautifully balanced and sweet. We saw a very focused Akio, with a high level of precision in his movements make his way through each round. Akio let his cup of coffee speak for him. In each round his preparation was precise and the balanced cup of coffee was undeniable.

Akio brewing
Akio Teramoto

A night full of precision and dedication

We had the opportunity to ask Akio a few questions and he kindly answered us:

Yellow Rooster: We know that your background is not in coffee. What is your occupation?
Akio: I work at a hospital as a network engineer. It may feel like there are no similarities but I think the precision that I’m required in my work helps me in coffee as well.

YR: What attracted you to enter the 2023 Aeropress competition?
A: I competed in the NZ AeroPress Championship almost every year for the past 5 years. I like having a goal set while I make coffee every day to test how I’m doing.

YR: What was your first reaction when you tasted the coffee for this year’s competition?
A: It was like “OMG… What have you given us…” because the window for this coffee was so small.

YR: Did you encounter any major obstacles along the way? How did you manage to overcome them?
A: This coffee was such a difficult coffee to make it balanced. When I aimed for the acidity, I struggled to achieve the sweetness, and vice versa. So I tried grinding the coffee finer to bring out the sweetness, and adding a little bit of magnesium to the water to bring out the acidity.

Akio brewing
Akio brewing

YR: How did you approach creating your recipe with this coffee?
A: My regular process is doing a traditional cupping to have an idea of the coffee first, but I couldn’t apply the same rule to this one. So I went straight into brewing on AeroPress and aimed to achieve the acidity.

YR: Can you define your winning brew?
A: Juicy acidity and clean finish. Thanks to the custom water my wife created for me and her coaching.

YR: What’s the secret to brewing a good AeroPress?
A: I pay attention to make the brewed coffee with clean aftertaste. Immersion brew method can be challenging sometimes but it’s also the fun part experimenting how to extract only the best out of the beans without over extracting.

Aeropress Champion NZ 2023

Akio will be in Melbourne, Australia later this year to compete in the Aeropress World Championship. Congratulations again Aiko and a big thanks to Atomic Coffee Roasters for hosting such a fun night!

Photo credits: Connor Hill @connor__hill


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