Have you ever found yourself at home, craving a cup of delicious coffee, but lacked the inspiration for the right brewing recipe?

Luckily for you, there are great baristas working around Athens and they were kind enough to share their competition and reliable recipes for the perfect cup with you. The baristas I spoke to explained their concept behind their chosen brew method, and they definitely convinced me to give those a try. What about you? Would you like to test these out?

Photo – Andrew Welch, Unsplash

Filter coffee in Greece is each and every barista’s real passion when working in a speciality coffee shop. Say the word “hand-brew” and you will see their eyes sparkle, while they prepare you their favourite item on the menu. It is safe to say that I’ve tasted some of the most amazing hand-brews of my life in Athens. Coffee shops pay a lot of attention to the filter coffee they’re serving, use high-quality coffee and keep experimenting with recipes and brewing methods.

The passion of Greek baristas for filter coffee is reflected also on the World Brewers Cup results: 1st place in 2014, 2nd place in 2015, 3rd place in 2012 and 2017.

I reached out to three of the best baristas in Greece, the top-3 finalists of this year’s Greek Brewers Cup, and asked them to share their favourite recipe for a hand-brew with you and give you some tips and tricks about brewing.

Stathis Koremtas, Taf Coffee Roasters, 1st place in 2017’s Greek Brewers Cup

Brewer: Ceramic Hario V60.
Dose: 15 grams
Grind size: Fine (Paper filter grinder setting)
Brewing water: 250 grams at 92℃
Resulting brew: 220 grams

How does Stathis Koremtas brew with a Hario V60?

“Rinse your filter well with 300ml of hot water and let it cool down. Pre-infuse with 40g of water in the first 30s. Then pour slowly and steadily in the centre until 1:35-1:40. Your total brew time should be around 2:00-2:10,” Stathis described the recipe.

“This method will provide a clean and elegant cup with plenty of aromas and a good body. Aiming for a quite fast extraction will result in a sweet and clean cup as well. Using a ceramic vessel will prevent a significant temperature loss. While performing this method you can have a total control of the water flow.”

Nikos Theodoris, Mr Bean Coffee Roasters, 2nd place in 2017’s Greek Brewers Cup

Brewer: Bonavita Porcelain Immersion Dripper
Dose: 15 grams
Grind size: Fine (Paper filter grinder setting)
Brewing water: 250 grams at 95℃
Resulting brew: 220 grams

Nikos Theodoris

How does Nikos Theodoris brew with a Bonavita Brewer?

“Rinse your filter*(use a filter for Hario V60) with 300ml of hot water and let it cool down. This helps you get more aromas and enhances the acidity of your brew. Keep the switch close. Pre-infuse with 30g of water in the first 30s. Then pour the remaining water in one go, by making some circular motions and finishing steadily in the centre until 50s. Open the switch at 1:20. Your total brew time should be around 2:00,” was Nikos’ guideline to brew with the Bonavita.

“The Bonavita Immersion Dripper ensures the stability and the repetitiveness of your brews. Using a Porcelain one will prevent any significant temperature loss. It will provide with a good bodied cup with medium acidity. A tip by Nikos, in order to avoid a lot of fines- the smallest particles in your ground coffee which will eventually be over-extracted- in your brew, is to transfer the ground coffee from its container to the brewing vessel with a small spoon. This is instead of flipping it over as a lot of baristas tend to do. A great thing about this brewer is the possibility it gives us to experiment with stirring the slurry and with the contact time between coffee and water (by choosing when to open and close the switch).”

*Nikos used a Chemex filter folded in a specific way for his competition performance, for better filtration.

Giorgos Delichristos, The Underdog Coffee Roasters, 3rd place in 2017’s Greek Brewers Cup

Brewer: Clever Dripper (01 Size)
Dose: 16,2 grams
Grind size: Fine (Paper filter grinder setting)
Brewing water: 200 grams of water at 93℃
Resulting brew: 170 grams

Giorgos Delichristos

The Underdog, photo – The Underdog

How does Giorgos Delichristos brew with a Clever Dripper?

“Rinse your filter (use a filter for Hario V60) with 200ml of hot water. Pour all the water in one go, starting with one circular motion and continuing steadily in the centre. Open the switch at 1:00. Your total brew time should be around 3:00 to 3:10 but close the switch and finish your brew at 2:45,” Giorgos directed us.

“Clever Dripper is possibly the method which will provide with the more stable brews. One can even brew without a special brewing kettle with a gooseneck, as you pour all the water in almost one go and it doesn’t require any particular skills. It will result in a round cup, with a heavy body and more pronounced aftertaste. As far as experimenting, you can keep all the parameters stable and just change the contact time between coffee and water to find the cup you’re craving for! As the coffee cools down, the cup will become more balanced.”

So, now it’s up to you to try all these recipes, find what works the best for you and why not, come up with another perfect recipe to share with us, proving that home baristas can drive the coffee world forward as well!