10 More Minutes With Martin Wölfl

7

We learn more about the 2024 World Brewers Cup Champion’s winning routine and the team that helped him achieve it.

BY J. MARIE CARLAN
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE

Today we continue our interview with World Brewers Cup Champion Martin Wölfl of Austria. In part one, Martin discussed representing his country in the April competition in Chicago, his brewing process, and choosing fast extraction over traditional slower extraction to get a clean cup.

Join us as we learn about the theme of innovation in his Worlds presentation, his coach and supporters, and what’s next for Martin.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Martin pours water over the Orea brewers during his presentation at Worlds in Chicago.
Martin uses a new OREA brewer in his routine. Photo by Michele Illuzzi.

Barista Magazine: What inspired your presentation topic on innovation? Was this topic a part of the preparation process that happened naturally, or was it integrated as you chose your brewing implements?

Martin Wölfl: This was a process that happened naturally. As the coffee was such a unique innovation, I started to think about making the coffee and the processing my main topic. When Janine (de Laar, my coach) and I started to write the speech, we found out the coffee was not the only innovation.

The innovations of the last few years—like the paper filter from Sibarist, the new brewer from OREA, the new Link roaster from Nucleus Coffee Tools, the Apax Lab water, and finally the new 2WayCups cups—make it possible to serve the coffee with a completely new tasting experience to the customers. And there are people behind every innovation who are pushing our industry.

The last sentence of my presentation in Chicago was this: “Innovations are about the pioneers in our industry and their creative mindsets; without their expertise and their way of rethinking, coffee experiences like this wouldn’t be possible.”

Martin and his coach Janine. He holds his trophy up (cone-shaped with a round Brewista kettle on top) and Janine points at it.
Martin and his coach, Janine de Laar, show off his World Brewers Cup Championship trophy. Photo by Junior Vargas.

Tell us about the team behind this coffee, and your coach, Janine de Laar. How did they influence your process, and how did your collaboration help bring everything together?

For myself it’s crystal clear: Competition is not a one-man show; you are just as strong as your team. It’s so important to be surrounded by the right people when it comes to competition.

Back in 2022 I met Janine at my first World Brewers Cup competition in Melbourne. We immediately found out that we are working with the same vibe and philosophy. So we became good friends. After coming in second-to-last place at the Worlds championship in Athens 2023, I was already on the verge of not taking part in any further competitions. But after many years of hard work, I decided that this shouldn’t be the end. So, it took me quite a while to reflect on everything. I thought a lot about why I am competing. At this time, I knew that Janine was the one who could help me with that and would be the perfect coach. She was the one who brought back my motivation, and it was so much fun working with her. She is well-structured, always organized, super-focused; I can trust her 100%, and we’re always joking around in between—so it was the perfect mix.

Martin grinds beans on stage as a judge looks on and takes notes.Martin grinds beans on stage as a judge looks on and takes notes.
Martin ground his coffee, double-fermented Finca Maya Gesha from Panama, on stage during his presentation for peak freshness. Photo by Michele Illuzzi.

But there are many more people involved in this. The most important one is my wife, Anna—she is always there for me. She is my biggest supporter and always building me up after defeats. When it comes to competition, you spend a lot of time preparing and traveling, so you need a partner that supports all of this. My mentor over my whole coffee journey is Hardi Wild from Wildkaffee. He has been by my side since I started to work with coffee and always played a very important part during my competition journey. But there are so many more people involved, like Jerome, Sam, and Jordan from Nucleus Coffee Tools, who helped me find the perfect roast profile, and Horia from OREA. I developed the new Melodrip holder together with him and he sponsored the OREA dripper. Quim and Lampart from Sibarist (have been) supporting me for years, and we developed the new filter paper together. Simon from APAX Lab supported me in finding the right water, and Gary from 2Way Cups also helped me.

There are two more people who totally formed me over the years: Erna Tosberg and Michael Manhart. Erna was the first coach I started to work with in 2019; she also coached me for Melbourne 2022. Since I met her, I learned so many things and she gave me the right mindset on my way. And Michael coached me for Athens 2023—he is a passionate brewer and great coach. I’m happy to call them my friends.

Martin holds up his trophy in the winners line-up.Martin holds up his trophy in the winners line-up.
Despite an impressive win in Chicago, Martin isn’t finished. He has more projects in the works with 25 Grams and WildKaffee. Photo by Michele Illuzzi.

What’s next for your coffee career? Any future plans or projects you’d like to share?

One of my main goals for this year is to inspire as many people as possible with master classes and talks. I see it as my mission to draw even more people’s attention to how delicious and fascinating filter coffee can be. Another goal is to work on new products and brewing tools. So there are already many things in the pipeline. If you want to get information up front you can sign up at www.mw.coffee.

I will also launch a new “Brewing series” with our roastery Wildkaffee, and we are working on a relaunch for our cold brew company, 25 Grams Cold Brew Coffee. So I’m really looking forward to the next chapters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

J. Marie Carlan (she/they) is the online editor for Barista Magazine. She’s been a barista for 16 years and writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. When she’s not behind the espresso bar or toiling over content, you can find her perusing record stores, writing poetry, and trying to keep the plants alive in her Denver apartment.

Cover of June + July 2024 issue of Barista Magazine featuring Mikael Jasin of Indonesia.Cover of June + July 2024 issue of Barista Magazine featuring Mikael Jasin of Indonesia.

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Source: Barista Magazine

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