Brewing Night at BlendIn with the World Brewers Champion Du Jianing
It’s not everyday you get to meet the world champion.
Huge thanks to BlendIn for hosting an amazing brew demo and competition with Du Jianing! She’s the World Brewers Cup Champion, and BlendIn just finished training their staff with her teaching.
While it was instantly obvious that Du had a wealth of knowledge about coffee brewing, her most champion-like quality was her friendliness and willingness to share and answer every question. I think it’s a sign that she isn’t just a competitor — she’s a great barista in every sense, which foremost is hospitality.
Some amazing techniques that she shared:
A funky natural coffee can be tamed by grinding, stirring, and patiently waiting for certain aromas to dissipate. Du passed around her grounds bin pre-stir and post-stir, and the difference was dramatic.
She asked us how long we would bloom a new coffee — she suggested smelling the brew bed during the bloom to be certain of when everything was saturated. This kind of sensorial brewing was something I’d never seen. Usually, the guess-and-check came at the end with a finished cup of coffee. I can see how this will make a huge difference in the dial-in phase of a coffee.
Further, Du showcased tasting the drips from the brewer during the final draw-down. Though it’s obvious for a chef to taste and adjust, for some reason this idea seemed completely foreign to me.
My original thoughts on brewing were really challenged and I think it’s really important in coffee to grow through curiosity and experimentation. Again, thanks for answering so many questions (and giving rise to many, many more)!