Erik Freudenberg is the 2023 German Brewers Cup Champion, placing first while using a Peruvian grown Geisha varietal roasted by Fjord Coffee Roasters.
The competition took place on March 31 and April 1 at Röstrommel roastery in Nürnberg, and included 22 competitors from across Germany.
The Brewers Cup competition is split into two different components, both of which are counted towards the final result. In the ‘Compulsory Service’, competitors are provided with an unmarked bag of coffee, given 35 minutes to test and taste using various brewing methods, then 8 additional minutes to prepare three final brews for the judges.
The top 6 competitors from the Compulsory Service round then qualify for the finals, and compete in the Open Service round. In this final round, competitors brew three cups of the coffee of their choice, and serve it to a panel of international judges during a ten minute presentation.
This is Erik’s first time competing in the German Brewers Cup, and only his second competition ever. In his Open Service presentation, he shared with the judges how his passion for coffee drove him to want to compete on the national stage.
“I have to be honest with you – I don’t work in coffee, I’m actually just a university student,” he said to the judges.
“But over the last couple of years, coffee has gone from being something that I simply drink, to a full time hobby and passion of mine.
“When I’m not studying or working, I’m experimenting with new brewing techniques and recipes, trying new coffees, and watching the leaders in our industry share their ideas on competition stages … which brings me here.”
Erik approached the Fjord team in late 2022 with a desire to find a coffee to serve on the Brewers Cup stage. Having tasted many coffees from across Germany, he was looking for something unique, delicate and fruit-forward.
In early 2023, the Fjord team sent Erik a selection of coffees that matched his description. After tasting these coffees and narrowing it down to a favourite, he visited the Fjord roastery in Berlin in order to taste various roasts of this coffee during a blind cupping session.
During his presentation, Erik shared this experience of selecting his coffee with the judges:
“...I had to find a coffee that was perfect for the stage. So, I reached out to the team at Fjord Coffee Roasters in Berlin, to see if they could help me find something that I could share with you today,” he said.
The coffee Erik selected and competed with was a Geisha varietal, grown by Andres Torres at the farm Santa Teresa, in the Luya region of Amazonas, Peru. Processed using Anaerobic Natural processing with 72 hours of fermentation, this particular lot was sourced and brought to Germany by the team at Cultivar Coffees.
After learning of Erik's success at the Brewers Cup competition, César Garcia of Cultivar Coffee spoke of how important competitions are for improving the recognition of producers' work, and lifting the profile of coffees in the region.
"We're so honoured to have Peruvian coffees showcased on this amazing platform," he said.
"Erik's devotion to coffee and his selection of this lot from Andres show that Peruvian coffees are of high quality, and are truly competitive on the international stage.
Peru is now one of the top countries for specialty coffee and we are proud that our coffees are on the same level as origins such as Colombia and Panama."
We selected this Geisha varietal as part of our Special Edition series for its complexity, florality and fruitiness, as well as its ability to showcase the incredible potential of high-quality coffee from Peru.
For these same reasons, Erik chose to share this coffee on the Brewers Cup stage, and will now represent Germany at the World Brewers Cup in Athens, Greece in June 2023.
This coffee will soon be re-released in limited quantities – ensure you don’t miss out by signing up to the Fjord newsletter.
Cover image: Sinan Muslu for SCA Germany
Images: Sinan Muslu for SCA Germany, Cultivar Coffees