Champion's Choice: Enhancing Coffee Brewing with Mineral Concentrates - An Interview with Martin Wölfl and Coach Janine

Champion's Choice: Enhancing Coffee Brewing with Mineral Concentrates - An Interview with Martin Wölfl and Coach Janine

Crafted with performance at the forefront, our mineral concentrates are tailored for use in coffee competitions. By merging an unwavering commitment to quality with user-friendly design, we've created a product that offers the best of both worlds - an easy-to-use solution that never compromises on excellence.

Leveraging years of competition and coaching experience, we equip coffee competitors globally with bespoke support and in-depth water knowledge. Our mission is to provide them with the essential tools and insights needed to triumph in coffee championships.

We are extremely proud to have supported over 70% of coffee competitors during the 2024 World Brewer's Cup championship, including World Brewer's Cup champion Martin Wölfl, who used a blend of all 3 APAX LAB profiles to magnify his brew. Martin and his coach Janine have been strong supporters of our mineral concentrates prototypes and this was one of the key innovations they introduced to their routine this year.

We took the opportunity to ask them some questions about their preparation and their approach to water for coffee brewing.

Martin Wölfl’s interview

How did you find out about APAX LAB?

I have known Simon since 2022 when I met him in Melbourne as he was coaching Rasmus for his competition at the time. We talked for quite a bit, and I found out that he knew a lot about water, and I was quite interested in water myself. I had just started using mixers to prepare my own water at home.

I then continued to follow Simon’s journey closely, including his competitions and other projects. A couple months ago, I discovered that he had created mineral concentrates for APAX LAB, and that other competitors were starting to experiment with them as well. I was really interested in these products because they made a lot of sense for my coffee brewing, which is why I decided to give them a try myself!

 

What were your impressions the first time you tried the mineral concentrates?

My first impression was that I was genuinely impressed by how Simon and his team had managed to simplify such a complex topic. Water, as most are aware, is a vastly intricate subject with many factors at play. Their approach of simplifying it makes it straightforward for brewers to significantly influence and enhance the results of their brews. Upon learning about using specific mineral concentrates in water, the concept resonated with me as a highly logical approach. I considered it an innovative solution, allowing brewers to effortlessly add a few drops of TONIK [1] or JAMM [2] and witness an immediate impact on the cup's flavour profile.

 

In what ways the mineral concentrates helped you for your competition?

Water stands out as one of the most important variables for me during competitions, especially when travelling across different places in the world like Melbourne, Athens, and Chicago. Adapting to varying water profiles became a significant challenge since I had fine-tuned my roasting profile to the water I was using back home. And differences in water taste when travelling inevitably altered the final cup's outcome.

Therefore, using Apax Lab presented a straightforward solution for me, effectively eliminating the complexities of managing this variable. By starting with a base water and incorporating the mineral concentrates, I crafted a water blend that transformed the flavour dynamics of my coffee. The water I came up with was so sweet, round, and balanced, that it allowed me to elevate the overall flavour profile of my coffee effortlessly. Apax Lab's approach really simplified the water process for brewers like me and it was just the best solution I could find.

 

What’s your favourite APAX LAB profile?

My favourite profile is LYLAC [3] because I really like the floral notes that it brings, as well as a silky, elegant, and smooth texture. I like when the coffee is complex but not too overwhelming, intense, or too boozy. And so LYLAC is the best concentrate for that purpose. However, playing with a blend of the three concentrates was I found the best to way to get the most out of my coffee.

 

Finally, what was your winning water recipe with APAX LAB?

The recipe I used for my competition was:

  • Water - 1L
  • TONIK [1] – 1g
  • JAMM [2] – 1.5g
  • LYLAC [3] – 1.5g

 

Janine Delaar’s interview – Martin’s coach

As a coach, how did you team approach water as a brewing variable?

Having the perfect water can significantly improve the quality of a brew by balancing its flavours. It is even more crucial when preparing for a coffee competition.

Once we discovered the ideal roast profile, we began experimenting with various waters. We first needed a good base for the APAX LAB drops, so we tasted numerous low ppm waters found in Chicago supermarkets. Fine-tuning with APAX LAB was straightforward. The suggested recipes for different processing methods helped us compare our initial combinations. Martin's competition coffee is a natural anaerobic but has the clarity of a standard natural and appears like a washed coffee. So, we knew we needed a recipe that fell somewhere in between. Gradually, we achieved the perfect result: a juicy brew with a consistent acidity across all temperatures and clear flavours.

 

Was this something you planned to innovate on as part of the routine?

Martin's primary focus was to discuss the innovations and their creators which contribute to making a perfect cup of coffee. Naturally, water was a significant topic. Upon discovering that APAX LAB made a substantial difference in this area, we knew it needed to be included in his presentation.

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