The Specialty Coffee Association of America has just announced that the Big Central Regional Coffee Competition will be returning to Minneapolis for a second straight year on Nov. 7-9, 2014, at the Uppercut Gym.
A preliminary event leading up to the U.S. Coffee Championships, the Big Central is the second of three U.S. regionals since the Barista Guild of America and the SCAA revamped the format last year. Minneapolis-based green coffee importer Cafe Imports and California-based equipment manufacturer Wilbur Curtis are the primary sponsors for this year’s Big Central. The event is free and open to the public, and competitor registration begins Monday, August 25. Competitor info is available at the U.S. Coffee Championships website.
The region is comprised of competitors from nine states in the North Central division (ND, SD, NE, MN, IA, WI, IL, IN and MI), and from seven states in the South Central (KS, MO, OK, TX, AR, LA and MS). Winners of each regional competition will receive a trip to move on to an annual origin trip sponsored by Cafe Imports, and finalists will go on to compete at the 2015 U.S. Coffee Championships next February in Long Beach, Calif. (The U.S. championships are being held outside of the SCAA Event for the first time since 2009, since the 2015 SCAA Event is hosting the world championships in April.)
The Big Central will follow the Big Western event, taking place Oct. 7-10 at the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage, Calif. The dates and location for the third regional qualifier, the Big Eastern, have not yet been announced.