The Specialty Coffee Association of America has announced several new changes to the U.S. Coffee Championships schedule this year, including a hiatus for the U.S. Latte Art Championship due to low participation, and an expanded coffee roasting competition.
The U.S. Coffee Championship events — skills competitions for both baristas and roasters toward professional development and recognition — typically occur in conjunction with the SCAA’s annual Event, which this year takes place in Atlanta at the Georgia World Conference Center April 14-17, and precede sanctioned world championships.
The timing of this year’s World Cup Tasters Championship — which is taking place in Shanghai, China, prior to the SCAA Event — means the date for the U.S. Cup Tasters Championship has been moved up to coincide with the Good Food Awards ceremony in San Francisco on January 17. Registration for the U.S. Cup Tasters Championship, a qualifying event for the world championship, begins tomorrow, December 8.
Additionally, the SCAA has announced the U.S. Latte Art Championship has been placed on “temporary hold” for the 2016 competition season. The event made an official debut during the 2014 Event in Seattle, with another champion crowned in 2015, but the SCAA cited “low participation” as the reason for the 2016 hiatus. “A working group has been formed within the Barista Guild of America and SCAA’s Competition Committee in order to envision how to move this Championship forward and grow value for competitors,” the SCAA said, inviting people interested in joining the working group to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also in 2016, the SCAA is ironing out the details for the U.S. Roaster Championship. Here’s more from the SCAA on what that event will look like in the coming year:
This competition is designed to highlight the art and craft of coffee roasting. Forty Roasters Guild members may submit two roasted coffees to represent and highlight their roasting skills. A green coffee sponsor will provide the green coffee for the First Round on Friday, and attendees will be able to blind sample the top twelve coffees and cast their vote. The second submission will be evaluated if the competitor advances to the Final Round, and this submission can be of any green coffee of their choosing. On Saturday, attendees will be able to blind sample the top six finalists and vote to help determine who will win the 2016 Roaster Championship. On Sunday, the competitors will be available to showcase their submissions, and the winner will be announced at the end of the day on Sunday. The roasted coffee that earns the top score, as determined by a panel of judges and attendee votes, will be named the winner of the 2016 Roaster Championship.
More information is available on the U.S. Coffee Championships website with regards to rules and regulations, schedules and event information. Competitor information will be available early next year.
We hope to see you in January for the U.S. Cup Tasters Championship in San Francisco, CA and at The SCAA Expo in Atlanta, GA!