While the regional, U.S. and world coffee competitions have served for years to engage, support and inspire coffee professionals and propell dozens of coffee careers in the process, they’ve also been naturally limited in terms of access. In other words, you’re free to participate, so long as you can afford potentially multiple long-distance flights, lodging, the proper equipment, access to training recources, etc.
“Revelator believes that true competition should include and foster the growth of all people who wish to participate, and that competition can be important for networking, skill-building, and professional development,” Revelator said in an announcement today, adding that the five sponsored spots will be in addition to supporting its own baristas in the competition season. “Barriers to entry, including financial status, gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship, and heritage, should not define nor limit any person’s ability to compete.”
Revelator is seeking to extend the sponsorships to people who identify as minorities in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, gender presentation, sexual orientation, refugee status, veteran status or disability.
The company — which now operates 21 cafes throughout the U.S. South plus a Birmingham, Alabama, roastery — said the sponsorships will include financial assistance with travel, registration fees, wares, coffees for practice and presentation, coaching, training and on-site support during competitions.
Applications are due by midnight EST on Friday, Aug. 31. Application details are available here.
Produced by the Specialty Coffee Association, the U.S. Coffee Championships are comprised of the U.S. Barista Championship, Brewers Cup Championship, Cup Tasters Championship and Roaster Championship. The format for the 2019 competition season varies by event, and it can be a little difficult to unwrap.
The Barista and Brewers Cup events involve 10 preliminary events held at SCA-member facilities in cities throughout the U.S., with a certain number of winners guaranteed placement in two U.S. Coffee Championships qualifying events. Those qualifying events — to be held Dec. 1-2 in Denver and Jan. 12-13 in Nashville — will also be open to competitors who did not participate in preliminaries. There are no preliminary events for the Roasters and Cup Tasters championships, only the qualifying events in Denver and Nashville.
A certain number of competitors will then be selected to move on to the U.S. Coffee Championships, dates and locations for which have not yet been announced, but the U.S. Barista Championship and Brewers Cup Championship, at least, will precede the world championships for those events, which takes place next April in Boston.