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Updated: MICE and World Coffee Championships Not Happening in 2020

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World Coffee Championships taking place during the 2019 SCA Expo in Boston. Daily Coffee News photo by Nick Brown.

[Editor’s note: The headline in the original version of this story included the World of Coffee event among the list of events that will not be happening in 2020. To clarify, the event has not yet formally been canceled, although the Specialty Coffee Organization says has been working with the venue, Warsaw PTAK, to cancel the event.]

The Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), World of Coffee in Warsaw and the 2020 World Coffee Championship events have all been canceled or are in the process of being canceled.

World Coffee Events and the Specialty Coffee Association jointly announced the cancelations moments ago.

“We know that this is disappointing news to many, and we deeply regret that there is no feasible way to gather global competitors this year,” the WCE and SCA wrote (full text below).

The World Barista and Brewers Cup championships were scheduled to take place in conjunction with MICE, which was originally supposed to happen in May but was pushed back to November. That event is being canceled altogether for 2020, a WCE source has confirmed.

The World Coffee In Good Spirits, Latte Art, Cup Tasters, Coffee Roasting, and Cezve/Ibrik championships were scheduled to take place Oct. 15-17 during World of Coffee. The SCA said it is working with the convention center to cancel that show and postpone contracts to a future year, writing, “more information on this will be available in the coming weeks.”

In the meantime, WCE has set up a FAQ page for coffee competitors and others with a stake in the World Coffee Championships.

Here’s the full announcement:

Today, World Coffee Events (WCE) and the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) are announcing the cancellation of the 2020 World Coffee Championship events scheduled to take place in Melbourne and Warsaw, due to the impact of pandemic-related international visa and travel restrictions.

The ability to gather representatives from across the globe is core to the mission of these competitions. Given the current and projected travel environment through November 2020, WCE and the SCA have decided to cancel the 2020 events and focus on the 2021 championship season.

The 2020 World Barista Championships and World Brewers Cup were scheduled to take place November 3-6 at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) trade show which has now been canceled. The World Coffee In Good Spirits, World Latte Art, World Cup Tasters, World Coffee Roasting, and Cezve/Ibrik Championships were scheduled to take place during World of Coffee Warsaw October 15-17. The SCA is working with partners at the Warsaw PTAK venue to cancel the 2020 World of Coffee trade show and postpone the contract to a future year — more information on this will be available in the coming weeks.

We know that this is disappointing news to many, and we deeply regret that there is no feasible way to gather global competitors this year. We are excited to bring the World Barista Championship, World Cup Tasters Championship, and Cezve/Ibrik Championship to the World of Coffee Athens trade show in June of 2021. While we are still exploring location options for the 2021 World Coffee in Good Spirits, World Latte Art, World Brewers Cup, and World Coffee Roasting Championships, they will be held no earlier than June 2021.

Given the logistical challenges of locating these events and accommodating overflow competitors, WCE is requiring that Competition Bodies only send one competitor to each 2021 championship. This means that National Champions who have already won their title in 2020 will participate in the 2021 championships. Additionally, 2020 sanctioning terms will be extended, to cover the 2021 competition year.

These schedule changes may have different effects according to different local circumstances. WCE and SCA’s Regional Community Directors will work with the Competition Body coordinators to navigate next steps as appropriate. We encourage anyone with questions to read the Frequently Asked Questions section below or reach out to us via email at info@worldcoffeeevents.org. We are very sad to be missing the incredible community of competitors, teams, judges, volunteers, and fans that make these events special, and cannot wait to see you in 2021.

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