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New Rules for the 2021 World Coffee Championships Cover COVID Safety

World of Coffee

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

The Specialty Coffee Association has announced rules updates for the four 2021 World Coffee Championship events currently scheduled to take place in conjunction with the SCA’s World of Coffee event next June in Athens, Greece.

Many of the updates have been designed to promote social distancing and reduced face-to-face interactions through revised stage sets, changes to head judging protocols, and an increase in the use of online meetings for orientations and reviews.

Some of the rules changes will be revisited following this competition season, while others will remain indefinitely. Here are summaries of changes to the following 2021 World Coffee Championships: Cezve/Ibrik, Barista, Brewers Cup, Cup Tasters.

Here is the full announcement:

Rules & Regulations Released for the 2021 Athens WCC

Updated Rules & Regulations have been released for the 2021 Athens World Coffee Championships; the World Barista Championship, World Brewers Cup, World Cup Tasters Championship, and Cezve/Ibrik Championship. You can find the rules now on, which are primarily focused on COVID-19-related precautions, which have been introduced to facilitate better logistics for competitors, coaches, judges, and volunteers at the event, hosted at the Specialty Coffee Association World of Coffee Show from June 23-26, 2021. 

Across the four competitions, a number of changes have been introduced to facilitate safer judge evaluation of drinks, while ensuring that local social distancing guidelines are maintained. Additionally, existing rules that apply to Competition Bodies (CB) have been centralized and clarified in a new section, covering variations to the competition format, and the appeals process at CB level. 

As a result of the COVID-related changes to Head Judge tasting at the World Barista Championship, the Rules & Regulation committee have clarified a number of existing rules on sensory judge evaluation to encapsulate the current scoring process more accurately. 

We understand that these rules updates are being launched in an uncertain time for competitors around the world — we have made no changes that impact the total scoring or weighting for any championship in order to minimize the impact for competitors while providing increased precautions at the WCC event in Athens.

Rules for each of the 2020 Athens World Coffee Championships are available here: [Links updated 6pm GMT, Thursday Dec 17]