Friday 12 July 2024
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SCA announces updated Rules & Regulations for its competitions

Changes to the WCRC rules are centered on the evaluation portion of the competition, to better balance the weight of the competitor’s roasting skills and of the results produced through these in the competition. The changes include the introduction of new evaluation scales more clearly aligned with the SCA’s Coffee Value Assessment, informed by research and sensory science best practice

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MILAN – The Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has recently released updated Rules & Regulations for the 2023 World Latte Art, World Coffee in Good Spirits, and World Coffee Roasting Championships. These rules will be used for the first time at the Taipei World Coffee Championships, hosted at Taiwan International Coffee Show in Taipei, Taiwan, from November 17-20, 2023.

The World Coffee Roasting Championship (WCRC) received the main updates – incorporating much of the logic underpinned by the SCA Coffee Value Assessment, which was recently announced in beta form at the 2023 Re:co Symposium and Specialty Coffee Expo in Portland, Oregon. The SCA Coffee Value Assessment allows experts to inventory the valuable attributes of a coffee across four separate assessment types, according to the SCA’s definition of specialty coffee. It also introduces an evolution of the SCA Cupping Form and protocol, separating descriptive and effective assessment, which makes it compatible with scientific research for the first time.

Changes to the WCRC rules are centered on the evaluation portion of the competition, to better balance the weight of the competitor’s roasting skills and of the results produced through these in the competition. The changes include the introduction of new evaluation scales more clearly aligned with the SCA’s Coffee Value Assessment, informed by research and sensory science best practice. Similar to the changes in this year’s World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup judge evaluation, the WCRC cupping evaluation is now more clearly split between affective and descriptive analysis. These changes, along with the updates to the production roast evaluation scoresheet and protocol also reflect the newly announced cupping form as part of the SCA Coffee Value Assessment. Alongside the WCRC updates, all three competitions taking place in Taipei have small administrative updates for consistency across the World Coffee Championships.

“The SCA is delighted to announce these rules updates, and see three competitions–the World Barista Championship, World Brewers Cup, and World Coffee Roasting Championship–reflect the SCA Coffee Value Assessment,” said SCA CEO Yannis Apostolopoulos. “Competitions touch many people in the industry and these rules will be implemented by over 60 licensed Competition Bodies around the world, so it was important that they connected to the SCA Coffee Value Assessment. We are fully committed to ensuring the assessment is accessible so that we can make specialty coffee a thriving, equitable, and sustainable activity for all.”

All World Coffee Championships (WCC) rules & regulations updates are overseen by the Competitions Strategic Committee (CSC) – a volunteer leadership group focused on evolving the WCCs in line with strategic goals. “On behalf of the CSC, I am pleased to see the latest rules for the WLAC, WCIGS, and WCIGS released,” said CSC Chair Bart Deprez. “These rules complete the updates to the 2023 competition season, the first season with major changes since we paused our long-term strategy due to the pandemic. Both the Athens & Taipei WCCs are sure to be very exciting events and we look forward to seeing how competitors explore the rules this year. I’d like to thank the members of the CSC for their hard work and dedication in supporting the strategic evolution of the competitions for this competition year and beyond.”

Full rule sets, summary of change documents, and scoresheets are available at the links below.

Rules Documents

World Latte Art Championship
World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship
World Coffee Roasting Championship

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