Last week at MANE, we unintentionally set off a Twitter firestorm when we reported the following statement:
This, of course, amounts to quite a change from previous years, where the competition circuit has been a 24-hour grinder free-for-all.
So there was (understandably) a whole heckuva lotta hubub that ensued, none of which we really had much of an answer for, because the SCAA folks we followed up with were (understandably) waiting on an official announcement themselves before going into more detail. We’ve now received further clarification, and can share it with you, our precious, life-giving readers. Officially-official, from the SCAA:
At the Regional level, Competitors have the option of using the official USBC grinder that is provided, bringing their own grinder(s) or using both the provided grinder and their own grinder. However, at the National Level Competition (USBC), Competitors must use the grinder(s) of the official USBC Grinder Sponsor. They may use personal grinders, as long as they are still from the same Manufacturer as the official USBC Grinder Sponsor (or some combination of the two). The USBC-provided grinder has a fixed technical configuration and cannot be opened/altered internally by the competitors. Competitors may adjust the grind particle size and dose from the external controls. The Grinder will be calibrated to the following specifications: All provided Grinders will be equipped with new burrs and be set internally to calibration reference point Red Mark 2
Competitors may not use more than two grinders for espresso preparation during their performance, otherwise the competitor will receive zero (0) points in Station Management on all Technical Score Sheets. A grinder is defined for this competition as a paired motor and grinding surface.
There you have it! We just report the news. Love it? Hate it? Pretty much hate it but also totally understand why it would be a financially and professionally logical thing for the SCAA to do? Much like the proverbial library, our comments section is *open*…