Big changes are coming to the World Barista Championship. Announced in a press release from World Coffee Events—the organization that puts on the yearly competition—the updates will have a pretty big impact on just about every aspect of the event.
Taking effect at the 2017 World Barista Championship happening later this November in Seoul, South Korea, many of the changes allow competitors to have more control over the entirety of their routine. This year, each competitor will be able to choose from one of nine different table configurations “with multiple heights and seating options.” Additionally, competitors will also be allowed to request a specific temperature for their espresso machines “to allow more espresso extraction control.”
To accommodate the ever-growing number of countries being represented—last year there were 61, the most in WBC history—and to ensure every routine occurs during regular Expo hours, multiple staggered competitors will compete at the same time during the preliminary round. As a consequence, the first round will have a shared soundtrack; competitors’ selected soundtracks will be utilized in the semi-finals and finals rounds. Each routine will be livestreamed in full, including the post-performance interview.
And the WBC Team Competition will play a larger role in this year’s event. First appearing last year, competitors are group into teams “based on historical performance data,” with their individual routine scores being added together to choose a winning team. This year, it will affect who makes it to the semi-finals round. The top 15 baristas from the preliminary round will move on, and a 16th wild card spot will be “awarded to the member of the winning team in the WBC Team Competition who has the highest individual score but is not already qualified for semi-finals.”
These are but a few of the changes you can expect to see from the World Barista Championship this year. For a full list of the updates or to read the full press release, visit the Rules page of the WBC’s website.
Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.
*top image via World Coffee Events