Juan Gabriel Cespedes of Costa Rica.

An exciting specialty coffee competition has just concluded in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Juan Gabriel Cespedes of Costa Rica has won the World Cup Tasters Championship. This event, widely enjoyed in specialty coffee circles for its immediacy and excitement, is part of a portfolio of international coffee competitions operated by World Coffee Events, including the World Latte Art, Brewers Cup, and Coffee in Good Spirits championships.



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The Cup Tasters “awards the professional coffee cupper who demonstrates speed, skill, and accuracy in distinguishing the taste differences in specialty coffees.” Thirty-six individuals entered from around the world, having previously won nationally sanctioned championships in their home countries. From that group of 36, a final four was set after two days of competition, in which the cuppers are asked to tell minute differences between different cups of brewed coffee in a setting judged on both accuracy and time. To quote WCE, “three cups are placed in a triangle, with 2 cups being identical coffees and one cup being a different coffee. Using skills of smell, taste, attention and experience, the cupper will identify the odd cup in the triangle as quickly as they can. A total of 8 triangles are placed in each round.” It’s a difficult task, but one that gives an immediate and visceral result on the competition floor. These events are very fun to watch.


For the first time ever the Cup Tasters Championship has been won by a competitor from Latin America: Juan Gabriel Cespedes hails from Costa Rica’s division of ECOM Trading, a subset of ECOM Agroindustrial, an international commodities company that traffics coffee, cocoa, and other consumables around the world. In the final round, Juan Gabriel Cespedes fielded a perfect score—8 for 8—winning by a clear majority. Second place in the competition went to Mateusz Petlinski of Germany; third fell to Yoeri Joosten of The Netherlands, with Krisse McGregor of New Zealand rounding out the top four.

Krisse McGregor of New Zealand.
Mateusz Petlinski of Germany.

Enjoy more Cup Tasters Championship coverage on, our global hub for all things coffee sports.

Sprudge Media Network’s coverage of the 2015 Cup Tasters Championship was produced with direct support from Square and Urnex Brands

All photos by Anna Brones for Want to use our photos? Contact us! 

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