Update [10:48AM PST]: Barista Magazine offers their unique take on the news!

Update [9:33AM PST]: The Barista Guild of America has self-published this schedule.

[9:19AM PST]:  This just arrived in our inbox:

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The competitive barista’s road to Portland—and the United States Barista Championship (USBC), which will be held in the Oregon city April 19–22, 2012, in conjunction with the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) 24th Annual Conference and Expo—begins in January, according to a statement released by the SCAA.

Baristas who intend to compete in the USBC must participate in one of the six regional qualifying competitions held around the country in the months prior to the USBC. Thus far, the dates for the Northwest, Southeast, Northeast, and Southwest Regional Barista Competitions have been announced, and are as follows:

January 27–29
Northwest Regional Barista Competition, hosted by Dillanos Coffee Roasters
Tacoma, Washington
Open to baristas in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
Judges’ certification takes place all day on January 26.

February 10–11
Southeast Regional Barista Competition, host TBD
Atlanta, Georgia
Open to baristas in Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Florida
Judges’ certification takes place all day February 9.

February 25–26
Northeast Regional Barista Competition, hosted by Dallis Bros. Coffee Roasters
New York, New York
Open to baristas in Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Maine, New York, and Pennsylvania
Judges’ certification class takes place all day on February 24.

March 9–11
Southwest Regional Barista Competition, hosted by Verve Coffee Roasters
Santa Cruz, California
Open to baristas in California, Hawaii, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico
Judges’ certification takes place all day on March 8.

According to the SCAA’s Director of Community Development, Marcus Boni, dates and details about the remaining two regionals—the North Central and the South Central—will be released very soon, and will likely take place toward the end of March or early April.

Questions regarding registration for either competition or judges’ training should be directed to the SCAA at 562/624-4100. Stay tuned to the official USBC and Regionals website, www.usbaristachampionship.org, regarding when registration opens for each competition, and other details about the events.

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