In an abundance of preparation and with all optimism—please please please let this happen—World Coffee Events has released new rules and regulations for the 2021 World Coffee Championships season. And as should come as no surprise to anyone, the bulk of the changes revolve around safety precautions in dealing with COVID-19.

Announced today, December 17th, the new rules and regulations will take effect in June, where the first four World Coffee Championships—the Barista Championship, Brewers Cup, Cup Tasters, and Cezve/Ibrik—will take place at the World of Coffee event in Athens, Greece. For each disciple, the WCE has released a new set of rules and clarifications, most of which follow safe distancing and non-contact practices due to COVID-19.

Across all competitions, the major change this year is that head judges will not be allowed to sample the drinks served, save for the compulsory round of Brewers Cup and the Cup Tasters competition, which has no head judge. Sorry head judges, no sneaky sips of the sig bevs. Also new this year is the move to online interactions between competitors and event staff; orientating meeting have been moved online as well as all post-comp scoresheet reviews with the judges.

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In the Barista Championship, the number of sanctioned table setups has been decreased from nine to four. Additionally, judges are no longer able to move freely, but must remain in their same spot for the entirety of the routine, meaning the interaction and movement of the judges that made Jooyeon Jeon’s 2019 WBC winning routine so memorable is now verboten.

In the Brewers Cup, TDS measurements have been removed from the competition to “reduce contact time.” And for the compulsory portion, practice and competition times have been combined to further reduce contact hours and all necessary sanitation associated with it.

As stated in each of the new rules and regulations, all COVID-based updates will be re-evaluated in 2022.

For a full list of the rule as well as the changes for each competition, visit World Coffee Events official website.

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