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Following last year's mega-regional qualifier for barista competitors from across the USA in Kansas City, the Specialty Coffee Association of America has announced the next step to the structure of their regional coffee competitions. This statement from the SCAA gives us a clearer picture of where these events are headed in 2017 and beyond.

Jess Steffy, the Chair of the SCAA Competition Committee, announced a statement that outlines a new-look regional format that will take place over two competition seasons. Their ultimate goal is for the 2017/2018 competition cycle to have no less than 6 micro-regional events “hosted by member companies throughout the U.S.” A set number of competitors from each event moving on to one of two qualifying events put on by the SCAA, leading up to the United States Coffee Championships.

The Future Of US Coffee Competitions

For upcoming 2016/2017 season, there won’t be any micro-regionals, but the SCAA is looking to implement the two qualifying events prior to Nationals. Having two qualifiers will allow for more competitors than last year’s mega-qualifier; the Barista Championship will have a total of 120 competitors instead of last year’s 100, and the Brewers Cup will be allowing in 72 competitors, 22 more than last year.

Also included this year will be qualifying rounds for Cup Tasters, Roasters Championship, and the Latte Art Championship, none of which had qualifiers last year or even a national championship, in the case of Latte Art.

The format is still in development and needs to ultimately be approved by the SCAA board.

The full statement can be found here.

This story is developing…

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.

Regis Philbin images via the internet.