The World Barista Championship has officially descended upon Dublin, and by the end of the week we will know the 17th name to be added to the Coffee Pantheon. In past years, only the first place finisher could technically be called the winner (though even making it this far means that each person was a winner), but now there’s a way for more than just the top dog to emerge victorious thanks to a new wrinkle in the Barista Championship: team scoring.

For the first time ever, baristas will be grouped into teams, with each member of the winning earning an all-expenses paid trip to the Café Show in Seoul, Korea later this year in November. So, why teams? According to the announcement made by World Coffee Events:

In specialty coffee, teams exist everywhere—producers, green buyers, roasters, etc. Behind every competition barista, there is a team of individuals who contributes to their success. In the spirit of acknowledging the global coffee community, we thought we’d also incorporate a different kind of team—and a different way to win.

The addition of teams won’t change anything about how competitors are scored individually or how the new champion will be crowned. It simply adds an additional layer of intrigue for both the baristas and the spectators.

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The teams were chosen based upon historical competition rankings, with each of the 10 six-person teams being equally weighted. So it’s anybody’s game.

The teams are:
Team Knockbox: Australia, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Zambia
Team Blend: Austria, Costa Rica, Finland, Hong Kong, Romania, and Slovakia
Team Brew: Ireland, Lithuania, Malaysia, New Zealand, Iran, and Ukraine
Team Espresso: Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Ecuador, Japan, and Spain
Team Extract: Greece, Kenya, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey
Team Portafilter: Belarus, Colombia, Iceland, Philippines, Poland, and the United States of America
Team Pressure: China, Germany, Guatemala, India, Italy, and Serbia
Team Scale: Nicaragua, Vietnam, Czech Republic, Hungary, Netherlands, and Canada
Team Steam: El Salvador, Honduras, Latvia, Norway, Singapore, and Thailand
Team Tamper: France, Indonesia, Portugal, Sweden, United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom

Good luck to all teams, and let the newest form of barista prop-betting begin!

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.

*top image via MunPlanet

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