Breaking news coming from the American chapter of the Specialty Coffee Association today as the 2021 US Barista Championship and Brewers Cup, as well as all 2021 preliminary events leading up to them, have been canceled.
The news follows the World Coffee Events announcement last week that the 2020 World Coffee Championships scheduled to take place in Melbourne and Warsaw had been officially canceled due to “the impact of pandemic-related international visa and travel restrictions.” In the WCE statement, it was announced that only one competitor from each country would be allowed to compete in a given event in the 2021 World Coffee Championships and that spot would be offered to the 2020 national champion. This left many countries, like America, in a bit of a bind. They had already crowned 2020 champions and still had every intention of proceeding with 2021 events, leaving prospective champions’ status to compete on the world stage in limbo. This cancellation, it seems, is America’s answer.
In a note from US Competitions Coordinator Nathanael May and Competitions Coordinator Carllee Curran, the SCA has announced that no US Barista Championship or Brewers Cup events will take place again until the 2022 preliminaries; both events have 2020 champions, Onyx Coffee Lab’s Andrea Allen and Elika Liftee, respectively.
But this doesn’t mean all US coffee competitions have been called off for the 2021 season. Per the letter, the 2021 US Coffee in Good Spirits, Cup Tasters, and Roasters Championship—none of whom have a 2020 champion crowned as all their national events originally scheduled for April in Portland were called off—will, as of now, go on according to schedule later next April in New Orleans. The events will be fielded by competitors would had earned their way into the 2020 nationals but were unable to take part because of the cancelation. As previously stated by the SCA, there will be no preliminary or Qualifying Events of any kind in the US for 2021.
To read the full statement, visit the US Coffee Championships official website.