hawaii prelim

They’re back! After a few years of pandemic-related hiatus, the preliminary rounds of the US Coffee Championships have returned, and it’s kicking off this weekend in grand fashion in Hawaii with a competition like no other.

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Starting Friday, August 19th and running through Sunday, August 21st, the westernmost preliminary  of the 2023 US Coffee Championships will be hosted by the Hawaiian Coffee Association and take place at Tradition Coffee Roasters in Kailua, Oahu, who will field the first rounds of the Brewers Cup and the Roasters Championship. And for the first time in USCC history, the competition will feature only coffees grown in the United States.

All coffees used for both competitions will be Hawaiian grown; roasters will be provided green Hawaiian coffee to roast and serve to the judges, and Brewers Cup competitors will use Hawaiian-grown coffee to “be sourced from two or more local coffee roasting companies,” per a press release from the HCA. Not a bad way to kick off the competition season.

From there, another preliminary event will take place every weekend through October 28th-30th—except the weekend of October 14th—with host cities occurring in the following order: Tucson, San Francisco, Raleigh, Houston, Houston, Denver, Houston, Oakland, Richmond, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Essex, and finally Burlington. Each event will host some combination of the six competitions in the series: Barista, Brewers Cup, Coffee in Good Spirits, Cup Tasters, Latte Art, and Roasters. A full list of competition dates, locations, and events can be found here.

I have to admit, it feels pretty good to have competitions back at full strength. We get to see a crop of fresh faces and competition vets all honing their craft in hopes of punching their ticket to the national stage of competition taking place later in 2023. For more information on the preliminary events or to register to compete, visit the US Coffee Championships official website.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.