The U.S. Coffee Championships Qualifying Event is here, and we have some big news!

qualifying-event-header-scaaHello! 2016 is bringing quite a few exciting moments for everyone in the barista community, the first of which is almost upon us as Kansas City plays host to the United States Coffee Championships Qualifying Event. As our competitors, judges, and volunteers are gearing up to make this event a success, I'd like to share a few bits of information with y'all.

We are thrilled to announce that Pacific Foods has graciously stepped in to sponsor live streaming for the Barista Competition portion of this week. We should all give a huge thank you to the wonderful team at Pacific for giving everyone the opportunity to visually engage with the USCC QE around the globe and for understanding how important this element of the event is to the community. Make sure to let everyone know that they can tune in and watch from their home or cafe!

So now that our community can watch the event from wherever they are, this is a good opportunity for us to remember this Qualifying Event will look different than other barista competitions we have had in the past. For this Qualifying Event, one of the most obvious differences will be in the number of people on stage at once. The competitors will be evaluated by only two technical judges, as well as two sensory judges, instead of four. Along with the reduction in the number of judges, the overall competition routine time will adjust from 15 minutes to 10 minutes. This allows us extra time to fit more competitors into the Qualifying Event ensuring that we have a broad and diverse group of competitors as possible. Additionally, we'll be introducing a new live scoring element to the qualifying event, whereby competitors will be able to see their scores throughout the day and know where they fall in the rankings.

As we look to the future, the Barista Guild of America Executive Council and Competitions Committee is continuing to actively work to envision the next evolution of these events. If you would like to be a part of this effort, please reach out to For more information about why these changes are occurring, please visit the BGA Blog.

At the USCC QE this week, there will be excellent music played by the competitors, MCs narrating the event—inspiring stories and ideas—and of course lots of delicious espressos, milk beverages, and exciting signature beverages being served by some of the best baristas in the nation. So tune in or come in person and be a part of it. If you are planning to be in Kansas City for the event, please consider giving your time and energy as a volunteer. While so much of the focus is on the competitors, and rightly so, the event isn't possible without the judges, timekeepers, runners, scorekeepers, and everyone else. If you can't make it to KC, tune in online and cheer on your favorite barista as they compete for a spot on the national stage.

We have a lot of great activities planned in addition to the USCC QE, so keep an eye on our social media pages to stay abreast of where the party is happening. View the schedules for Barista Competition and Brewers Cup on the U.S. Coffee Championships website. I can’t wait to see y’all there, drink some espresso together, and celebrate the quest for excellence in our craft.


Lorenzo Perkins Chair, Barista Guild of America

BlogDanny Pinnell