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Rules and regulation upgrades for 2023 WCC

Tuesday 16 May

Looking forward to the Athens World Coffee Championships (WCC), the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has recently released some important updates about the rules and regulations.
The most innovative changes in the rules are the introduction of plant-based drinks in the preparation of the milk drink course and the possibility to choose the brewing temperature of the espresso machine.

These changes give participants a great input of creativity, self expression and variety. The possibility to prepare the milk beverage with plant-based drinks is an answer to a growing request and it’s very inclusive, both for the baristas and for the final consumer. 

Here are all the changes announced for the 2023 Athens World Coffee Championships.

The evaluation criteria

A new coffee evaluation scale, more clearly aligned with the SCA’s criteria, will be used to expand categories for Barista evaluation: research and sensory science helped evolve the existing cupping protocol to refocus the competition on evaluating a competitor’s coffee brewing skills.

Format update

The format update consists in the introduction of a Semi-Finals round: competitors will now give their open service presentation in Round One (with no compulsory). 12 competitors will progress to Semi-Finals to present a provided coffee through compulsory service. Only 6 competitors will enter the Finals by presenting open service, with compulsory scores carrying through from Semi-Finals.

New scoring scale 

For 2023 the WBC regulation introduces two new types of scoring scales, alongside the traditional 6-point scores to better align the competitions with the coffee value assessment systems and to better reflect the skills and areas of focus for the competitions. 

Introduction of plant-based drinks in the milk beverage course

The milk beverage course in 2023 can be prepared for the first time during the World Barista Championships using plain (sweetened or unsweetened) plant-based drinks or animal milk not restricted to cow’s milk. All milks chosen for the preparation must be commercially available and unflavored: Alpro Barista is delighted to support the World Barista Championship competitors with a choice of plant-based beverages to consider for their presentations.

Temperature on the group head

For the 2023 championship, competitors will have the option of brewing their espresso using a range of group head temperatures. The machine’s brewing temperature can be set at any temperature between 90.5-96 degrees Celsius (195-205 degreesFahrenheit). Individual group head temperatures may be selected. If no temperature is requested, the machine will be set at a midpoint between 90.5-96 degreesCelsius (195-205 degrees Fahrenheit).

Scoresheets redesign

Scoresheets for both the WBC and WBrC have been re-designed for clarity and ease of use. The World Cup Tasters & Cezve/Ibrik Championships updates focus on small language changes for clarity and consistency across the WCCs.

Announcement for 2024

Alongside these rules updates, the SCA is announcing the expansion of the espresso machine sponsorship criteria to include fully-automatic machines for next year's competitions.

The 2023 World Barista Championship brings relevant innovations in the rules for competitors: for the first time in a worldwide competition about coffee it will be possible to prepare the milk beverage course using plant-based drinks or other animals’ milk. This is already possible in some national competitions but this decision it’s up to individual countries for now. We’ll see if the same upgrades will be announced also for the World Latte Art Championship that will take place in Taipei in November 2023.

Are you curious to see who will use plant-based drinks in their preparations and who will be the next champion in each competition? 

Don’t miss the next scheduled events:

Athens World Coffee Championships
2023 World Barista Championship, World Brewers Cup, World Cup Tasters Championship, Cezve/Ibrik Championship
June 22-24, 2023 | World of Coffee Athens

Taipei World Coffee Championships
2023 World Latte Art Championship, World Coffee in Good Spirits Championship, World Coffee Roasting Championship
November 17-20, 2023 | Taiwan International Coffee Show