Several major changes are coming to the World Barista Championship, including simultaneous routines through the first competition round, espresso temperature control, and a customisable stage configuration, according to an announcement from event organiser World Coffee Events.
The group said the changes were led by a WBC Evolution Working Group created last year in Dublin to further promote innovation, inclusivity and diversity within the event. Major rules changes taking effect at this year’s WBC in Seoul this November include:
- Competitors may select one of nine table configurations, with multiple height and seating options
- Competitors may request espresso machine temperature settings
- To prevent extending the event beyond show hours while maximising participation, routines in the first found will run on staggered start times, meaning multiple competitors will be on stage at once, with a shared soundtrack.
- An expanded semifinal round will include the top 15 competitors, plus a 16th wildcard position awarded to the highest-scoring member of the winning team in the WBC Team Competition who is not yet qualified for the semifinals.
- For the semifinal and final rounds, evaluation will shift solely to sensory and service experience, with no separate technical scoresheet or judge.