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2015 marks the end of United States regional barista competitions

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) has announced the United States Barista Championship (USBC) regional qualifying competitions won’t run in 2016. For USBC 2016, regional barista competitors and USBC competitors from the last two years, as well as baristas with level 1 or 2 SCAA certification can register to compete on 4 January. The SCAA will open this initial registration to 35 people meeting this criteria, on a first come, first serve basis. For anyone else wanting to compete in the 2016 US competition, 12 spots will be available, on a first come, first serve basis on 18 January. The SCAA will reserve the final three spots for scholarship recipients. The SCAA said it is working closely with the Barista Guild of America (BGA) to create new events for its members to learn, network and engage. “While it is not easy to see the competitions change, the Barista Guild Executive Council acknowledges the need to ensure we are fulfilling the Barista Guild Mission and Vision with each event,” says BGA Chair Lorenzo Perkins. “By transitioning away from the current regional barista competition structure, competitions will become more sustainable for the long-term, and valuable resources will be freed up to create new and exciting opportunities to engage our BGA membership.” Lorenza says the decision to end the regional competitions should not be seen as an end to regionally focused barista events, but rather as a refocus on how best to allocate association funds. “The BGA has been so active in creating more inclusive events such as BGA Camps and I have loved seeing how many people they have been able to reach and the enthusiasm that has come from those events,” says Heather Perry, SCAA 2nd Vice President and two times USBC Champion. “I can’t wait to see what the BGA envisions for these additional resources and the opportunity to reach an even larger community of baristas.” The SCAA is working with the BGA to create an informational, competition-like event for competitors to practice their routines and learn about the competition system. The 2016 US Coffee Championships will take place next year in Atlanta city in Georgia. Photo by Youngmin Lee and World Coffee Events

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