Cup Tasters Getting Ready for Battle

Just got an email from Amber Fox about registration for the Canadian Cup Tasters Championship which will be held at the Specialty Coffee Association of America, concurrent with the U.S. Cup Tasters Championship. Winners from each national competition will go on to London, June 23 “25, to compete in the World Cup Tasting Championship.

This from the official Cup Taster Championship rules on the SCAE website:

The objectives of this competition are many: To educate and motivate the cup tasters of the world. To give them the same status and credibility as the wine tasters, and to promote the concept of quality coffee as such.

To make the event fair to all the coffee cultures of the world we do not ask the cup tasters to identify or judge coffees. We simply test their skills to discriminate between tastes in triangular tests. 8 triangles are set on the table. In each two cups are identical, one is different. With ability to smell, taste, memorise and concentrate the competitor will identify the odd cup in the triangles. The one with the most correct wins. With equal numbers the one with the shortest time win. The organizers sets up the triangles with selected coffees from all over world, and the spectators will be able to taste the coffees after the competition.

The Championship starts with qualifying heats with 4 participants in each. Scores and times are kept and published immediately.The 8 best goes to the semi-final where triangles are changed and discriminations made more difficult. The 4 best then goes to the final. Qualifying competitions are now being held in several countries. Where qualifying competitions cannot be held, SCAE chapters or similar speciality coffee associations can name the competitor they find the best to represent their nation.

We expect up to 40 cup tasters from both consuming and producing countries to compete in the championship. The event is educational, exciting and fun to watch.
For more information of about the U.S. Cup Tasters Championship ”won by Ben Kaminsky in 2009 ”visit And for more information about the Canadian Cup Tasters Championship ”won by Barrett Jones in 2009 ”go HERE.

See you in Anaheim!

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Sarah Allen (she/her) is co-founder and editor of Barista Magazine, the international trade magazine for coffee professionals. A passionate advocate for baristas, quality, and the coffee community, Sarah has traveled widely to research stories, interact with readers, and present on a variety of topics affecting specialty coffee. She also loves animals, swimming, ice cream, and living in Portland, Oregon.