World Barista Championship

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The World Barista Championship (WBC) is an annual barista competition operated by World Coffee Events for the title of World Barista Champion. The competition is composed of the winners of the national barista championships, which are operated by respective Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) chapters, or an approved, independent, non-profit national body. The event is hosted in a different city each year and in 2019 it will be held at the SCA Expo in Boston, US.[citation needed]

Competition format[edit]

There are three rounds of judging over two days. The first round included 55 national barista champions in 2018. The top 15 competitors advance to a second (semi-finals) round, plus the addition of a wildcard placing. The final round comprises the top scoring six baristas from the semi-finals round and takes place on the last day of the competition. In each round competitors present a 15 minute routine in which they must prepare and serve a total of 12 drinks: (4) espresso, (4) milk beverages, and (4) ‘signature beverages’ (a non-alcoholic espresso-based cocktail) to each of four sensory judges[1]. Baristas commonly perform the same routine in each of the rounds that they compete.

The four judges award points on a variety of factors including the taste and balance of the barista’s beverages as well as their presentation. A technical judge grades their technique and cleanliness in the national championships and preliminary rounds. The judges’ points are totalled to produce a final score for each barista in each round. The baristas with the highest scores advance from the first and second rounds, and the barista with the greatest score in the final round wins the title.


The barista competition format was formulated in Norway,[2] with the first competition taking place in Monte Carlo in 2000. The WBC was dominated in its early years by Scandinavian baristas[3] and was held in Europe or the United States from its inception until 2007 when it was hosted in Tokyo, Japan.


The WBC is operated by World Coffee Events, which was established by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) to run a portfolio of international coffee events.

Gwilym Davies preparing signature drinks at the World Barista Championship, Atlanta, 2009

The national barista competitions are each organised by their respective national coffee organisations.

Past winners[edit]

  • 2018 (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Agnieszka Rojewska, Poland
  • 2017 (Seoul, South Korea) Dale Harris, United Kingdom
  • 2016 (Dublin, Ireland) Berg Wu, Taiwan (Score: 583.0 out of 719)
  • 2015 (Seattle, USA) Sasa Sestic, Australia (Score: 618 out of 814)
  • 2014 (Rimini, Italy) Hidenori Izaki, Japan
  • 2013 (Melbourne, Australia) Pete Licata, United States
  • 2012 (Guatemala City, Guatemala) Raúl Rodas, Guatemala
  • 2011 (Bogota, Colombia) Alejandro Mendez, El Salvador
  • 2010 (London, England) Michael Phillips, United States
  • 2009 (Atlanta, United States) Gwilym Davies, United Kingdom
  • 2008 (Copenhagen, Denmark) Stephen Morrissey, Ireland
  • 2007 (Tokyo, Japan) James Hoffmann, United Kingdom
  • 2006 (Bern, Switzerland) Klaus Thomsen, Denmark
  • 2005 (Seattle, United States) Trouls Overdahl Poulsen, Denmark
  • 2004 (Trieste, Italy) Tim Wendelboe, Norway
  • 2003 (Boston, United States) Paul Bassett, Australia
  • 2002 (Oslo, Norway) Fritz Storm, Denmark
  • 2001 (Miami, United States) Martin Hildebrandt, Denmark
  • 2000 (Monte Carlo, Monaco) Robert Thoresen, Norway


  1. ^ "Rules & Regulations". World Barista Championship. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  2. ^ Wendelboe, Tim (May 1, 2005) The Future of the World Barista Championship. "" Retrieved on 2006-oct-25
  3. ^ WBC WBC History: Previous Years. Retrieved on 2006-oct-25

External links[edit]