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 of America (SCA) chapters, or an approved, independent, non-profit national body.

The event is hosted in a different city every year. The next edition will be in Melbourne in May 2020.[1]


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.

In 2016, significant changes were made to the competition format: Grinders were now provided by the competition's partner (Mahlkönig), new models of espresso machines were introduced, and the cappuccino was replaced by a "milk drink" component.[4]

In 2018, Agnieszka Rojewska became the first woman to win the World Barista Championship.[5]

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[6]. 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 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.

The national barista competitions are each organized by their respective national coffee organizations.

Past winners[edit]

Gwilym Davies preparing signature drinks at the World Barista Championship, Atlanta, 2009
  • 2019 (Boston, USA) Jooyeon Jeon, South Korea[7]
  • 2018 (Amsterdam, Netherlands) Agnieszka Rojewska, Poland[5]
  • 2017 (Seoul, South Korea) Dale Harris, United Kingdom[8]
  • 2016 (Dublin, Ireland) Berg Wu, Taiwan (Score: 583.0 out of 719)
  • 2015 (Seattle, USA) Sasa Sestic, Australia (Score: 618 out of 814)[9]
  • 2014 (Rimini, Italy) Hidenori Izaki, Japan
  • 2013 (Melbourne, Australia) Pete Licata, United States[10]
  • 2012 (Guatemala City, Guatemala) Raúl Rodas, Guatemala[11]
  • 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. ^ "World Barista Championship Returns To Melbourne In May 2020". 9 February 2019. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  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
  4. ^ Nick Brown (27 March 2015). "Major Changes Coming to the 2016 World Barista Championship". Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Agnieszka Rojewska becomes first female to win the World Barista Championship". Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Rules & Regulations". World Barista Championship. Retrieved 2019-01-21.
  7. ^ Zac Cadwalader (15 April 2019). "Jooyeon Jeon Of South Korea Is The 2019 World Barista Champion". Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  8. ^ Karolina Kumstova (14 November 2017). "Dale Harris is the World Barista Champion 2017". Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  9. ^ Gyan Yankovich (13 April 2015). "This Canberra Coffee Guy Just Won The World Barista Championship". Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  10. ^ "World Barista Championship Finals In Words and Pictures". 3 June 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Guatemalan winner of the World Barista Championship". 18 June 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2019.

External links[edit]