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2021 US Barista and Brewers Cup Championships Canceled

The 2020 U.S. Barista Championship finalists, from left to right: Anthony Ragler, Sam Spillman, Kay Cheon, Andrea Allen, Sam Neely, and Isaiah Sheese. February 2020 United States Coffee Championships press photo by

The ripple effect from this year of lost gatherings has extended to the 2021 United States Barista and Brewers Cup Championships, which have both been canceled.

The Specialty Coffee Association’s U.S. Coffee Championships organizers announced the cancelations yesterday. It was announced last week that the 2020 World Coffee Championships had been canceled.

The U.S. Barista and Brewers Cup Champions — Andrea Allen and Elika Liftee, respectively, both from Arkansas’ Onyx Coffee Lab — were crowned in February. After losing an opportunity to compete for the world titles in 2020, they are now expected to represent the U.S. in the 2021 world championships, currently scheduled to take place in Athens, Greece.

Thus, the next new USBC and USBrC events are next year’s preliminary events for the 2022 U.S. championships. Of course, as the novel coronavirus has shown time and time again, those gatherings remain hypothetical.

Here is yesterday’s announcement in full, as signed by U.S. Competitions Coordinator Nathanael May and Competitions Manager Carllee Curran.

Dear US Competitions Community,

As you may have seen, the Speciality Coffee Association and World Coffee Events announced the cancelation of all 2020 World Coffee Championships in both Melbourne, Australia and Warsaw, Poland due to travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The full announcement can be seen here.

In late June, the US Competitions Committee announced the cancellation of the 2021 Preliminaries and Qualifiers. Competitors who have already qualified for USCIGS, USRC, and USCTC will automatically qualify for the championships in New Orleans in April of 2021 at the Specialty Coffee Expo. Our full announcement from June can be seen here.

With the cancellation of the 2020 World Barista Championship and World Brewers Cup, our 2020 US Barista and Brewers Cup champions will now represent the United States in 2021. There will be no USBC and USBrC in 2021.

This announcement is not an easy one to make, however, our first priority is the health and safety of the coffee community. Our Barista and Brewers Cup competitions will return next summer with the Preliminaries to the start the 2022 season. The US Competitions Committee is committed to building a competition structure that is more diverse and inclusive, and will take this time to work on actionable changes. We will report our progress in the fall as promised.

Take care and be excellent to each other,

Nathanael May, US Competitions Coordinator

Carllee Curran, Competitions Manager

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