Dublin, Ireland (27 March, 2015) – For the past 15 years, the World Barista Championship (WBC) stage has played host to innovation from the world’s best baristas. While we’ve made small changes to the competition format over the years (remember the mandated sugar bowls?), it’s time we introduced more changes. Bigger changes. Changes that bring the focus of the competition back to its innovative roots.

WCE will be announcing exciting changes in and around this year’s WBC in Seattle April 9-12, 2015. These changes will take effect for the 2016 WBC (Dublin, Ireland).

The first two of these exciting changes consists of a WBC qualified equipment kit for all competitors and redefining the cappuccino course. These two shifts indicate positive steps towards the continued evolution of a competition platform that consistently explores and shares advances in specialty coffee. In the sections below, we will deliver specifics about the WBC qualified kit and the new milk drink course.

WBC Qualified Kit: Victoria Arduino “Black Eagle” and MAHLKÖNIG K30 Vario

Since the competition began in 2000, the success of a World Barista Champion consisted of two essential elements: coffee quality and barista skills. Starting in 2016, WCE, with the support of MAHLKÖNIG, will provide all competitors on stage a WBC-supplied grinder in addition to the WBC-supplied espresso machine in an effort to level the playing field and bring the focus of the competition back to its original ethos. MAHLKÖNIG have committed to bringing 30 grinders to the 2016 WBC in Dublin, along with continuing their support of national competitions in the lead up to the WBC.

The 2016 & 2017 Qualified Kit will be provided for use on the world stage by WCE’s qualified espresso machine sponsor, Victoria Arduino, and WCE’s qualified grinder sponsor, MAHLKÖNIG. The complete Qualified Kit will be the same for all competitors throughout competition, thus intensifying the focus on those qualities at the core of the competition: specialty coffee quality and the talent, skills, and passion of the baristas who join us on the world stage.

“Based on the high performance criteria of the qualified testing process, the equipment provided at each WBC competition station sets the highest industry standard,” says WCE 2015 Chair, Mike Yung. “The Victoria Arduino “Black Eagle” and MAHLKÖNIG K30 Vario are perfect partners to the world’s best baristas competing for the top spot.”

“Success of a World Barista Champion is the result of their ability to perform with virtuosity with coffee, coffee grinder and coffee machine. For this endeavor, competitors only deserve the best equipment available,” states Philipp Baumberger, CEO of MAHLKÖNIG.

Milk Drink Course

Most consumers understand coffee as a beverage to which milk is added, and the cappuccino course was always designed to acknowledge this and promote excellence in this category of coffee beverages. As new specialty coffee culture emerges, and social media and the internet make the world smaller, we now know that there is more than one way to serve incredible milk and coffee drinks.

After fifteen years of focusing on a single definition of a milk drink on the WBC stage, we think it’s time to open up the milk beverage course to something that better represents where we are today as an industry: open-minded to anything new and delicious. Starting in 2016, a “milk beverage” will be defined as a hot beverage, made from a single shot of espresso and steamed milk, allowing competitors more flexibility in choosing a coffee-to-milk ratio that showcases their coffee best.

The competition working group, a team of highly committed and experienced individuals, will be available to answer any queries the community has about the forthcoming changes for 2016.

“The changes we’re announcing represent exciting steps towards a new WBC,” says Stephen Morrissey, chair of the Competition Working Group and 2008 World Barista Champion. “Our community has always been highly invested in the future of the competition, so we want to be entirely transparent about why these changes are being made.”

The additional evolutionary changes will be announced on the world stage in Seattle, directly preceding the finalist announcements on Saturday, April 11, 2015, as well as throughout the coming year. For more information on this year’s WBC, please visit: www.worldbaristachampionsip.org/2015-schedules.

Back to the WCE Dublin Portal.

Notes to editors:

About World Coffee Events, Ltd.

World Coffee Events’ mission is to develop events that engage the specialty coffee community and promote coffee excellence. Founded in 2011 by joint cooperation of the Speciality Coffee Associations of Europe and America, World Coffee Events is the premier producer of events for the coffee community and licenses over 60 championships involving thousands of participants worldwide. For more information, visit our website at https://www.worldcoffeeevents.org.

About World Barista Championship

World Barista Championship, produced by World Coffee Events, is an annual destination for barista champions from over 60 national bodies. In each competition, with numerous local and regional preliminary events, baristas prepare espressos, cappuccinos and original espresso signature drinks to exacting standards for a panel of international judges. (www.worldbaristachampionship.org)Support from international and national companies for WBC comes from:

About the Competition Working Group: WCE’s competition working group assists specifically in developing the format and strategically planning the evolution of all of WCE’s competitions, including rules, regulations, judges, communications, and marketing. This working group is made up of past competitors, judges, competition organisers, and coffee professionals. Their extensive experience at regional, national, and world competitions will be used to provide insights and direction to WCE staff. The work group will oversee the continued development and strategic evolution of a competition format that best represents innovation and success for coffee professionals.

About MAHLKÖNIG: Mahlkönig has been providing equipment for espresso professionals since 1924. The company, based in Hamburg, Germany, is constantly investing in research in innovative technologies and the quality of processes in order to guarantee reliable, cutting-edge, high-performance products. The relationship between WCE and MAHLKÖNIG dates back more than 10 years. Mahlkönig is the official sponsor of the World Barista Championship 2015, with its K30 Vario, K30 Twin, EK43 grinders. Starting in Dublin in 2016 Mahlkönigs K30 Vario will be the exclusive grinder for the World Barista Championship and part of the WBC Qualified Premium Equipment Kit.It’s range includes on-demand grinders for the hotel and catering circuit, industrial and retail models, and models for home use. (www.mahlkoenig.de)

About VICTORIA ARDUINO: Victoria Arduino was founded in 1905 by Pier Teresio Arduino, with the aim of building an espresso machine that did not compromise on quality, materials or performance. The result redefined the perimeters of modern espresso coffee machines. The company is now based in Belforte del Chienti, Italy, and continues the tradition of Pier Teresio Arduino investing in research to offer the most advanced espresso technologies. Victoria Arduino is 2015-2017 World Barista Championship official partner with its VA388 Black Eagle espresso machine that is used by the best world’s baristas . All share the same passion that drives us in our mission to build the ultimate espresso coffee machine. (www.victoriaarduino.com)