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World Barista Championship facts for kids

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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 the Specialty Coffee Association (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 November 2020.


The barista compete in Monte Carlo in 2000. The WBC was dominated in its early years by Scandinavian baristas 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.

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

Competition format

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. 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 (WCE), 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. Since the SCAA and SCAE have unified in 2017, WCE is a part of this global organization called the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA).

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

Past Winners

Gwilym Davies
Gwilym Davies preparing signature drinks at the World Barista Championship, Atlanta, 2009
Year Location Winner (Country) Source
2000 Monte Carlo,  Monaco Robert Thoresen ( Norway)
2001 Miami,  United States Martin Hildebrandt ( Denmark)
2002 Oslo,  Norway Fritz Storm ( Denmark)
2003 Boston,  United States Paul Bassett ( Australia)
2004 Trieste,  Italy Tim Wendelboe ( Norway)
2005 Seattle,  United States Trouls Overdahl Poulsen ( Denmark)
2006 Bern,  Switzerland Klaus Thomsen ( Denmark)
2007 Tokyo,  Japan James Hoffmann ( United Kingdom)
2008 Copenhagen,  Denmark Stephen Morrissey ( Ireland)
2009 Atlanta,  United States Gwilym Davies ( United Kingdom)
2010 London,  England Michael Phillips ( United States)
2011 Bogota,  Colombia Alejandro Mendez ( El Salvador)
2012 Vienna,  Austria Raúl Rodas ( Guatemala)
2013 Melbourne,  Australia Pete Licata ( United States)
2014 Rimini,  Italy Hidenori Izaki ( Japan)
2015 Seattle,  United States Sasa Sestic ( Australia) (Score: 618 out of 814)
2016 Dublin,  Ireland Berg Wu ( Taiwan) (Score: 583.0 out of 719)
2017 Seoul,  South Korea Dale Harris ( United Kingdom)
2018 Amsterdam,  Netherlands Agnieszka Rojewska ( Poland)
2019 Boston,  United States Jooyeon Jeon ( South Korea)
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