World Coffee Events (WCE) has released its summary of the World Barista Championship (WBC) rule-changes to take effect on the world stage at WBC Dublin 2016.
The Australian Specialty Coffee Association (ASCA) will give Australian competitors the chance to trial the new rules prior to the worlds, when it introduces the same changes for the national competition at Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE).
As Mahlkönig is the official WBC Grinder Sponsor, WBC competitors must use either the Mahlkönig K30 Vario Air or the EK43. While WCE will provide both models in Dublin, competitors are permitted to bring their own grinder – provided its a K30 or EK43.
With Mahlkönig coming onboard this year to sponsor the Australian national competitions, ASCA will introduce the same grinder requirement at MICE from 17 – 19 March.
The milk based drink change has also been released, after the announcement was made in March last year that the 15-year-old cappuccino definition was being scrapped.
“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,” said WCE.
WCE defines a milk beverage as, “a single shot of espresso and steamed cow’s milk that should produce a harmonious balance of rich, sweet milk and espresso and is less than 240ml in volume.” Competitors must serve the beverage to judges in a functional vessel (not too hot!) and while latte art is permitted, additional toppings such as sugar or spices are not.
Sensory judges will evaluate the appearance of the milk beverage, which should be served with a napkin and unflavoured water.
“On the surface, the milk beverage should have a colour combination of milk and coffee, with good colour contrast definition, symmetrical design and a smooth and possibly glossy/glass-like sheen,” said WCE.
After an initial sip, the judges will revisit the milk beverage for at least one additional sip. Competitors can provide specific instructions to judges on how they would like the beverage evaluated.
The milk beverage should be served at a temperature that is immediately consumable, with its temperature, texture and taste included in the balance evaluation.
“The milk beverage should have a harmonious balance of the sweetness of the milk and its espresso base,” said WCE. “There should be a correlation between the coffee beans used in the espresso, the coffee’s taste profile, and how the balance is highlighted by the addition of milk.”
The judges will listen to the competitor’s flavour descriptions and compare them with the beverage served. Competitors will be judged on how well their descriptions match the flavour of the milk beverage.
The same consistency is expected between explanation and flavour for the signature beverage, which will also be evaluated on how well the taste components of the espresso fit with the other ingredients.
“The espresso taste should be predominant and easy to identify in order to get high marks in this category,” said WCE. “Judges must follow drinking instructions provided by the competitor.”
WCE has reduced the number of technical judges on the world stage from two to one, although national competitions will still be required to have two technical judges.