World Coffee Events announces minor changes to WBC 

World Coffee Events have announced “minor” changes to the 2018 World Barista Championship (WBC), focusing on production, policy streamlining and improving the event experience for all participants.

Changes in the rules includes a 7×7-metre no-media square in order to better accommodate creative station layouts, the placing of steps or platforms on the floor for baristas to fully access the espresso machine and presentation tables, ensuring the competitor is present for table set time, and permitting just one coach and one helper/interpreter backstage.
In 2017, the WBC received a number of format evolutions in 2017, including modular station layouts, simultaneous preliminaries, and modified technical judging. When these changes debuted in November in Seoul, the response was overall very positive, and the event was a great opportunity to examine the implications and possibilities the changes create for competitors, judges, volunteers and staff.
Other changes include:
  • Sensory judges will begin evaluating their drink as soon as it is served, unless otherwise instructed by the competitor.
  • Competitors may override the evaluation protocol by giving the judges specific alternative instructions. As long as instructions are reasonable, “and are no in contradiction with other rules”, the judges should follow all instructions given by the competitor.
  • Team Bar requirements and Wild Card Semi-Finals positions have been more clearly written. This includes that competitors have 20 minutes of clean up time in each service, and only competitors who have attended their Team Bar shifts will be eligible for wild card semi finals slot.
  • Based on competitor and judge feedback with the new layouts, the espresso machine table is being widened, and the table height options are being clarified.
  • The competitor will be able to create their own layout within a 7×7-metre square. The competitors must be present during the table set time. Once their station has been set to the requested general configuration, as depicted in the rules, competitors may request additional adjustments to the table set during the table set time. All presentation tables must be at least 0.3 metres from the edge of the square and the espresso machine table may not be moved.
  • A circular or square no-media area may be used as appropriate.
  • The WCE-certified grinders are the Malkönig Peak and the EK43/EK43S. The grinders have a fixed technical configuration including the hopper and cannot be opened or subjected to any functional modifications by the competitors.
  • National bodies are not required to use the same sponsored equipment as the WBC. If an equipment sponsor is acquired by a national body, the national body may independently specify their equipment requirements. Competitors may not use more than two grinders in total.

WCE says it “is being clarified” that competitors may instruct judges in evaluation timing, but that instructions must comply with all other WBC rules.

The 2018 WBC will take place at World of Coffee Amsterdam from 20 to 23 June. Champions from approximately 60 nations will gather to compete in front of fans at the WBC arena.

The full rules to be used in Amsterdam, as well as a summary of all 2018 changes is available at

For any questions regarding the changes, contact WCE or the WBC Evolution Working Group at

The updated WBC Rules and Regulations can be accessed here.
Volunteer registration is also open for roles in Amsterdam, including at the World Barista Championship. There are a limited number of lead espresso bar and brew bar shifts being reserved for SCA certified baristas.

From assisting competition stage managers, to helping with social events, volunteering at industry events is a great opportunity to grow your coffee network while gaining valuable experience.

For more information, click here.
Image credit: Jake Olson, World Coffee Events
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