What Is The Cup Tasters Championship?

You’ve mastered the pour, you can tell your arabica from your robusta and you’ve just invested in the best burr grinder money can buy but what on earth is the Cup Tasters Championship?!

To any passing observer this competition looks like a lot of slurping and cheering for those in the know. Here we’ll break down the rules so you can come along and cheer with all the industry pro’s at CUPS this November 9-10.

The Rules

Each competitor is presented with 8 sets of three bowls of coffee. Within each set is one coffee that is different to the other two. The difference in the first round could be a set with 2 coffees from Kenya and 1 from Ethiopia and as the competition gets harder in the Semi’s and Finals the difference could be 2 coffees from one lot in that Kenyan coffee farm and 1 from the same farm but a different lot. Eeeek!

It’s up to the competitor to identify the odd one out in each set in the quickest time possible. So where two competitors get 6 out of 8 sets correct, the competitor who finished all 8 of their sets in the quicker time will automatically be higher on the leader board.

The maximum time for each competitor is 8 minutes. The competitor must taste every coffee (they can’t just smell or look). They’ll push the one they believe to be the odd one out to the front of their competitor station.

Who Can Enter?

This competition attracts entrants from all areas of the coffee industry, from baristas to roasters to importers. Tasting coffee is a skill which unites all members of the coffee supply chain. Cup Tasters is a real chance for industry pro’s to flex those sensory muscles in front of their peers.

How Is It Judged?

The fun bit! Representatives from Speciality Coffee Association UK will be on hand to check each set one-by-one under the watchful eye of the audience.

Throughout 2019 regional heats have been taking place in London, Glasgow and Bristol in preparation for the Semi-Finals and Finals taking place this November 9-10 in Manchester.

The winner of the UK Cup Tasters Championship will head to represent the UK on the world stage in Warsaw, Poland in 2020.

Join us in November to watch the competition at CUPS — tickets available soon!