World Coffee Roasting Championship
Was at Nice for the World Coffee Expo last month and sat in for the last two days of the inaugural World Coffee Roasting Championship. It was interesting to see the roasting techniques and the eventual profiles and roasters that won. All of the top three hailed from Asia this year, with the top spot going to a Japanese roaster.
Interesting format really, none of the roasters came in with any kind of pre-made roasts or plans, they had all of the first day to sample the provided coffees and grading them (which was a scored part of the competition) before creating a roasting plan and then being given time to roast it. Not too fun to watch for a non-roaster, most likely, as it didn't draw as big of a crowd as the other three competitions around.
A lot of the regional Specialty Coffee Associations are launching regional competitions with the same format though. Its a really cool test of a roaster's skill in a pretty much even environment.
Wanted to get a hand on some of the winning coffee batch, but by the time I got backstage everything was pretty much gone...
Heard there was a hot spot problem with some of the sample roasters though, which was a bit of a shame.
Just signed up for the SCAJ show at the end of next month. Seems like they'll be hosting one of the first regionals with the new World format as well at the show, hopefully it takes off well.
Personally feel that it might be a bit better as a more commentated competition with a lot of visual coverage outside of the competitors' hearing since a lot of the parts are very silent and work-intensive, which puts it at a disadvantage compared to the more visually-stimulating or interactive competitions.
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