The U.S. Coffee Championships Arena

bwages_scaa3_335By Sarah Leslie, David Fasman, and Bronwen Serna

At SCAA’s Annual Expo, some of the newest and most cutting edge coffee equipment is being shown. There are hundreds of exhibitors on the show floor – all with a clear dedication to better-ing the specialty coffee industry. Just next door there’s the U.S. Coffee Championships (USCC) Arena where the nation’s top coffee professionals are competing for the national title in their category.

There are three competitions happening in the event space – the United States Barista Championship, the United States Brewers Cup, and the United States Roaster Championship. The final round for all three competitions takes place Sunday.

The show floor is full of products and companies pushing the boundaries of coffee, but in the USCC Arena, you see the people who are putting those innovations into practice. The competitors are diverse – from different backgrounds, companies, and experiences – but they all embody coffee excellence.


While the judges get to do all of the tasting on stage, you can take part by tasting the coffee from the Roasters Championship. Or, if you’d prefer an espresso or cappuccino, you can stop by the BGA Café. All of the baristas working at the café hold Barista Level 1 Certificates and are dedicated coffee professionals.

Don’t forget to stop by the Barista Guild and Roasters Guild Membership Booths. If you are already a member, you can pick up a prize (while they last) and chat with Executive Council and Committee Members about the guild. If you aren’t a member, you can sign up (of course), but you can also explore the benefits of guild membership.

Sarah Leslie is the Wholesale Educator for Irving Farms Coffee Roasters. David Fasman is the Wholesale Educator at Kaldi’s Coffee Roasters. Bronwen Serna is the Director of Coffee and Education at The New Black.