Regional Barista Competitions

Barista Competitor_SCAA

What are Regional Barista Competitions?

Not only are the RBC’s a fun community event, they are a great way to gain an insider’s look into what it takes to prepare great coffee. Competitors train for months in advance of performance taking great care in selecting their coffees, perfecting their technique and creating their signature beverage to wow the judges.

Each regional will include performances from approximately 30-40 baristas over a 3 day window. Competitions are highly stylized with variations in competitor dress, presentation and music selection. Competitors are required to prepare 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos and a signature beverage of their design and are judged by a panel of four sensory judges, two technical judges and one head judge. A signature beverage is a highly innovative, freestyle espresso-based beverage created by the barista for the competition. As they ready their beverages, contestants engage the audience, explaining their actions and selections, while seven judges watch and evaluate their every move – all in pursuit of espresso perfection.

Is there a cost to attend?

Each regional competition is different, and may include a registration fee to attend based on venue however generally speaking the RBC’s are free to attend. Visit the regional competition page of the event you wish to attend and reference the Details section to view any associated attendance fees.   There is a fee associated with competing, which is reduced for BGA members.

Will I be able to sample coffee?

Coffee service varies from competition to competition. Check your regional webpage to find out specifics about what coffee will be offered at your regional competition by visiting

Who produces the RBC’s?

The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) is the governing body of the United States Barista Championship and the parent organization for the Barista Guild of America. SCAA’s United States Barista Championship, through its focus on excellence, encourages and recognizes professional achievement in the art and skill of espresso beverage preparation and service.

Prior to the United States Barista Championship, SCAA hosts 6 regional barista competitions all across the country. The winners of each competition go on to compete in the United States Barista Championship. Regions include:

  • North West: WA, OR, AK, ID, MT, WY
  • North East: OH, WV, MA, DE, PA, NJ, NY, CT, RI, MA, VT, NH, ME
  • North Central: ND, SD, NE, MN, IA, WI, IL, IN, MI
  • South Central: KS, MO, OK, TX, AR, LA, MS
  • South West: HI, CA, NV, AZ, UT, NM, CO
  • South East: KY, VA, TN, NC, SC, AL, GA, FL, DC

Competitors at Regional Barista Championship prepare and serve 12 espresso based drinks: 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos, and 4 signature beverages of their own creation all within a 15-minute time frame.

Competitors have 45 minutes of actual competition time during the USBC, including:

  • 15 minutes of station preparation time, adjusting grind, etc.;
  • 15 minutes to prepare and serve four espressos, four cappuccinos and four signature drinks; and
  • 15 minutes of clean-up time to ready the station for next competitor.

For more information on upcoming regional competitions and competing, visit