Registration for Specialty Coffee Association of America’s (SCAA) recently revamped United States regional barista competition opens on 9 November. The SCAA announced two weeks ago that the qualifier for the US Barista and US Brewers Cup Championships would take place over one weekend in Kansas City, Missouri, from 2 – 6 February. To take part in either of the qualifying events, competitors will register in either a Western or Eastern division. The SCAA will select 50 competitors from East and West to take part in the Barista Championship and 25 competitors from East and West to take part in the Brewers Cup. The six highest-scoring competitors from each division will have the opportunity to compete in the United States Coffee Championship in Atlanta in April. The SCAA faced significant backlash in June this year when it announced that, due to the cost involved, the regional competitions would no longer be taking place. Such was the response from the industry that a week later the competitions were back on the table, along with an apology from SCAA Board of Directors President Tracy Allen. Barista Guild of America Chair Chair Lorenzo Perkins recently released a statement explaining the SCAA’s response. “A few months ago, we formed an Ad Hoc Committee to discuss the qualifying events for the United States Coffee Championships (USCC), empowered by you,” said Perkins in the statement statement. “I’m happy to say that they have been working tirelessly to fashion an event that is economically viable, fulfils the need for vetting USCC competitors, and adds value to us as members and competitors.” Perkins said that the event is continuously evolving. “It is through this exercise that we have an opportunity to create a better event, one that is reflective of the skill and passion of the professional barista as we look to the future of our competitions,” he said.