The first-ever Global Roasting Contest took place at PRF El Salvador in March 2023 – and featured an unprecedented collaborative judging format unlike any other coffee competition.
The winner of the first competition was Shaun Aupiais of Red Band Academy from South Africa, and at PRF Colombia that same year, the title went to Alejandro Macias of Lusitania Coffee Co. from Colombia.
Unlike other roasting competitions, the Global Roasting Contest is designed to be inclusive and accessible for local attendees, as well as those who don’t always have the means to participate in other global competitions. There’s no need to buy an extremely expensive roaster to train on.
Ultimately, the Global Roasting Contest will once more highlight and celebrate the work of roasters from around the world at PRF Guatemala. Its low barriers to entry make competing more democratic, while its unique format mitigates judging fatigue and encourages all event attendees to take part.
The event will bring together coffee-roasting professionals from around the world to showcase their expertise and talent. The competition will take place on 7 and 8 March 2024, with all coffees roasted on day one and judged on day two.
On 6 March, there will be a preliminary round when competitors will be divided into pairs. Each pair has 45 minutes to test the competition machine and ask any technical questions. Additionally, each team will receive 150g of washed green coffee and 150g of natural or anaerobic processed green coffee. Competitors can take their roasted coffee samples with them.
On 7 March:
- Each competitor receives 150g of washed green coffee and 150g of natural or anaerobic processed coffee (these will be the exact same coffees received on 6 March)
- Every competitor has 35 minutes to prepare their station, roast one batch of washed coffee, one batch of natural/anaerobic coffee, and create a blend
- The blend must contain a minimum amount of 150g of beans, as well as the competitor’s first and last name, the percentage of coffees included in the blend, and the total performance time
On 8 March:
- The judges will blindly evaluate all samples according to Specialty Coffee Association cupping protocols
- In cases where several competitors receive the same score, their performance time will be considered
- The winner is the competitor with the shortest performance time, as well as the highest score
- Coffees roasted by the second, third, and fourth place competitors will be served at the Brew Bar by PRF volunteers
- All PRF attendees can vote for their favorite coffee, and the competitor with the most votes will be the people’s choice winner
- Final round
- While the judges deliberate on the technical winner, all finalists’ samples will be served at the Brew Bar
- All PRF attendees can taste all three samples and anonymously cast a vote for their favorite coffee via a ballot box
- A technical winner will be announced based on the judges’ scores, as well as the people’s choice winner
At least eight coffee professionals can take part in the Global Roasting Contest, which is open to international applicants. All prospective competitors need to apply in advance and have at least two years of roasting experience, as well as experience working with a wide range of roast profiles.
Additionally, applicants should be able to cope well under pressure and in a competitive environment, and must have a PRF ticket to apply.
The registration deadline for the Global Roasting Contest is 20 February 2024, and you can apply by filling out this form.