United states CUP TASTERS Championship

Different taste preferences are found in coffee cultures around the world, and the U.S. Cup Tasters Championship (USCTC) does not ask contestants to judge or evaluate coffee for these preferences. Instead, the competition challenges competitors to test their sensory skills by discerning taste differences in a “triangulation.” Tasters receive 8 sets of three cups, or triangles, where two cups are identical and one is different. The competitor with the ability to taste, smell, concentrate, and recall, those with the most correct answers in the shortest amount of time wins.

Road to the U.S. Cup Tasters Championship

In 2017, there will be two events leading up to USCTC that will include qualifying events for all the U.S. Coffee Championships. Cup tasters will need to compete at a CoffeeChamps event to qualify for the national championship.

There will be 24 competitors at each Qualifying Competition. 12 competitors from each Qualifying Competitors will advance to U.S. Cup Tasters Championship. The top 3 competitors from each Qualifying Competition move directly into the Semi-Finals round of USCTC in Seattle, WA, held April 21-23, 2017. The next 9 competitors from each Qualifying Competition will be invited to compete in the first round of USCTC.

We have created a list of Frequently Asked Questions. Any additional questions may be emailed to competitions@sca.coffee.

Registration is closed for this event. We are still accepting registrations via email for a final few spots. To register for the Cup Tasters Qualifying Competition, please email competitions@sca.coffee.

Registration Information

To view registration fees, please click here.

Important Competitor Registration Information and Updates for Qualifying Events

For the purpose of transparency and access to the competition, we have reduced the rules for regions and number of competitors per company.

However, our intent is to have a broad representation of competitors from across the United States. We encourage you to send no more than two tasters per company.



November 9th @ 9am PST: Registration Opens

December 30th @ 5pm PST: Registration Closes
(or when competition is full, whichever comes first)

Online Learning Sessions

All competitors & judges are required to join one Online Learning Session from the following options:

If you missed the Online Learning Session you can watch it here.

Format for Cup tasters championship

The Qualifying Cup Tasters Competition will be a condensed version of the USCTC. Tasters will receive 6 triangulations in one round of competition.

At USCTC, there will be 3 rounds of competition. Competitors who placed 4th-12th at each Qualifying Competition will be offered a spot in the First Round on Friday. 6 of these 18 competitors will move into the Semi-Finals round on Saturday and be joined by the top 3 from each Qualifying Competition. The 3 competitors with the most correct answers in the fastest amount of time will advance into the Finals round on Sunday. One of these 3 will be named our U.S. Cup Tasters Champion!

The winner of the U.S. Cup Tasters Championship will represent the United States in the World Cup Tasters Championship. The World Cup Tasters Championship will take place June 13-15, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary!



Grinder: Mahlkonig EK43

Coffee Brewer: Curtis G4TP2T

Airpot: Curtis 1.5 Gallon Gravity Server

Water: Global Customized Water