How it works
Coffee Masters™ is the fast-paced, multi-discipline global barista tournament which has taken place annually at The London and New York Coffee Festivals since 2015.
In 2019, the renowned Coffee Masters™ USA moved from the East Coast to the West Coast for the first time and took place at the Los Angeles Coffee Festival.
Judged by a panel of industry figureheads, the fast-paced knockout battle format of Coffee Masters™ saw 16 baristas showcase their skills head-to-head across a broad range of disciplines: The Cupping, The Brewing, The Latte Art, The Order and The Signature Drink, with The Espresso Blend being included for those who successfully made it to the Coffee Masters™ semi-finals.
In 2019, Mexico's Carlos de la Torre of Café con Jiribilla walked away with a $5,000 cash prize, plus a Slayer Espresso single group espresso machine (including an all-expenses paid trip to Seattle in 2020 with Slayer), a Mahlkönig EK43 and an epic Hario swag bag.
Special thanks to our Coffee Masters sponsors: Slayer, Mahlkonig, Hario, The Little Marionette, Straus Family Creamery and Califia Farms.
The Cupping tests the barista’s ability to understand taste profiles in a highly-competitive time-pressed battle.
Each competitor is presented with six coffees set in a particular order and the competitors have three minutes to taste and memorize the order in which those coffees are placed on the table.
The coffee bowls are then shuffled randomly and competitors have two minutes to taste and return the coffee bowls back to their original order.
The Brewing tests the barista’s ability to choose the right brewing method for a coffee.
The competitor will select one of the six coffees presented in The Cupping round to brew.
This discipline aims to assess the barista’s understanding of grinding (using an EK43) and their ability to select the right brewing method from a Chemex, Aeropress or V60 to maximize taste.
The competitors will be judged on the correlation between their choice of coffee and brewing method, their presentation and the taste of their coffee.
The Latte Art
The Latte Art tests the barista’s mastery of milk, challenging them to create specific patterns in milk-based drinks against the clock.
The judge will roll a dice three times, determining three different coffee patterns that competitors have to replicate and present to the judges.
The presented coffees will be judged on visual appearance of the pattern, milk quality and contrast.
A real world test.
Baristas are challenged to deliver an order of 10 espresso-based drinks, common to a quality café menu.
Baristas will be presented with an order docket, which they will be challenged to produce in nine minutes or less.
The competitors will be judged on their technical skill, cleanliness and time.
The Signature Drink
A signature drink is a coffee based mixed beverage consisting of three or more ingredients, as long as they are safe and legal to use.
Baristas will need to replicate and present the same Signature Drink that they created for their online submission video.
The competitors will present three identical drinks to the judges and will be judged on taste, creativity, consistency and presentation.
The Espresso Blend
The ‘Espresso Blend’ discipline will only occur once contenders have reached the semi-finals.
Baristas will create an espresso blend from the coffees used in The Cupping.
The two finalists will then need to replicate their bespoke blend during the final.
The Origin tests the barista’s ability to identify coffee origins by taste, in a highly competitive time-pressed battle. Each contender is presented with six coﬀees, and a table-top map of the world. The contender will have ﬁve minutes to taste the coffees and place them on the map in the correct geographical location from where they originate.