We know competing in a Regional or National Championship can be daunting – especially if you’re a first-time competitor. To help make the process as straightforward as possible, we’ve compiled a bunch of frequently asked questions below, in relation to all competitions that ASCA runs.

Can’t see the answer you’re looking for, or have a confidential question that you need to ask the Competitions Committee? You can email competitions@aasca.com with the following information and we’ll aim to respond within 48 hours:
Competitor Name:
Contact Details:
Competition Name:
Rule No. in question:
In this question confidential?
Details on question:

Please note that if your question isn’t confidential, we may add the answer to our FAQ’s to ensure they remain as comprehensive as possible.

Registering for a competition

How can I register to compete?
You must first be a valid ASCA member. All competitors must have purchased their own membership, or have a membership assigned to them through their company. You must then use your own account to log into the members only area at the top right of the screen, and click on the Events button. From here, you purchase your nearest regional competition. 

Can I use someone else’s account to register to compete?
No you cannot. You must login with your own details prior to purchasing the competition.

Do I have to live in Australia, or be a citizen, to compete in the competition?
As per WBC rules:
Competitors must hold a valid passport from the country he or she represents or documentation substantiating 24 months of residency, employment or scholastic enrolment, some portion of which must have been within 12 months preceding the qualifying national competition. Competitors may only participate in one country per WBC Competition Year. A WBC Competition Year is defined as the time period between the completion of one year’s WBC Event and the completion of the next year’s WBC Event.

What happens if I cant make my regional competition?
If you can’t attend the regional competition in your state, or your nearest state, you can attend another regional competition, as a prerequisite to ranking in the country, to make it into the top 12 and compete in the ASCA Australian Coffee Championships. However, if you are attending an alternative regional competition, you will not be able to place. The Central Regional Champions (or 2nd Place or 3rd Place winners) must reside in NSW or ACT, the Southern Regional Champions (or 2nd Place or 3rd Place winners) must reside in Tasmania or Victoria, the Western Regional Champions (or 2nd Place or 3rd Place winner) must reside in South Australia or Western Australia, and the Northern Regional Champions (or 2nd Place or 3rd Place winners) must reside in Queensland or NT.

Can I compete in more than one regional competition?
You cannot compete in the same discipline in more than one regional competition. You can compete in more than one regional competition if you are competing in different disciplines, however the same rules still apply as above with regards to winning/placing in regions outside your own.

Can I compete in more than one country?
No you can’t, even in a different competition. WCE have recently clarified their rules and updated this point. Competitors are restricted to one National Body/Chapter for all National Championships in a given competition year. The easiest way to find out which competition year you are in, is by asking which World Coffee Championship (WCC) your NB event is qualifying you for.

How can I compete at Nationals?
To compete in the ASCA Australian Coffee Championships which take place annually at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo, you must either win your competition to win automatic entry into the semi or final competitions, or rank in the top 12 baristas for that category in the country to be eligible to compete in Open Heats. Any remaining positions will be granted to competitors based on their national ranking.


What rules are we using?
For the 2020 Competition Year we will use 2019 world rules for all regional competitions.

At the 2020 Nationals we will then use the 2021 updated rules (subject to WCE release), which are usually released at the beginning of the year. The rules can be found at the following links. Please note there are some variances off the world rules for ASCA competitions, please see notes below.

Please note, changes announced by World Coffee Events regarding multiple station set-ups, options to set espresso machine temperature, and team rules only apply to the world competition. All national bodies must continue to offer standard station set-up and espresso machine configurations.

Please note we do not have the art bar at the Regional or National level, but will run a semi-final at National level. We also may use different cups than the official rules, please see Equipment and Sponsored Products. We only use the Final Round rules at every level of our regional and national competitions, which means we now only use the larger size cup.

Please note we don’t hold compulsory service at the Regional level, however it is held during the semi-finals at National level. The semi-final at a National level will consist of a compulsory round and an open service round – the top six (6) combined scores will progress to the final round. The Final Round at a National level is open service only. The compulsory score from the semi-final will be added to each score from the Final Round to determine the winner.


We run a Preliminary and Finals round for Coffee in Good Spirits at a National level. There will be no spirit bar.

For the Australian Coffee Roasting Championship, we will use the world rules with the following exceptions:

  • 2.1 B – competitors should submit the roasted coffee as a final product in a provided bag of 500 grams
    Change relates to roaster size
  • 2.3 C – A 1kg quantity of green coffee, one from each available option
    Change relates to roaster size and in-availability of a sample roaster
  • 2.3 J – A coffee-roasting machine designed for roasting 500g – 1kg samples will be provided
    Change relates to roaster size and in-availability of a sample roaster  
  • 2.3 K  The roasted coffee submission must weight a minimum of 500g each presented in the packaging supplied
    Change relates to roaster size
  • 2.3 D – “Up to 3.0kg quantity of each green coffee will be provided
    Change relates to roaster size
  • 2.4.1 – Machines on which to do sample roasts
    Change due to availability of Equipment
  • 5.0 A Competitors may be given 45 minutes of practice time on the roasting machines
    Change due to time constraints.
  • 6.1 A – “Up to three (3) kilograms of each green coffee
    Change relates to roaster size

Will there be competitor practice time?
Most regional competitions allow for practice time, typically the day before the competition. You will be emailed your practice time slot one week before.
Please note: competitors may not be practicing on the same station and machine that they’re competing on.  

Do I have to use the provided grinder?
As per WBC rules you must use sponsored equipment. Please see the sponsored equipment section of this FAQ below.

Can I change anything on the grinder?
No you cannot.

How many rounds are there?
At all regional competitions, there is only one round of competition. For the Latte Art competition, this uses the same rules at the “Final Round” as per the World Latte Art Championship. For the Brewers Cup, we follow open service round rules only.

Barista Championships

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Latte Art

What cups are we using for the Latte Art Championship?
The 2020 Latte Art Championship will be using 80mL and 300mL Loveramics Egg cups.

What milk are we using?
White milk for the 2020 Latte Art Championships will be Pauls Professional full cream milk. Vitasoy will be available at all competitions.

Are we doing the art bar for the Latte Art Championship?

Coffee in Good Spirits

What are the Irish coffee glasses being used?
Libbey Catalina Irish Coffee – 251mL

Who is the spirit sponsor?
Licor 43 Original 700mL. All competitors will receive a bottle for practice.

Will there be Spirit Bar?

What is the table set up being used?
We will be using the same set up specified for National Bodies required by WCE in the WBC rules

What machine and grinder will be used?
ASCASO Barista T 2 group set to 94 degrees Celsius and Mahlkonig Peak and EK-43 using the water and water filters specified in the Equipment and Sponsored products section of this FAQ


Roasting Championships

How much green coffee will I receive?
About 3kg

When will the coffee be adjudicated?
Friday 27th March 2020 at the 2020 Condesa Co Lab Australian Coffee Championships in Adelaide

What grind setting and cupping bowls will be used?
Grind size will be approximately 10 on the EK or roughly 8:30 if viewing it as a clock face using standard Mahlkonig burrs.
Standard SCA cupping protocols will be followed. 8.25 grams per 150 mL of water in a ceramic bowl or glass that is 7 to 9 fluid ounces in volume with water at approximately 93 degrees Celsius.

What water will be used?
Please see Equipment and Sponsored products section of this FAQ

When is my roasted coffee sample due and where do I send it?
Please send your roasted samples to:
Coffee World
C/ ASCA Cameron Ballard
1/1 Barrpowell Rd
Welland SA 5007

Roasted samples are due by 25th March 2020. Any samples that are not received in time will not be able to be adjudicated at the 2020 Condesa Co Lab Australian Coffee Championships.

Please include your roast plan, green grading scoresheets and the defects (ONLY the defects not the whole sample) you remove during your green grading for confirmation of correct identification (the whole sample does not need to be submitted).

Equipment and Sponsored Products

What water are we using?
For regional competitions, all water is tap/mains water only, and filtered through Pentair Everpure Carbon Block Filter EV9691-76 2FC-S cartridges fitted to the espresso machines.

For all competitions at the 2020 Condesa Co Lab Australian Coffee Championships, Aqua-to-Go water will be used and is available from Officeworks. Espresso machines will be fitted with the same Pentair cartridges used at regionals.

Testing of Aqua-to-Go was conducted on a sample of water provided by Aqua To Go by a government accredited lab, National Measurement Institute (NMI) with the following results:

Total Dissolved Solids 120 mg/L
pH 6.7
Calcium 12 mg/L as the Ca²⁺ cation (30 ppm as CaCO₃)
Magnesium 9.1 mg/L as the Mg²⁺ cation (37.5 ppm as CaCO₃)
General Hardness 67.5 ppm as CaCO₃

Bicarbonate  80 mg/L as the HCO₃⁻ anion (65.6 ppm as CaCO₃)


These values are only valid for the sample tested by NMI and only given as a guide and by no means representative of the water being used at Nationals. Competitors are encouraged to test the water they practice with.


What Espresso Machines are we using, and what’s the set-up?
For the Vitasoy Barista Championship, Pauls Professional Latte Art Championship and MONIN Coffee Chain Challenge, machines will be Victoria Arduino VA388 Black Eagle volumetric espresso machines.

All machines will have Pullman Filtration Baskets, competition version, size 19g to 22g, and large stem pipe (1.5mm). All machines will be temperature and pressure calibrated, to 130 psi ( 9 bar) 93.4 degrees via a scace and spirit levelled. All machines will be flow rate tested. All machine will have the shot timers turned off. All machines will be levelled on the competition benches.

Barista Championship competitors can choose their temperature per WBC rules – these temperatures must be communicated to ASCA Stage Managers ahead of time and cannot be adjusted by competitors on-stage.

Machines for the 2020 Coffee in Good Spirits Championship are yet to be announced.

What grinders are available?
Mahlkönig EK-43 and Peak grinders will be provided per WCE rules as current for 2021.

Grinders for the 2020 Coffee in Good Spirits Championship are yet to be announced.

Terms & Conditions

Are there terms and conditions to compete?
Yes, ASCA has a number of terms and conditions that you agree to when you register to compete. Please click here to view all terms and conditions. It’s important that you read them carefully and understand them to ensure you are eligible to compete.
If you are unsure about any terms and conditions, please email competitions@aasca.com 


Can I both judge and compete in the competitions?
You can’t judge and compete in the same WCE sanctioned competition anywhere in the world. For example, you can’t judge the Australian Barista competition, and then compete in the barista championship in another state. You also can’t compete in the New Zealand barista championship, if you judged in the Australian one. You can judge and compete in different competitions. i.e. judge the Barista Championship then compete in Cup Tasters.

How do i become a judge?
You must first be a valid ASCA member. All judges must have purchased their own membership, or have a membership assigned to them through their company. You must then use your own account to log into the members only area at the top right of the screen, and click on the Events button. From here, you purchase your nearest regional competition.

Can I choose which event I judge at?
You can choose to judge at any regional event. However, judging at Nationals is invitation only to ensure that our judges are the highest possible standard.

For more information on judging, click here.


How does the #ASCATop12 ranking system work?
After every regional competition, all competitors will be ranked, based on their final score, against all other competitors in the country. As each regional competition takes place, the scores will be considered in the national tally, revealing the running top 12 competitors in the country that will be published on the ASCA web site. Please note that there will be no weighing by region, all scores will be compared to reveal the running top 12 from across the country.

For more information on the #ASCATop12, click here.