2024 Vietnam Roasting Challenge

 

2024 Vietnam Roasting Challenge

Rules & Regulations

1. Conditions of Participation

1.1.Organization

The Vietnam Roasting Challenge (VRC) is organized by Vietnam Coffee Challenge (VCC) using a modified format following the rules and regulations of the World Coffee Roasting Championship (WCRC) for the final rounds with an addition of a technical roasting competition in the initial rounds.

1.2.Conditions of Participation

1.2.1. Age requirement

Competitors must be at least 18 years of age at the time of competing.

1.2.2.  Nationality

Competitors must be a legal resident of Vietnam. All competitors must be able to provide documentation of proof upon request.

1.2.3.  Expenses

All expenses are the sole responsibility of the competitor, including but not limited to the registration fee, travel, accommodation, and meals.

1.3. Conflicts of Interest

1.3.1.  Judging

1. Judges are not permitted to coach any competitors at a VRC event. No communication, consultation, or judging can take place in any form with that competitor for the duration of the competition. If a registered judge has acted as a coach for any competitor, either as the primary coach, supporting coach, or consultant, they must declare that conflict of interest prior to the event and during calibration. Failure to disclose a conflict of interest may result in the disqualification  of  the  competitor.  Failure  to  comply  during  the  event  will  result  in  the disqualification of the competitor and the judge’s removal from judging this competition.

2. In any given year, coordinators or individuals who are involved in the management of VRC should not compete. A year is considered to begin from the time the organization starts planning the event. If an individual would like to submit an exception to this rule, they must declare their position via email to VRC outlining their areas of involvement.

1.3.2.  Other Conflicts of Interest

VRC encourages any potential conflicts of interest to be declared at the soonest opportunity, certainly prior to the commencement of any competition by competitor, judge and/or event organizer. Some potential conflicts of interest are as follows:

1) Competitors that are part of the immediate family of any judge and/or event organizer

2) Competitors that are employees/staff of the organizing committees and/or judges

Failure to declare a potential conflict in advance of the event could result in disqualification from events for an individual, and/or temporarily or permanently barred from joining any future VRC events.

1.4. Enforcement of Rules and Regulations

The VRC will employ these Rules & Regulations throughout the competition. If a competitor violates one or more of these Rules & Regulations, they may be automatically disqualified from the competition, except when the Rules designate a specific enforcement or consequence. If a judge or competition organizer causes the violation of one or more of these Rules, a competitor may submit an appeal to the organizer.

1.4.1.  Health & Safety Clause

All Rules and Regulations are subject to change based on local and venue health and safety requirements or guidelines. VRC will share any Rules and Regulations changes via email ahead of the competition. These changes may include, but are not limited to changes to table sizes or layouts; material of provided vessels or cups; limits on numbers coaches or helpers in the competitor preparation and practice rooms; mask or glove mandates; schedule changes for sanitization; etc.

1.5. Application

1.5.1. Competitor Registration Form

Competitors must complete the VRC Competitor Registration Form online starting July 15, 2024 until slots are still available.

1.5.2.  Competitor Questions

All competitors are personally responsible for reading and understanding current VRC Rules & Regulations and scoresheets, without exception. All VRC documents are available through VCC. Competitors are encouraged to ask questions prior to arriving at the VRC. If any competitor is unclear as to the intent of any of the rules and regulations it is their responsibility to clarify that position with the VRC Rules and Regulations Committee prior to the VRC by contacting [email protected]. Competitors will also have the opportunity to ask questions during the official Competitors Meeting held prior to the start of the competition. 

2. The Competition

2.1. Competition Summary

The competition is comprised of two (2) rounds and will have these components:

1. Round 1 – Technical Roasting

    •       Parameter Selection
    •       Technical Roasting
    •       Technical Roasting Scoresheet Evaluation

2. Round 2 – Production Roasting

    •       Pre-Roasting – sample roast evaluation, and roast plan.
    •       Production Roasting
    •       Production Roast Evaluation

2.2.   Standards and Definitions

2.2.1.  Green Coffee Information

1. All green coffee in the competition will be of the species Coffea arabica. Competitors will be provided with a total of 5 different types of green coffee designated for each roast category: one competition coffee to be used specifically for Single Origin coffee roast, three competition coffees to be used for Blend coffee roast, and one practice coffee to practice with the roasting machine and for the Technical Roasting Competition. Competitors will be informed of the provided coffees on site at the orientation meeting.

2. Green Coffees may have been processed by any of the different processing methods (e.g., washed [wet-process], natural [dry-process], semi-washed, etc.)

2.2.2.  Green Coffee for Competition

    1. Up to 1.0kg in quantity of each green coffee will be provided to competitors at their production roasting time, which corresponds to their green coffee needs. The stage manager will ensure green coffees are randomly pulled from the bulk quantity of each green coffee option. Competitors must use the provided green beans for the production roasting.
    2. Single Origin coffee should be roasted using only the provided Single Origin green coffee, and Blend coffee should be produced using the provided green coffee options.
    3. Each green coffee option provided for the Blend coffee category must use a minimum of 20% of the total weight of the total submission and the production must correspond with the Roast Plan.
    4. Non-compliance with these requirements will result in a score of 0 being given in all categories on the Production Roast Evaluation scoresheet for that coffee.

2.2.3.  Roast Color

Roasted and ground coffee will be evaluated for roast color using the provided colorimeter. Instructions for the roast color evaluation will be given during the competitor tutorial time. Competitors may bring their own roasted coffee sample to be calibrated with the provided colorimeter. If the sponsored colorimeter has multiple reading settings, the setting to be used will be agreed upon and communicated in the orientation meeting.

2.2.4.  Roasted Coffee Submission for Production Roasting

The roasted coffee product will be submitted by the competitor as their final product to be evaluated by judges. The submission should be completed by competitors before their production roasting time is finished. The roasted coffee submissions during the competition will be a total of one Single Origin and one Blend coffee. Competitors will be evaluated only on the work associated with the coffee(s) included in the roasted coffee submission, and no other work. Coffee submitted for judging must be from the official competition coffees. The roasted coffee submission must weigh a minimum of 300g each, presented in the packaging supplied for this purpose. If a competitor plans post-roast blend, the coffee submitted should be the final completely blended product.

2.2.5.  Roast Plan for Production Roasting

Competitors will submit a Roast Plan for each production roast. Competitors should clearly describe the weight loss, temperature, and color reading of their roasted coffee. Competitors should also provide a description of the sensory results of the production roast by completing a descriptive assessment form from the SCA’s Coffee Value Assessment (CVA). The CVA includes intensity ratings and check-all-that-apply (CATA) descriptors. The CATA descriptors correspond to the inner circles of the SCA/WCR/UC Davis Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel. Competitors are also encouraged to add extra descriptors not present within the CATA boxes in the space provided.

The descriptive assessment should be completed for each of the sensory attribute categories that judges assess (fragrance/aroma, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, sweetness, and mouthfeel).

3. Competition Procedure

    1. During competition time, non-competitors should not give assistance or input to competitors, or interfere in any way with  the  competitor,  judges,  stage  manager  or  the competition procedure. Failure to comply with this may lead to disqualification of the competitor.
    2. Officials will warm up roasting machines for a period of 30 minutes before the first competitor is to begin roasting. The roasting machine warm-up temperature will be announced at the competitor orientation meeting. The machines will be returned to the same warm-up temperature before the next competitor competes.
    3. All green coffee will be given to competitors by the stage manager or technical officials right before each activity starts.
    4. No coffee may leave the venue from the beginning of the competition until the competition ends under penalty of disqualification. All coffees for the competition will be collected by officials immediately after each activity (e.g., practice roasting, production roasting, etc.).

4. Machinery, Accessories, and Raw Materials

4.1. Production Roasting Machine

The roasting machines provided will be manually operable 1kg machines and will be installed according to local laws for safety and environmental effects. No use of automation mode will be allowed during the competition.

VRC will make every effort to ensure that competitors can use the same roasting machine for practice, technical roasting and production roasting, but this will not be guaranteed.

4.2. Provided Equipment and Supplies

The competition area will be equipped with the following:

    1. Production Roasting Machines
    2. Cupping Station
    3. Containers and accessories for competition

4.3. Optional Equipment & Supplies

Competitors may bring their own cupping spoon and manual note-taking implements (e.g., notebook, papers, pens, etc.). No electronic devices or items that can provide any additional resources for competitors are allowed to be used during any competition time. Stopwatches or flashlights may be used as long as that is their sole purpose (e.g., no cell phone for use as a stopwatch).

Competitors may only use items provided by the competition (or listed as optional above) during the competition time, no other resources may be utilized.

5. Competitor Instructions Prior to Competition

5.1. Competitor Orientation Meeting

Prior to the start of the Event, a Competitor Orientation Meeting will take place. Meeting details will be emailed to competitors ahead of the event. This meeting is mandatory for all competitors. During this meeting the Event Manager will make announcements, explain the competition flow, cover the competition schedule, and share images of the stage and backstage areas. This will be an opportunity for competitors to ask questions and/or voice concerns to the Event Manager. If a competitor does not attend the orientation meeting and has not made advance plans with the VRC event organizer to address their absence, they are subject to disqualification by the presiding head judges.

Temperature recording and roasting equipment information will also be shared at the Competitor Orientation Meeting.

5.2. Coaches

Instructions or ‘coaching’ may not be provided to a competitor during their competition time under penalty of disqualification. VRC encourages audience participation and enthusiastic fan support that does not interfere with the competition. Coaches, supporters, friends, or family members are not allowed on stage or to interfere with the competition while it is in progress, otherwise the competitor is subject to disqualification by the stage manager or presiding head judge.

Competitors may have 1 coach with them during the open cupping time. However, no coaches are allowed during the competitor’s Production Roast Evaluation cupping.

5.3. Emcees

There is no scored speaking element to this competition, but the competitors may be asked questions by the emcee during competition time and should be available to respond to questions. Competitors may also be included in scheduled interviews by the emcee during the course of an event.

5.5. Be on Time

Competitors should be at the competition area 45 minutes prior to their scheduled competition and practice times. Any competitor who is not onsite at the start of their competition time may be

disqualified. If the schedule is delayed, the competitor and coach must be present for the start of their round. No additional time will be provided if a competitor is late for their competition time.

5.6.   Clean and Organized Area

Competitors should keep their stations clean and organized. If a competitor is disorganized, disruptive, or otherwise unprofessional the head judge may charge a 1-point deduction on the Overall Scoresheet.

6. Practice Roasting

  1. Competitors will have 45 minutes of practice time on the roasting machines, per the schedule determined by organizers.
  2. VRC will provide coffee for practice roasting. This will be the same coffee used in the Round 1 – technical roasting but will not be the same coffee that is supplied for the production roasting. The purpose of the practice roasting allows the competitor to gain working knowledge of the machines and roast logging system provided.
  3. Competitors will not be able to use any of their practice roast profiles on the provided roast logging system from their practice time as a reference curve for their competition roast.
  4. Competitors will receive time calls of 15 and 5 minutes remaining. Competitors may not start a new roast if they have less than 5 minutes remaining.

7. Technical Roasting Round

7.1. Parameter Selection

The host will use a spin wheel to randomly determine the parameters for the participants:

    • Batch Size
    • First Crack Time
    • Expected Agtron Color (measured in ground coffee)

7.2. Technical Roasting

A.Competitors will be given a total of 30 minutes for the technical roasting portion of the roasting competition.

B.During these 30 minutes, competitors will complete two (2) and only two (2) roasts using the selected batch size from the  spin wheel.

C.The first roast will be a practice roast and will be used to determine the first crack temperature. The competitor can roast the first batch as they want but will need to clearly identify the first crack temperature to the technical official. The technical official will write the first crack temperature on the appropriate section of the score sheet. The technical official will also verify the temperature with the competitor. Once the first crack temperature has been identified, verified, and written on the score sheet, this temperature cannot be changed. After roasting the first batch, competitors can take measurements of their roasted coffee with the available equipment. No extra time will be given for any post-roast measurements. No scores will be given for the first roast.

D.Before starting the second roast, the competitor must submit the first roast in its entirety to the technical official in the designated bag.

E.The second roast will be judged and must be completed within the 30 minutes. The selected batch size from the spin wheel will be used. The competitor must roast this batch to meet the selected parameters from the  spin wheel: first crack time (based on first crack temperature from the first roast) and target Agtron color (measured as ground coffee). The technical official will write the time of the first crack based on the temperature given during the first roast. The technical official will use the temperature reading on the roasting machine (not on the data logging software, if used). The competitor must submit their second roast in the designated bag before the expiration of the 30 minutes in order to not receive any penalties for overtime. The Agtron color (ground) will be measured within 10 minutes of submission regardless of the temperature of the submitted roasted coffee. Three (3) color readings will be taken and averaged to produce the final result.

7.3.Scoresheet Evaluation

A.The competitors will receive scores for only two (2) categories:

(1) First Crack – maximum score of 100 points

(2) Agtron Color – maximum score of 100 points

Maximum total score for the Technical Roasting is 200 points

B.The competitor will start with 100 points for each category and points will be deducted as the competitor diverge further away from the target.

C.Score ranges for first crack time (measured in seconds):

+/-10.9 – 0

+/-15.9 – 10

+/-20.9 – 20

+/-25.9 – 30

+/-30.9 – 40

+/-35.9 – 50

+/-40.9 – 60

+/-45.9 – 70

+/-50.9 – 80

+/-55.9 – 90

+/-60.9 – 100

D. Score ranges for Agtron color:

+/- 1.9 – 0

+/- 3.9 – 10

+/- 5.9 – 20

+/- 7.9 – 30

+/- 9.9 – 40

+/- 11.9 – 50

+/- 13.9 – 60

+/- 15.9 – 70

+/- 17.9 – 80

+/- 19.9 – 90

+/- 21.9 – 100

E. For every second the competitor is overtime, the competitor will receive a penalty of 0.5 point per second. A maximum of 30 points can be deducted as a penalty for overtime. Any competitor that is over 60 seconds overtime will be disqualified and the competitor will be asked to stop roasting.

8. Production Roasting

8.1. Pre-Roasting

Competitors will have scheduled times for each part of Pre-Roasting. Competitors will not have access to the competition equipment or coffees except during scheduled times.

8.1.1.  Sample Cupping

A. Competitors will have 1 hour of sample cupping time, per the schedule determined by organizers.

B. Competitors will cup the Single Origin and Blend coffees roasted to 80-85 agtron.

C. Competitors may bring 1 coach with them to Open Cupping. No more than 1 coach is permitted.

D. Competitors, coaches, volunteers, etc. cannot remove any coffees used in the competition from the competition area. This includes roasted sample, practice, and production coffees.

8.1.2.  Roast Plan

A. Competitors will submit their Roast Plan at the scheduled time.

B. The Roast Plan is a written log of the proposed roast profile(s) and the reasons for those selected roast profile(s). Competitors should clearly describe the weight loss, temperature, color reading of their roasted coffee, and provide a description of the sensory results of the production roast by completing a descriptive assessment form from the SCA’s Coffee Value Assessment (CVA). The CVA includes intensity ratings and check-all-that-apply (CATA) descriptors. The CATA descriptors correspond to the inner circles of the SCA/WCR/UC Davis Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel. Competitors are also encouraged to add extra descriptors not present within the CATA boxes in the space provided.

C. The descriptive assessment should be completed for each of the sensory attribute categories that judges assess (fragrance/aroma, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, sweetness, and mouthfeel).

D. Competitors will submit separate Roast Plans for Single Origin and Blend coffees.

E. Each green coffee option will be given to competitors right before their production roasting time. Therefore, competitors should clearly write their required quantity of green coffee for each roast profile.

F. If the competitor plans to do either a pre-roast or a post-roast blend, they should specify each roast profile on each Roast Plan, including the ratio of the blend and the timing of blending.

8.2.   Production Roasting

Competitors will have scheduled times for Production Roasting. Competitors will not have access to the competition equipment or coffees except during scheduled times.

8.2.1.  Roasting Time

A. Up to 1kg of each green coffee for Single Origin and Blend coffee roasts will be issued to the competitor. Quantities of green coffee will be issued according to the competitor’s Roast Plan. Green coffee will be issued before the competitor’s production roasting scheduled time slot. If the competitor chooses to create a post-roast blend, the Roast Plan must state the quantities and order of each different roast profile, and the ratio and timing of blending.

B. Competitors will have an assigned production roasting time and will be assigned 30 minutes for Single Origin and 1 hour for Blend coffee roast(s). The roasting time for each category can be scheduled for different times depending on the overall event schedule. Competitors are responsible for making sure they know when their competition time is and making sure they are there on time.

C. Competitors must place the coffee product on the provided table then raise their hand and call “time” to end their competition time. Competitors may call “time” to stop their roasting time before the end of the allotted time if they so choose.

D. Officials will warm up roasting machines for a period of 30 minutes before the first competitor is to begin roasting. The roasting machine warm-up temperature will be announced at the competitor orientation meeting. The machines will be returned to the same warm-up temperature before the next competitor competes.

E. Competitors will receive time calls of 30, 15, and 5 minutes remaining. Competitors may not start a new roast if they have less than 5 minutes remaining for their competition time.

F. Start temperature is the temperature recorded when the competitor moves the green coffee hopper lever, and the coffee descends into the roast chamber. End temperature is the temperature recorded when the competitor opens the roast chamber. Competitors should check the official temperature recordings with the technical official before leaving the competition station. More temperature recording information will be shared at the competitor meeting.

G. Roasting machines will have time/temperature logging systems, which will log and display real- time roasting information to the competitor, the technical officials, and to the audience.

H. The roast log information will be recorded and saved for the Roast Plan evaluation. For accurate recording, competitors should push the stop button on the logging system immediately after they dump the roasted beans into the tray, or at the same time. In case of any technical issues on the logging system, technical officials will manually log the roasting information, and this will replace the data from the logging system when agreed upon by the head judge and stage manager.

I. Competitors will be given a demonstration and practice time on the time/temperature logging system prior to competition. It is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure the roasting log system is ready, enabled, and logging the roast accurately. Any roasts not logged will be discarded. If the competitor attempts to change the system setting the competitor will be disqualified.

K. If the sponsored roasting machine allows for airflow adjustment, the competitor may choose to utilize this control if they want, however it will not be scored in any way. At the start of each competitor’s competition time the airflow will be reset to a fixed setting announced at the orientation meeting.

L. If the competitor creates a post-roast blend, they must submit a Roast Plan for each roast. The final Roast Plan score for the post-roast blend will be the average of all submitted Roast Plans.

M. Competitors are responsible for and in charge of their roasting process during the competition time. The roasting process also includes charging, dropping, cleaning, and packaging. There will be no assistance provided by volunteers or technical officials.

N. Roast color will be measured by an official designated by the stage manager or head judge. The roast color measurement will be taken between 30 minutes and 4 hours after the submission is completed. If the competitor is post-roast blending, a 50g sample of each coffee must be submitted separately for roast color evaluation

8.3.   Roast Plan Scoresheet Evaluation

The evaluation scale for the Roast Plan Scoresheet is 0 to 3. 0 – None to evaluate or out of acceptable range

1  – Not very accurate (acceptable/average)

2  – Somewhat accurate (good/very good) 3 – Very accurate (excellent/extraordinary)

Weight Loss Evaluation Scale (Percentage)

The end weight of each roast will be measured by technical officials during the production roasting time and scored. Competitors will need to specify the expected weight loss percentage of each roast. To earn a score “Very Accurate”, the expected weight loss will have no more than +/- 0 to 2% difference from the actual weight loss percentage measured by the technical officials. 1 point will be deducted for every subsequent +/- 2% of variance. A weight loss variance exceeding +/- 6.1% will result in 0 points.

Weight Loss Percentage Evaluation Scale: 3 = +/- 0 to 2%

2 = +/- 2.1 to 4%

1 = +/- 4.1 to 6%

0 = more than +/- 6.1%

Temperature Evaluation Scale

The start and end temperatures of each roast will be measured by technical officials during the production roasting time and scored. To earn a score of “Very Accurate”, the temperature will accurately be described on the Roast Plan Scoresheet. 1 point will be deducted for every subsequent 4ºC of temperature variance. A temperature variance exceeding +/- 8.1ºC will result in 0 points.

Temperature Evaluation Scale: 3 = Accurate

2 = +/- 0.1ºC to 4ºC

1 = +/- 4.1ºC to 8ºC

0 = more than +/- 8.1ºC

Color Evaluation Scale

The roast color of each roast will be measured by technical officials during the production roasting time and scored. To earn a score of “Very Accurate”, the roast color will be described within 3 points of variance on the scale. 1 point will be deducted for every 3 points of variance. A roast color variance exceeding +/- 9.1 points will result in 0 points.

Color Evaluation Scale: 3 = +/- 0 to 3

2 = +/- 3.1 to 6

1 = +/- 6.1 to 9

0 = more than +/- 9.1

 8.4.   Production Roast Evaluation

A. Competitors and judges will participate in cuppings, featuring all the roasted coffees submitted. The cupping tables for competitors and judges will be separated and may be scheduled for different times.

B. The Production Roast Evaluation by judges for each coffee category may be scheduled on different days depending on the overall event schedule.

C. The Production Roast Evaluation by judges for each coffee category (single origin and blend) may be comprised of 2 tables of cupping. The first table will consist of the submissions of the competitors whose roasting times were in the first half of the schedule. The second table will consist of the submissions from the remaining competitors.

D. All Production Roast Evaluations will be double blind. An official will mark each competitor’s submitted coffee with a code and keep an answer key to decode the coffees. A second official will create a new code from the first official’s set of codes, mix the order, and keep a separate answer key.

E. 3 cupping judges and 1 non-scoring head judge who have overseen the previous day’s competitions will cup together. Judges may not physically touch or lift the cups at any time, and judges will ‘break crusts’ (stirring the cups to collapse the coffee grounds) as arranged by head judge. Only cupping judge scores will count towards the total scores.

F. 3 to 5 cups of each coffee will be prepared to common industry cupping standards and practices, and the cupping will proceed according to the direction and protocol established by the head judge. All cupping judges and competitors should listen carefully to directions from the head judge and follow all directions and protocols.

G. Judges and competitors will be expected to follow standard SCA cupping protocols and may not physically touch or move cups at any time.

H. The head judge will be designated by VRC (based on judging and professional experience) to oversee the competition and lead the calibration, deliberation, and debrief during the competition.

8.4.1.  Production Roast Evaluation Preparation

A. All samples will have been rested for a minimum of 8 hours.

B. The sample shall be ground as close to the cupping as possible. Samples should be covered between grinding and brewing.

C. Samples should be weighed out as whole beans to the ratio of 8.25g per 150ml of water.

D. Grind particle size will be slightly coarser than typically used for paper filter drip brewing. The grinder setting used for the Production Roast Evaluation will be announced on site at the orientation meeting at the discretion of the head judge. 3 to 5 cups from each sample should be prepared to evaluate sample uniformity.

E. Prior to the first cup of each coffee, the grinder will be purged by grinding a cleansing quantity of the sample. Then the grinding of each cup will commence, individually into the cupping glasses or bowls, ensuring that the whole and consistent quantity of sample gets deposited into each cup. A lid will be placed on each cup immediately after grinding.

F. Water used for cupping should be clean and odor free, but not distilled or softened. The water should be freshly drawn and brought to approximately 93ºC at the time it is poured onto the ground coffee.

        •       Chlorine: None
        •       Calcium Hardness: 50–175 ppm CaCO3
        •       Alkalinity: At or near 40–70 ppm CaCO3
        • pH: 6–8

G. Once the judges finish dry fragrance evaluation, the hot water should be poured directly onto the measured grounds to the rim of the cup, making sure to wet all the grounds. The grounds will be left to steep undisturbed for a period of 4 minutes before evaluation begins.

8.4.2.  Evaluation Procedure

A. First, judges will complete a descriptive assessment of the production roast, beginning with a visual inspection for roast color.

B. For the following cupping steps, judges will first assess the overall intensity of the attribute category (fragrance, aroma, etc.). They may place a tick anywhere along the intensity scale, even between integer numbers. If the intensity changes over time, judges may add a second mark and show the direction of change with an arrow above the scale. Then they will mark the specified number of “check-all-that-apply” (CATA) descriptors for the category by ticking the relevant CATA boxes. Following that, the judges may also add other descriptors. This may be necessary if the judges would like to identify a very precise descriptor or when there is a clear note that does not belong to any category.

C. Fragrance of the dry grounds is assessed, and its overall intensity rated. The characteristics found in fragrance are marked in the corresponding CATA section. The affective score of Fragrance is also marked at this point.

D. After infusing with water, judges will assess the aroma of the crust and leave it unbroken for at least 4 minutes. Judges will again assess the aroma while the crust is broken, rating its overall intensity, and marking any additional characteristics found in the CATA section or adding any required additional descriptors.

E. Flavor, Aftertaste, Acidity, Sweetness, and Mouthfeel: when the sample has cooled to 70ºC, the sensory descriptive evaluation of the coffee should begin by assessing the brew in the mouth. A spoonful of brew from each cup is slurped into the mouth in such a way to cover as much area as possible, especially the tongue and upper palate. Judges assess each section, working their way down the descriptive assessment form.

F. Judges will repeat the assessment at least three times, as the sample cools down. If the intensity or attributes of a section changes as the samples cool, judges will re-mark the section (intensity and/or CATA boxes) and draw an arrow to indicate the direction of the change.

G. Descriptive assessment of the samples should cease when the samples reach approximately 20ºC.

H. Once the judges have completed each category of the descriptive assessment of the roasts provided, they will mark the remaining affective scores in the “affective coffee evaluation” section on the scoresheet (all but “Fragrance”, that has been already assessed while the grounds were still dry). Judges will also score the production roasts in the “Overall” category at this time.

I. Accuracy scores will be determined by the judge after the blind evaluation, in deliberation, by comparing the descriptive assessments provided by the competitor as a part of their roast plan with the judges completed descriptive assessments.

8.4.3.  Production Roast Cupping Scoresheet

Scoring is based on the Production Cupping Scoresheet. The scoresheet includes 2 types of scores: affective coffee evaluation and accuracy of coffee descriptors. Roast defects are also part of the scoresheet.

A. Coffee Evaluation

The words in parentheticals are meant to draw parallels to 9-point hedonic scale used to evaluate an assessors’ perception of quality. Although the scoring range is a full 0-9, we do not anticipate the use of scores 1-3 in the context of the competition.

0 – None to evaluate

(1 – Extremely Low) (2 – Very Low)

(3 – Moderately Low)

4 – Acceptable (Slightly Low)

5 – Average (Neither High nor Low) 6 – Good (Slightly High)

7 – Very Good (Moderately High) 8 – Excellent (Very High)

9 – Extraordinary (Extremely High)

i. Available scores range from 0 to 9. Half points are not allowed. A score of 0 indicates that nothing was available to score in this category (e.g., that no coffee was served to the judge to evaluate). Scores of 0-3 require the approval of the Head Judge. These scores and terms are reflective of the affective assessment completed under the SCA’s Coffee Value Assessment (https://sca.coffee/value-assessment).

ii. Judges will rate their impression of quality of each component on the scoresheet, based on their perception of the component and their understanding of how that component will be valued in the marketplace from a quality perspective. The Overall section takes into consideration the combination of the components.

iii. “Aroma” is defined as the smell of the coffee brew. Judges will first evaluate the intensity of the aroma, marking their perception of the sample’s intensity using the scale on the scoresheet, before evaluating and noting their perception of the aroma’s complexity and clarity. Finally, judges will note any descriptors that are especially associated with the aroma of the brewed coffee (e.g., “fruity,” “sweet,” “chocolate”).

iv. “Flavor” is defined as the combined perception of basic tastes (including sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami) and aromatic qualities, mostly perceived retro-nasally. It represents the coffee’s principal character, the “mid-range” notes, in between the first impressions given by the coffee’s first aroma and acidity to its final aftertaste. It is a combined impression of all the gustatory (taste bud) sensations and retro-nasal aromas that go from the mouth to nose. The score given for Flavor should account for the intensity, quality, and complexity of its combined taste and aroma, experienced when the coffee is sipped into the mouth involving as much of the palate as possible during evaluation.

v. Closely related to “Flavor,” “Aftertaste” is defined in coffee cupping as the combined sensation of basic tastes and aromatic qualities that remain after coffee has left the mouth, either via swallowing or spitting. Judges will evaluate Aftertaste based on the length of positive flavor (taste and aroma) qualities emanating from the back of the palate and remaining after the coffee is expectorated or swallowed. If the Aftertaste detracts from the experience of the cup

(e.g., astringency or bitterness), lower marks should be given; whereas if the aftertaste contributes positively to the experience of the cup, higher marks should be given.

vi. “Acidity” is defined as the perception of acid in coffee, often described as “brightness” when favorable or “sour” when unfavorable. At its best, acidity contributes to a coffee’s liveliness, sweetness, and fresh fruit character and is almost immediately experienced and evaluated when the coffee is first slurped into the mouth. Acidity that is overly intense or dominating may be unpleasant, however, and excessive acidity may not be appropriate to the flavor profile of the brewed coffee.

Judges will first evaluate the intensity of acidity in the brewed coffee, from low to high, recording it in the corresponding scale, before noting any descriptors that are especially associated with the acidity of a coffee. Broadly understandable descriptors are most valuable.

vii. “Sweetness” is defined as the impression of a sweet taste or scent in brewed coffee. If a judge perceives a sample as “sweet,” they will evaluate the intensity of perceived sweetness in the brewed coffee, from low to high, before noting any descriptors that are especially associated with the perceived sweetness of the sample (e.g., “brown sugar,” “pleasant,” “overpowering”).

viii. “Mouthfeel” is defined as the tactile sensation of coffee in the mouth, based solely on a coffee brew’s thickness and texture (not flavor). “Thickness” refers to the perceived weight or viscosity of the brew (e.g., “thin” or “light,” “thick” or “heavy”), while “texture” refers to the perceived sensation of grittiness or smoothness (“rough,” “creamy,” “smooth,” “mouthdrying”). Judges will first evaluate the “thickness” (“weight” or “viscosity”) of the brewed coffee and mark this as “intensity” using the scale on the scoresheet, before noting any descriptors that are especially associated with the thickness or texture of the coffee. Brews with light or heavy mouthfeel may receive high scores relative to the quality of the tactile feeling in the mouth. Some brews with lighter mouthfeel may also have a pleasant feeling in the mouth. However, coffees expected to be high in body can receive equally high preference scores although their intensity rankings will be quite different.

ix. The “Overall” scoring aspect is meant to reflect the holistically integrated rating of the sample as perceived by the individual judge. The perception of “balance,” or how the various aspects of Flavor, Aftertaste, Acidity, Mouthfeel, and Sweetness of the sample work together and complement or contrast to each other, may factor into this score. A judge’s perception of the stability of the sample, or how well it “holds” its character over time as it cools, may also factor into this score. A sample with many highly pleasant aspects, but not quite “measuring up” would receive a lower rating. An exemplary example of preferred characteristics not fully reflected in the individual score of the individual attributes might receive an even higher score.

This is the step where the judges make their personal appraisal.

8.4.4.  Accuracy of Coffee Descriptors

     A. The words in parentheticals are meant to draw parallels to the descriptive words used in the traditional 6-point scale used to evaluate experience common across the WCCs.

0 – None to evaluate or out of acceptable range 1 – Not very accurate (acceptable/average)

2 – Somewhat accurate (good/very good) 3 – Very accurate (excellent/extraordinary)

B. Available scores range from 0 to 3. Half points are not allowed. Judges should score as follows: A score of 0 indicates that nothing was available to score in this category (e.g., no descriptors were named). A score of 1 indicates that the elements in this category were incorrect or not very accurate (acceptable/average). A score of 2 indicates that elements in this category were somewhat accurate (good/very good). A score of 3 indicates that elements in this category were mostly or all accurate (excellent/extraordinary). All scores are weighted and multiplied by

C. Scores of 0 require the approval of the head judge.

D. The judges will compare the information submitted by competitors in their roasting plans with their sensory experience for each of the components of the scoresheet to evaluate this category.

8.4.5.  Roast Defects

A. There are multiple Defects that may arise from the roasting process, which can affect the quality of the sample negatively. They are scored on a zero to five scale based on the intensity of the Defect as perceived by the judge. A score of zero would mean that the Defect was not present and a score of five would indicate that the Defect was overwhelming the sample. These Defects are: Underdevelopment, Overdevelopment, Baked, and Scorched.

B. Underdevelopment: Underdevelopment relates to insufficient development of acidity, sweetness, and flavor through roasting. It tastes like aggressive acidity and flavors at the front of the palate with no finish or aftertaste. It may also be involved with green/vegetative notes in the SCA Flavor Wheel.

C. Overdevelopment: Overdevelopment relates to the destruction of flavors via excessive roasting. It tastes like when all acidity and flavor have been muted. It may also be associated with Roasted references on the SCA Flavor Wheel.

D. Baking: Baking relates to the stalling of the caramelization process. It tastes like popcorn, or hard cereal/oat flavors. It may also be involved with cereal notes in the SCA Flavor Wheel.

E. Scorching: Scorching relates to the application of excessively high heat in roasting. It may taste like ashy or burnt notes in the SCA Flavor Wheel.

F. The roasting defects listed above found by cupping judges and agreed upon by the head judge will be part of the cupping score evaluation.

8.5.   Scorekeeping

8.5.1.  VRC Official Scorekeeping

The VRC official scorekeepers are responsible for adding all scores and for keeping all scores confidential.

8.5.2.  Competitor’s Total Score

The competitor’s total score will be the combination of the scores from the Technical Roasting and the Production Roasting. The Production Roasting score will be calculated by adding the Roast Plan scoresheet total(s) to the Production Cupping scores from each sensory judge, and then by subtracting any penalties.

8.5.3.  Tie Scores

A. If there is a tie between 2 or more competitors, the competitor with the higher Production Roasting score will be ranked higher.

B. If there is still a tie between 2 or more competitors, the competitor with the higher total Single Origin Production Cupping score will be ranked higher.

C. If there is still a tie between 2 or more competitors, the competitor with the higher total Blend Production Cupping score will be ranked higher.

D. If there is still a tie the competitor with the higher Single Origin Roast Plan Scoresheet will be ranked higher.

8.5.4.  Debriefing

Following the competition, competitors will have an opportunity to review their scoresheets with the judges by the schedule announced by the event organizer, this may be in person or online.

Competitors will not be allowed to keep their original scoresheets, but will be allowed to take a picture of their scoresheets for their own record.

8.5.5.  Overtime Penalty for Production Roasting

If a competitor has not finished their roasting or submission during their allotted time period, they are allowed to proceed until the submission is completed. One-quarter (.25) point will be deducted for every 1 second over the allotted time from the competitor’s total score, up to a maximum penalty of 15 points (1 minute). Any coffee submitted 1 minute after the conclusion of the competition time will be disqualified (i.e., the evaluation of the coffee submission will not be added to the other evaluations of the competitor). 

9. VRC Champion

The judges are looking for a champion who:

    1.     Demonstrates the ability to use and master roasting equipment.
    2.     Demonstrates mastery in the ability to control the roasting machine during roasting.
    3.   Demonstrates the ability to develop the roast to meet the planned taste.
    4.   Describes accurately the final roasted product as defined in their Roast Plan.
    5.     Produces the best quality roast with the coffee provided.

10. Representing Vietnam in the Asia Open Roastmasters Championship

A. The top three (3) ranking competitors will have the opportunity to represent Vietnam in the Asia Open Roastmasters Championship 2024 (AORC 2024) to be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

B. If any of the top three (3) ranking competitors are not able to attend the AORC 2024, the slot will be passed down to the next ranking competitor in descending order. This process will take place until there are three (3) competitors able to attend the AORC 2024.

11. Technical Issues

A. During the competition, if the competitor believes there is a technical problem with any of the VRC-provided equipment, they should contact the head judge or VRC stage manager immediately.

B. If the head judge agrees there is a technical problem that can be easily resolved, they will decide the appropriate amount of time for the competitor to be credited. Once the technician has fixed the problem, the competitor’s time will resume.

C. If the technical problem cannot be solved in a timely manner, the head judge will make the decision whether or not the competitor should wait to continue their competition or stop and start again at a reallocated time.

D. If a competitor must stop their competition time, the competitor, along with the head judge and stage manager will reschedule the competitor to compete in full again at a later time.

E. If it is determined that the technical issue is due to competitor error, the head judge may determine that no additional time will be given to the competitor, and the preparation or competition time will resume without time being credited.

ALL CONTENT FORMS RELATED TO ROASTING COMPETITIONS CAN BE FOUND HERE

BẢN DỊCH TIẾNG VIỆT THAM KHẢO

Vui lòng lưu ý, bản dịch tiếng Việt chỉ nhằm mục đích tham khảo, không phải là bản chính thức. Tất cả quy định & nội dung đều được lấy từ bản tiếng anh là Quyết định chính thức của Roast Challenge.

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Giới Thiệu

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Với đội ngũ con người có chuyên môn và tâm huyết trong ngành cà phê, Vietnam Coffee Event mang sứ mệnh đem đến sân chơi công bằng cho các bạn Barista và nâng cao giá trị nghề pha chế, đồng thời kết nối cộng đồng cà phê trong và ngoài nước vững mạnh.

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