The Golden Bean competition, North America’s largest coffee roasting competition, returns from a three-year hiatus in Columbus, Ohio, from August 16th to 20th. Judges will evaluate nearly 1,000 coffee samples submitted by hundreds of participating roasters.
Why it matters:
Now in its eighth year, The Golden Bean competition is one of the most highly-anticipated meeting grounds for artisan roasters on the continent.
- The size of the competition reveals that many coffee roasters now have the energy, bandwidth, and finances to participate in community events that are not core to the business model, signaling a shift from the survival-oriented business practices from the last couple of years.
The full extraction:
The Golden Bean North America pits roasters against each other by brewing and scoring coffee entries in a variety of categories, with the primary three being (1) espresso, (2) milk drinks, and (3) filter coffee.
- Each category will have a gold, silver, and bronze winner. However, to be considered the overall winner—the Golden Bean Champion—roasters must submit their coffees across all three categories. All three scores will be added together to determine the winner.
- Roasters may also enter coffees into additional categories: (4) alternative milk, (5) decaf, (6) elite, (7) chain-store espresso, (8) chain-store milk, (9) chain-store filter, and (10) super automatic.
- Event attendees will have opportunities to taste coffees from participating roasters, attend networking events, meet green coffee producers, and learn from industry experts and panels during educational sessions.
- Gold and silver medal winners of the North America event will be eligible to compete in the Golden Bean World Series against the Australia and New Zealand event champions. Winners will travel to Hawaii later this year to duel it out for the Golden Bean World Champion title.
The new ‘Elite’ category is reserved for high-end and rare coffees, allowing roasters to compete with beans that would be considered anomalies in the standard competition categories.
- “Being edgy is sometimes risky, but in our world, the planned risk takers end up setting the standard and create new trends,” writes Sean Edwards, founder of the Golden Bean competition. “We have created the Elite coffee category exactly for these ‘risky coffees,’ like coffee that is fermented, barrel aged, and yeast processed.”