To all Chapter Members:
The global pandemic continues to have an unprecedented effect on our industry and all that we do together in what is inherently a very social and connected community. With the announcement around WoC in Athens being cancelled and WBC & WBrC being undecided this is an indication of the uncertainty around of when we will gather together in a real environment beyond the current realms of virtual connections. As the UK Chapter the competitions have been at the core of what we do and the sense of community and purpose that these bring is always inspiring and a way to showcase the extraordinary talent that we have in the UK.
We had mostly finished the 2020 season and those winners have opted to compete in the 2021 World Championships in Taipei currently planned for the end of November and Athens, which is still under change of date/different venue from June. We don’t currently have a Champion for the 2020 season of Latte Art and Roasting which are due to be in Taipei and we are looking at ways of finishing these competitions in a safe and timely manner ready for Taipei. We appreciate your patience and understanding in these times so that we can progress the best and safest course of action for our members.
I am pleased to announce that we are planning for Latte Art to take place at Caffe Culture in September, this will be continually reviewed with the hosts for any changes in restrictions, but hopefully we will be able to run the competition their with our sponsors Sanremo.
We have also been looking at the way in which entry to competitions take place and want the input from our members. We are looking at having to have reduced numbers compared to normal at the moment to allow time for correct sanitisation, social distancing etc throughout the competition as well as potential testing for judges/competitors, but we will continue to review Government guidance at rules around this.
The current system is fastest finger first, so we release the entrance tickets at 9am on a set day and first people to register get a place. We have made changes in the past so that only 1 place can be ordered from one device at a time to make as fair as possible, but someone always misses out, and also 9am may not be the best time for ease of access to people. So our thoughts are below:
- Keep the entrance system exactly as it is. Open limited number of tickets at 9am on a set day, fastest registrants get the places, and the waiting list is based on emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org in time order.
- Change the time for registration to an evening when it is potentially easier for people to have access to booking places.
- Create a ballot system where anyone can purchase an entrance place for a 24 hour period and then places are drawn by random, non successful places get an immediate refund, few extra names are drawn for waiting list.
No system is completely fair when we are oversubscribed on numbers in competitions like Latte Art which is why we need you input. We will create a quick survey and let you, our members, decide. We will most likely go forward with the system that you choose for the next few and monitor, and listen to feedback.
For roasting we are looking at the logistical challenges of running the competition with current guidance, but hope to announce something regarding that soon.
We are keen to start the 2022 season as and when restrictions ease and are trying to plan as much as possible in the background to start this season.
As we have more clear understanding of what we can do and when we will share with our community.
Please keep your eye out in the coming few weeks for more announcements.