The Specialty Coffee Association dropped a bombshell by announcing Friday, Sept. 10, that the United States Coffee Championships have been postponed until 2022. The popular event, which generally draws huge crowds, was scheduled alongside the 2021 Specialty Coffee Association Expo in New Orleans set to take place from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3. All competitive events, including the Cup Tasters, Roaster, Latte Art, and Coffee in Good Spirits Championships will now occur at an unspecified future date.
The coffee expo in New Orleans will be the first significant event held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center since Hurricane Ida caused widespread damage to the state. According to the SCA, the convention center building “sustained light damage during the storm, which has since been repaired.”
The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is the sixth-largest convention facility in the nation. It consistently ranks among the country’s top 10 facilities, in terms of the number of its annual conventions and tradeshows.
“We at the SCA are committed to putting on the best event we possibly can so our industry can restart, so we can reconnect, and rebuild,” SCA CEO Yannis Apostolopoulos said. “Many coffee companies rely on Expo for their businesses. This is especially true for producers, importers, exporters, manufacturers and allied businesses around the world. This is the main reason we do a trade show — we’re using our convening power to bring buyers and sellers together, business to business, person to person. This has enormous value, and these companies need this.”
The Specialty Coffee Association announced it would be donating 50% of all Expo attendee revenue to the city of New Orleans’ coffee businesses as they rebuild after Hurricane Ida.
This year, the Expo will feature strict COVID-19 protocols, including temperature checks upon entry, mask mandates, and proof of negative PCR tests within 72 hours of badge pickup for all attendees. Proof of vaccination will not be sufficient to gain access to this year’s event.