Coffee Champs isn’t the only coffee competition kicking off this weekend. The Barista League, “Scandinavia’s most exciting and fastest growing barista competition and event” is also getting their 2017 season started with their event taking place at The Barista School in Oslo, Norway. 14 teams, three rounds, The Barista League is putting a new spin on coffee competitions.

Created by Steven Maloney, the 2016 Swedish Barista Champion, the Barista League is more informal than your typical barista competition.

I wanted to create a competition with no barriers to entry. Anyone can show up and compete. No fees, no equipment, no training, just come and compete, have fun and drink some beers together. I wanted to put the focus and the emphasis on the baristas, not the winners or who has the most expensive coffee.

For the first event of the season, each team of two competitors will be given 10 minutes to brew the best cup of a mystery coffee that they possibly can. It’s like the compulsory round of the Brewers Cup compressed into 600 seconds, which probably means no manually culling the coffee before brewing. That’s just Round One. Those that make it to Round Two will have their sensory skills put to the test, having to match five coffees to their corresponding pairs from a total of 10 cups. And for Round Three? Who knows. It’s a secret.

On Sunday, the Barista League will host an auxiliary event, “Inside the Dirty Mind of a Roaster,” where six roasters from the Nordic world—including the likes of da Matteo, Talor & Jørgen, and Love Coffee Roasters–have been invited to cup and evaluate coffees. Each roaster will have one offering on the table, but they won’t know which coffee from their current lineup it will be. The goal is to have an “open and honest conversation, without sales pitches or nonconstructive criticism” and to “demonstrate the thoughts and processes that go on behind the scenes.”

More information about The Barista League, all the goings-on this weekend, and the auxiliary event can be found on the Barista League’s website. Registering to attend Inside the Dirty Mind of a Roaster can be done here. Seating is very limited, so register sooner rather than later.

Zac Cadwalader is the news editor at Sprudge Media Network.

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