Directly from the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, the organizer of the Cup of Excellence Competitions:
Cup of Excellence is the most prestigious competition and auction for high quality coffees. The level of scrutiny that Cup of Excellence coffees undergo is unmatched anywhere in the specialty coffee industry. Each year, thousands of coffees are submitted for consideration, with winning coffees sold in global online auctions at premium prices, with the vast majority of auction proceeds going to the farmers.
The Cup of Excellence competition has pioneered integrity and transparency in the coffee industry, ensuring the value of winning coffees. Each sample entering the competition process is assigned a number known only to the auditor for each competition, and each jury member cups the coffee blind. In addition, each lot is documented through the entire process so that winning coffees are traceable to the farm and exact micro-lot.
Since 1999, the Cup of Excellence (COE) program has set the standard for the increased premiums that farmers have been able to receive for their exemplary coffees. It continues to build a much more transparent infrastructure and gives farmers the tools needed to improve the economic model of their farms. COE raises funds for coffees farmers in coffee growing countries incentivizing and motivating farmers who know there can be a recognition and financial reward for their hard work and effort.
The competition is rigorous, with cupping evaluations conducted over a three-stage process by industry experts: first by a National Jury of about a dozen qualified jurors from the origin country, and then by an International Jury, comprised of approximately 20-25 experienced jurors from around the world. A competition with 300 entries yields an average of 9,000 analyzed cups, with each “Top 10” coffee being cupped at least 120 times. This process ensures elite top-quality consistent coffees enter the COE auction.
Our green coffee partners Mercanta and its founder Stephen Hurst have been part of Cup of Excellence since its inception, and Stephen recently was part of the hand picked Jury for the 20th anniversary Cup of Excellence in Brazil. Our dear friend Grant Rattray was also the MD of Cup of Excellence for a number of years. Sadly we have just had the 2nd anniversary of his untimely passing.
For more information:
Origin Coffee Roasting has been a supporter of Cup of Excellence since its earliest days and we are one of the few supporters of Cup of Excellence amongst South African roasters.
We have imported many lots over the years so that South Africans can taste some of the rarest and highest quality coffees on earth.
We have personally participated as judges in three CoE competititons – owner Joel Singer, in Rwanda & Bolivia, and our ex-head-roaster Mike MacDonald, also in Rwanda.
I can personally attest to the extraordinarily rigorous competition process and protocols, and the extraordinary quality, skills & experience of the international (and local) jury members.
We have split these lots with other top roasters worldwide including:
Owner: Gemeda Elias Dube
Region: Shakiso, West Guji
We are proud to have this very special, naturally-processed, lot from the inaugural Ethiopia Cup of Excellence Competition. This is an exceptional, award-winning coffee from Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, Ethiopia, which can rightfully claim to be one of the premier coffee origins worldwide.
Owner: Montana Estates, S.A. de C.V.
Region: Sonsonate, Apaneca-Ilamatepec
Owner: Felix Valdés Q. y Hnas. Sucesores
Region: Sacatepequez, Ciudad Vieja
Owner: Ecoagricola Cafe Ltda
Region: Francisco Dumont, Minas Gerais
Owner: Manuel Guillermo Zaghi Miron
Region: San Juan Sacatepequez,
Owner: Coordinadora De Productores De La Zona Centro Del Estado De Veracruz Sc De Rl De Cv
Region: Huatusco, Veracruz
Owner: Guadalupe Rodriguez
Region: Masaguara, Intibuca
Owner: Antonio Rigno De Oliveira
Region: Piatã – Ba, Chapada Diamantina
Owner: Ferdinand Ufiteyezu
Region: Huye, Huye, South
Owner: Rosales Vasquez, Mauricio
Region: La Libertad, Huehuetenango
Owner: Eleodoro De Jesús Villatoro
Region: La Libertad, Huehuetenango
Owner: Multiple farmers on lot
Region: Rusizi, Western
Owner: Inversiones Mimosa, S. A.
Owner: Guillermo Magaña Flores
Region: Alotepec-Metap N., Santa Ana
Owner: Helcio Carneiro Pinto Junior
Region: Carmo de Minas, Minas Gerais
Owner: Musigiyende Casien
Region: Rulindo, Northern
Owner: Juan Carlos Gregg Meza
Region: Apaneca, Ahuachapán, Apaneca-Ilamatepec
Owner: Nzirorera Lanouard
Region: Huye, South
Owner: Jesus Lizcano
Region: Cubarral, Meta
Owner: Gutierrez Vasquez, Viviano
Region: Jalapa, Jalapa