The Cup of Excellence is the most prestigious award given to a fine quality coffee. The level of scrutiny that Cup of Excellence coffees undergo is unmatched anywhere in the coffee industry. All of the Cup of Excellence award winners are cupped at least 5 times (the ‘Top 10’ are cupped again) during the 3-week competition.
This week (May 12-16) in Costa Rica, international judges will taste 32 samples of coffee in order to earn a place in the international Cup of Excellence Auction 2014, a live event to be held on 24 June.
During this selection process, thousands of cups are evaluated, tasted and scored based on their exemplary characteristics. The prices that these winnings coffees receive at auction have broken records and proven that there is a huge demand for these rare farmer identified coffees.
Currently, the Cup of Excellence program takes place in 10 specialty coffee producing countries in East Africa and in Central and South America: Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Rwanda.
Winning the Cup of Excellence always changes the life of a coffee farmer. He or she is a star and for that one nervous, exhilarating moment is applauded and proud walking up on the stage and accepting the applause, knowing that their hard work, attention to detail, maybe their very livelihood is being recognized as important to the entire country. Some are very shy never having been in any kind of public spotlight. Many are humble country folk – and this is evident as they shake hands with an ambassador, the vice president or even the president of a country, their expression clearly showing the huge elation of winning.
Being selected as one of the winners at Cup of Excellence means recognition and reward for the grower. Cup of Excelence has been a springboard for many growers and has secured longterm relationship with international buyers which, in turn, allows for further investment in the farm and brings security for familes and communities.
The Cup of Excellence program and trademark are owned and managed by the Alliance for Coffee Excellence Inc. (ACE), a US-based non-profit organization. ACE works in partnership with host country coffee organizations to execute the selection process and the internet auction and to advise on and manage any other quality coffee programs that enhance the understanding and appreciation of exemplary coffee.
ACE is overseen by a Board of Directors. We also work in close cooperation with coffee organizations in each of our partner countries to design program elements and strategy. A small team manages every aspect of the program to ensure success.
Source: Alliance for Coffee Excellence