For 20 years, the Cup of Excellence (CoE) competition has pioneered integrity and transparency in the coffee industry

Recurrent banner - 1200 contactsThe prestigious international competition Cup of Excellence (CoE) was devised in 1999 by the Alliance for Coffee Excellence with the dual aim of making the complex coffee chain more transparent and fairer to farmers and improving the quality of the various origins. In the competition the samples assessed are restricted to those from producers located in the country selected for the event.

The highly rigorous assessment process is conducted before a jury of experts from the origin country, with the assistance of 20-25 judges from all over the world. The samples are tasted with the cupping method and judged blind. The last ten coffees left after the elimination process are tested according to the same procedure and the one with the highest points score is pronounced the winner. The secret of the success of the Cup of Excellence is that each of the top ten coffees is cupped at least 120 times.

The educational value of the competition goes well beyond the coffee score as it builds technical knowledge and skill that remains in-country for cuppers, roasters, event planners and organizers and builds a shared international vocabulary to describe quality that remains with the thousands of volunteer cuppers making up the national and international juries.

The Cup of Excellence organization has developed a unique set of training programs to give cuppers of all levels across all marketplaces a greater ability to understand and discuss quality. However, many of these programs will target the under-served youth and women in coffee communities giving them skills for professional advancement. Farmers are a priority as an educational program to help small farmers increase their chances of winning and of producing higher quality coffee is being rolled out.

We at ArtonCafé wrote numerous articles about the Cup of Excellence competitions:

2020 Cup of Excellence Results

We’re excited to share with you this breakdown of the results from the 2020 year. It is all thanks to to all the 3,146 farmers who participated, in-country partners and all ACE members who helped make this happen:

  • 201 CoE winners⁠
  • 11 Total Presidential Awards⁠
  • $21.24 average price per pound⁠
  • $185.10 top price (Ethiopia #1 Niguse Gemeda Mude)⁠
  • $4,140,652 total CoE value⁠

Full auction results

Average price comparisons:

  • 2020 Commodity average price: $1.11
  • Specialty Coffee average price: $6.00*

*2019 Specialty Coffee Transaction Guide, median price for 88+ point for coffees less than 1,000 lbs

2020 National Winner Results

The Cup of Excellence “Semifinalists” did well this year! Look for the new National Winner medallion to find these gems:

  • 61 National Winners
  • $418,463 total value
  • $5.97 average price per pound
  • $12.30/lb top price (Inversiones Santonano, S.A. De C.V. of La Esperanza, El Salvador)
  • Full auction results