April 20, 2015, New York: The Rainforest Alliance is releasing detailed scores from its bi-annual Cupping for Quality event. The cupping featured 49 coffee samples from Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Kenya and Rwanda, which were reviewed by a panel of expert cuppers. Balzac Brothers hosted the event at their SCAA certified lab in Charleston, South Carolina.
This year, the average score was 83.87 Points; 80 is the threshold for specialty categorization, according to SCAA cupping protocol. These results demonstrate that the sustainable farming practices required for Rainforest Alliance certification can lead to a better tasting cup of coffee. The highest score – 88.68 points – went to Gathacha, a farm located in Kenya. KZ Noir, the first Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farm in Rwanda, also competed in the spring cupping. This is the first Rwandan coffee to be cupped at the Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality.
In an effort to link sustainable farming practices with coffee quality, the Rainforest Alliance established its Cupping for Quality program in 2003. “It is no surprise to see the quality of coffees evaluated at our cupping events improve year after year,” said Alex Morgan, senior manager of sustainable agriculture at the Rainforest Alliance. “The cuppings enable us to help farmers identify areas for improvement. These farmers are going above and beyond, improving the quality of their beans while conserving natural resources, protecting wildlife habitat and supporting local communities.”
Top 10 Scoring Coffees
1. Gathacha – Kenya, 88.68
2. Manantiales Del Frontino – Colombia, 86.78
3. Moredocofe PLC – Ethiopia, 85.97
4. San Ignacio – Colombia, 85.95
5. Gicherori – Kenya, 85.25
6. Kamwangi – Kenya, 85.25
7. Kilenso Mokonisa – Ethiopia, 85.11
8. Karengera Coffee Ltd – Rwanda, 85.00
9. Ngerwe – Kenya, 84.89
10. Belete – Gera WaBuB/Oromia Forest & Wildlife Enterprise – Ethiopia, 84.86
Spring 2015 Cuppers
Emma Chevalier, Revelator Coffee Company
Matt Sheridan, American Coffee Corporation
John Moore, Noble Tree/Fal Coffee
Hunter Craft, Zephyr Green Coffee
Lowell Gross, Charleston Coffee Roasters
Richard Keane, Balzac Brothers
Samantha Keane, Balzac Brothers
Mark Andros, Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen
Jennifer Stone, Demours Coffee
Daniel Mulu, Coffee Quality Institute
Brian Aliffi, Caribou Coffee
Andreza Mazarao, AC Café Brazil
Marty Curtis, Combustion Systems
Linda Smithers, Daterra Coffee
In 2013, more than 454,962 metric tons of coffee was produced on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, a 20 percent increase over 2012. In 2014, that number jumped to 662,000 metric tons. Coffee from Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM farms now represents over 5.2 percent of global production.
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The Rainforest Alliance is a global non-profit that works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior. The Rainforest Alliance CertifiedTM seal is an internationally recognized symbol of environmental, social, and economic sustainability that helps both businesses and consumers identify products that come from sustainable sources and vote with their dollars to help support a brighter future. For more information, visit www.rainforest-alliance.org.