Cup of Excellence — Expanding the Reward for Farmers

On any given day a coffee farmer works, waits and wonders. He and his family hope that this is the year that his coffee rewards him with a price that gives him a leg up, allowing him to do more than just feed his family; he hopes this is the year that life will be better with more opportunities for his children; he hopes that just one roaster or importer loves the quality of his coffee enough to pay the extra premium and make his efforts worthwhile.

This has been Cup of Excellence. It has been the shining hope for farmers that their coffees will be good enough to impress the judges, inspire the bidders and change their future. For thousands of farmers COE has turned hope into reality and it still continues to do just that.


But what happens when Cup of Excellence demands ever-higher quality and a coffee must score very high points? What happens when too many small farmers do not believe they can win? They may not take the chance, they may not enter, and they may sell their coffees at a much lower price elsewhere.

When beautiful coffees remain undiscovered, everyone loses.

What is the solution then?

Introducing the new 2016 Alliance for Coffee Excellence National Winner program, giving more farmers a chance to be recognized. Farmers that have great coffees but that did not win Cup of Excellence – farmers that, even last year, would have been winners – now have an opportunity to hope for a premium and build a marketplace relationship.

These national winning coffees have been deemed the best by the national jury and are perfect for roasters wanting to find high quality, specialty milled, farmer-identified coffees for their line up. Buying a national winner can help create a new farmer relationship giving many more farmers hope that by entering Cup of Excellence there is a reward even if they do not win. Listed on its new online platform, ACE now provides easy access to these excellent semi-finalist coffees.

Cup of Excellence buyers will remain focused on the best of the best with prices reflective of their uniqueness. Global coffee leaders and members of The Alliance for Coffee Excellence will continue to support extraordinary farmers, advances in infrastructure, transparency and will keep breaking through the barriers of what is possible. As fewer coffees win Cup of Excellence, buying an ACE national winner, in addition to Cup of Excellence, will usher in a new level of economic sustainability for the now famous competition and auction.

Becoming an ACE member and supporting both programs is easy. Log in to to register for membership, receive samples, participate in the auction, bid on the coffees and support a deserving farmer’s hope and wonder.

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