DARRIN DANIEL, Executive Director of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence and Cup of Excellence, reflects on this year’s partnership with Automating Excellence.
Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) is excited to provide award winning coffees from our Cup of Excellence (CoE) program for this year’s Automating Excellence.
The combination of leading super automatic manufacturers with the very best coffees from farmers in various countries provides a rare opportunity to provide attendees with a challenge to extract the very unique flavors these coffees have to render.
As the most prestigious awards in coffee, CoE has affected thousands of farmers since its inception in 1999 – its unmatched focus on quality discovery, farmer premiums, and transparency has changed the specialty coffee industry. CoE has always pioneered discovery, rewarding it through our competition and auction structure. Once limited to Brazil, we now work in 11 countries throughout Latin America and East Africa, with our sights set on working new countries such as Indonesia. Last year, we welcomed Perú to our suite of countries.
How much are these coffees scrutinized? Entries are first evaluated in Pre-Selection before advancing through rounds 2 and 3 with the National Jury, on average made up of 12 members. Once passed through to the International Jury of 28 members, entries will go through a further three rounds of evalua- tion before winners are announced. There are 300 pre-selection entries, making for a total of approximately 3600 cups evaluated by our juries over the course of the competition. By the time the top ten coffees are cupped in Round 6, judges need to take more time eval- uating, becoming more intimate and familiar with each coffee (routinely scoring 90+ at this point) before determining which is worth of the presidential award.
Our mission is to provide the very best Head Judges and Juries from over 15 consuming countries’ coffee buyers and roasteries – through this rigorous competition format, ACE and CoE have served as a bridge be- tween coffee farmers and those who work in the supply chain at origin with the very best coffee companies around the world.
Automating Excellence wishes to explore that very concept through espresso extraction of single origin, award winning coffees. Every cup of coffee has a story and the innovation represented by the various espresso machine manufacturers within Automating Excellence offers attendees time to reflect on what’s in their cup, positing questions about automation, quality, and relationships while honoring those farmers who work so hard to provide the best coffees in the world.