For 20 years now, the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) has been putting on Cup of Excellence competitions to cup, score, and ultimately auction off some of the best coffees produced in a given country. Beginning in 1999 with the inaugural competition in Brazil, the Cup of Excellence has expanded into 11 total countries, including Guatemala, Colombia, Rwanda, and Burundi. This year, ACE was poised to add yet another country to that list this fall with the first ever Indonesian Cup of Excellence competition. But due to funding issues, ACE has announced the postponement of that competition.
The Cup of Excellence was going to be the culmination of a pilot project started by ACE earlier this year, but according to a statement released earlier this week, “the organizing committee and country coordinators within Indonesia (SCAI) have hit a few hurdles in terms of funding and ACE has made the decision to temporarily postpone the on boarding of the Cup of Excellence into Indonesia.” No timeline for the reimplementation of the program were given, but the ACE has stated that one requirement will be that “SCAI can properly fund and manage the program.” In the statement, they do offer hope of having a clearer picture of how to move forward some time later this year.
But it’s not all bad news coming from ACE. Last week saw the completion of the seventh Cup of Excellence competition in Burundi. 131 coffees from 11 provinces were entered into this year’s competition, with a total of 23 of those going on to auction. The winning coffee, a naturally processed Bourbon from the Gatukuza washing station in the Ngozi province scored a whopping 90.13, the only coffee to break the 90-point mark. A washed Bourbon from the Gitwenge washing station in the Kayanza region just barely missed the mark, taking second with a score of 89.92. These and the other 21 selected coffee will be made available via internet auction on Thursday, September 19th.
And last month, ACE teamed up with Qima Coffee, a London-based importer of Yemeni specialty coffee, for a first-ever Private Collection auction. Out of a field of nearly 500 micro-lots, a total of 33 coffees were selected to be put up for auction. With over 400 bids placed from buyers in 10 different countries, the auction raised a total of $163,664.19, averaging a price of $36.13 per pound. Top honors go to producer Yahya H. Al-Lahaba “from the region of Sana’a, Al Hayma Al Kharijiya and a member of Al-Ruwad Cooperative,” whose 92.5-point naturally processed coffee fetched a total of $199.05 per pound from buyer Prussian Blue Coffee in China.
For more information on upcoming auctions or past results, visit the Alliance for Coffee Excellence’s official website.
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.
Top image via the Alliance for Coffee Excellence