How does Cup of Excellence work?
The Cup of Excellence competition is open to all farmers and coffee companies throughout the country – large or small and private or public coffee washing stations are free to enter samples for cupping and judging.
A sample must score at least 86 points from a possible 100 at each stage in order to advance to the next round of the competition (of which there are 6). Samples with major defects are eliminated at the start and the samples with minor defects may not even achieve the 86 points required to continue past the first round.
The strict sample preparation protocols ensure that cuppers score only the quality in the cup – the influence of variables such as roast, grind and water quality etc. are minimized.
Cup of Excellence consists of 6 rounds of cupping. Rounds 1 to 3 are judged by a national jury from Burundi and filter the entered samples down to a maximum of 40 after which an international jury takes over for rounds 4 to 6.
The National Jury is made up of experienced professional cuppers from Burundi and they cup all coffees entered at pre-selection and all those which then advance to the National Jury week (ending at round 3).
The International Jury members are importers, buyers and other skilled coffee cuppers mostly from consuming countries. There are also 2 national juries who join the International Jury to cup the final 3 rounds of the competition and to identify the coffees which are awarded Cup of Excellence and selected for the online auction.
If you’d like to find out more or see rankings from around the world, check out their website: https://allianceforcoffeeexcellence.org/cup-of-excellence/