March 16, 2017

Going to SCA? Try These 2017 Cup of Excellence Winning Coffees


It’s been two years since Cup of Excellence (CoE) was last held in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Mexico. But this year, the competition is going strong – and next month, at the SCA Global Expo in Seattle, you’ll be able to cup some of the winning coffees.

Spanish Version: ¿Irás a SCA? Prueba estos Cafés Ganadores de la Taza de la Excelencia 2017

Cupping Cup of Excellence coffees

International judges cup the 2016 CoE coffees. Credit: Cup of Excellence

What Is The Cup of Excellence? 

The CoE acknowledges and awards farmers of exceptional-quality coffee. Any coffee that scores over 86 points is considered to have won, although of course more prestige goes to the top-scoring lot. The competition is the most well-known of several awards ceremonies and auctions in the specialty coffee industry, all of which help to raise the profile of producers and their coffee on a global scale.

It’s also associated with record-breaking prices – the kind that even make mainstream news. This has helped shift consumers understanding of quality, especially since the discovery of Geisha. And last year, the first-place Honduras coffee broke the CoE-price record again.

Coffee being brewed

The record-breaking coffee from El Puente, Honduras. Credit: Cup of Excellence

SEE ALSO: Producer Perspective: Why Coffee Auctions Should Be About More Than Coffee

El Salvador & Nicaragua CoE Begins

Nicaragua and El Salvador have already submitted their coffees and are waiting to hear the results of the first cupping – the pre-selection round. On April 4th, international judges will begin evaluating the coffees ready for the final winners to be announced.

These are the earliest two cuppings, and neither event ran in 2016. But this year, over 245 farmers will compete in Nicaragua alone. All of the country’s regions are represented, with washed, semi washed, honey, and natural processed coffees on the table. 

Cupping table in El Salvador

Cupping for pre-selection in El Salvador. Credit: Cup of Excellence

Anyone Can Try CoE-Winning Coffees at SCA

While the winning coffees will be bought by specialty roasteries around the world, you don’t have to have purchased them to cup them – or at least, you don’t if you’re heading to the SCA Global Expo next month. (See our Events Calendar for more events like this.) 

“El Salvador and Nicaragua winners will be on display directly from their awards ceremonies and we know these will blow everyone away,” says Darrin Daniel, Executive Director of The Alliance for Coffee Excellence. “Every year, coffees change and we delight in the discovery of new flavors and approaches… This year will be especially thrilling given that it has been two years since El Salvador, Nicaragua and Mexico held a Cup of Excellence competition.”

Perfect Daily Grind is not affiliated with any of the individuals or bodies mentioned in this article, and cannot directly endorse them.

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