Cup of Excellence is the world's most prestigious and recognized competition for Specialty Coffee. Within three weeks, all specialty coffees are tasted blindly at least five times. The evaluation is made by the international jury of at least 25 people, which is composed of excellent coffee experts from all over the world. It is the highest award for a coffee to receive more than 85 points and to be among the winners, who achieve top prizes at the subsequent auction. Not only the number of points and the placement order are decisive for the price. Each of these coffees is unique, they are absolute rarities.The award "Cup of Excellence AWARD WINNER“ is awarded only to the participating and award-winning coffee and not to the entire farm. These are therefore always very small and strictly limited amounts of the respective top-cheek.
Specialty Coffee is not a marketing concept such as gourmet coffee, premium coffee, luxury coffee, etc., but corresponds to a defined standard. "Specialty coffee" was first used in 1974 by Erna Knutsen in an issue of Tea & Coffee Trade Journal. Knutsen used this term to describe beans of the best flavor which are produced in special microclimates.The Specialty Coffee Association of America (www.scaa.org) has developed globally recognized, objective and rigorous assessment criteria.
The coffee is judged according to 10 criteria:
Aroma, acidity, body, character, sweetness,clarity,
balance, finish, aftertaste and overall impression.
For each criterion 10 points can be assigned from "0" for not available to "10" for onetime. Only the coffees, which reach a rating of more than 80 points, are called "specialty". The excellent coffees get more than 85 evaluation points.
The American non-profit organization Alliance for Coffee Excellence Inc. (ACE), which is supported by farmers and coffee-makers from more than 50 countries, supports the appreciation of outstanding coffee products throughout the world. ACE has been organizing the Cup of Excellence competition since 1999, ensuring the establishment of objective evaluation standards and unparalleled integrity and transparency in the coffee industry.
Cupping is the purest way to evaluate coffee´s basic attributes: fragrance, aroma, sweetness, acidity, body, aftertaste, uniformity and cleanliness.The beans are ground, water is poured over the grounds, and the liquid is tasted both hot and as it cools. Cupping coffee is a labor of love for coffee aficionados.
Coffee professionals and hobbyists seek to determine coffee quality and compare coffees in a process that is fun and exciting. Novice cuppers are encouraged to invent their own terms when first introduced to the revolving table and silver spoon.