The Cup of Excellence was founded in 1999 and is considered the most prestigious competition and auction for high quality coffees. The aim of the competition is to provide farmers with fair payment for their high quality coffee on the one hand and to establish international relations on the other hand.
Every farmer can participate in the competition with his best coffee.
The judging of the cups takes place in a three-stage process. First by a national jury, consisting of about a dozen qualified jurors from the country of origin, and then by an international jury, consisting of about 20-25 experienced jurors from all over the world. This means that in competition with 300 entries, an average of 9,000 analyzed cups are judged, with each "top 10" coffee being couped at least 120 times. This lengthy process ensures that only top coffees of consistent quality make it into the COE auction.
Each year, thousands of coffees are submitted for consideration. The winning coffees are sold at premium prices in global online auctions, with the majority of auction proceeds going to farmers.