Cup of Excellence


In the coffee world, the Cup of Excellence is the highest award a coffee can receive. Find out more about this extraordinary competition here.

The highest coffee award in the world

In the coffee world, the Cup of Excellence is the highest award a coffee can receive. It is held annually in the coffee-growing countries of Africa, South and Central America and organised by the Alliance For Coffee Excellence (ACE). The Cup of Excellence jury awards prizes to the best coffees in a country, which are then allowed to carry a seal until the next COE. This seal is used to identify the best beans of the season, but before a coffee is allowed to carry this seal, it has to convince many people of its uniqueness.

The participants

The number of coffees submitted annually per coffee country is between 300 and 900, depending on the size of the country. Brazil has accordingly more submissions than a small country like Rwanda. To be able to make a pre-selection, you need patience and a keen sense of taste, because only the best beans should make it to the second round in the end. For the pre-selection of the coffees, a national jury is appointed to determine the best of the submitted coffee samples. It consists of staff from the national coffee organisations, exporters and Q graders.The coffees submitted will be cupped by the jury over five cups. That is, five infusions of each coffee are placed side by side and each is tested.

The procedure

The coffees submitted will be cupped by the jury over five cups. This means that five infusions of each coffee are placed next to each other and each of them is tested.
The national jury focuses its pre-selection on the search for flavor uniqueness and evaluates a coffee's aromas, flavor, sweetness and acidity, body and the balance between the individual components. In the end, about 60 coffees remain to meet an international jury made up of the most influential coffee roasters, coffee buyers and coffee sellers in the world. The ACE, the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, is responsible for the jury's position.
In this second round of judging, all coffees are tasted blind. This means that the jury has no information about the coffee samples, only the taste counts. During the cuppings, the coffees are evaluated by the jury and the points awarded are compiled and checked by independent examiners.coffees that score over 86 points move on to the next round.for orientation: the highest score is 100, but even we have never given any coffee 100 points. All coffees that have reached over 86 points are then tasted and evaluated again. In most cases, this is between 20 and 30 coffees.
Members of the ACE 'Alliance for Coffee Excellence' can then bid on these coffees in a worldwide online auction. 19grams has been a member of ACE for many years. We participate in the international juries every year and buy winning coffees through the international auction.