The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) has revealed that its first Cup of Excellence (COE) program in Ethiopia has received a record-high number of 1459 samples entered into the competition. The amount surpasses the previous COE record by more than 400 sample entries.
The samples received at four collection centers in Jimma, Hawassa, Diredawa, and Addis Ababa, are now at the COE Center – sensory lab and coffee warehouse – in Addis Ababa for the evaluation by the National Jury. The coffee farmers who submitted their beans into the competition are now waiting for the results of the first two stages of evaluation to find out if their samples have been included in the top 150 coffees.
“This is an opportunity for farmers like me to get incentives for quality,” says Abajihad Abajisa, a producer in Jimma zone.
The owners of the top 150 samples will be submit a consignment of the same coffee, between five to 20 exportable bags, for the next round of evaluation. The National Jury, made up of Ethiopia’s top coffee tasters, will go through several rounds of cupping over the next four weeks to select the best 40 coffees out of these 150 consignments.
These top 40 coffees will advance to the International Jury for the final week of the judging process, from 7 to 10 April in Addis Ababa. The COE Ethiopia winning coffees will be up for sale on 28 May via an internet auction open to ACE members.
The official opening of the Cup of Excellence competition center in Addis Ababa on 6 February 2020 was led by Umer Hussein, Ethiopia’s Minister of Agriculture, and Dr. Adugna Debela, the Director General of the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority.
The first-ever COE in Ethiopia has been made possible by an ongoing partnership with United States Agency for International Development’s Feed the Future Ethiopia Value Chain Activity, ACE, and the Ethiopia Coffee and Tea Authority.
The COE program has been discovering coffees, rewarding farmers, and creating market access for farmers since 1999.
Images: Farmers submitting samples in Hawassa. Credit: Feed the Future Ethiopia Value Chain Activity funded by USAID