Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality

Since 2003, the Rainforest Alliance has conducted coffee cuppings modeled after similar cupping events in the specialty coffee industry. The Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality is an opportunity for Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffees to undergo systematic evaluation by a group of industry experts. The evaluation recognizes exceptional coffees that carry the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal and highlights the linkage between sustainable farm management practices and high quality. The event also seeks to provide producers of Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffees with valuable feedback on ways to continually improve their cup quality.

This event takes place twice each year according to various coffee harvest cycles, once in New York during the springtime to sample Central and South American coffees, and once in December in Long Beach to evaluate coffees from origins including Brazil, Peru, East Africa and Indonesia.

The official results of the Rainforest Alliance Cuppings are publicized in key trade publications and media outlets and shared with coffee buyers around the world. The participating producers are recognized each year at the Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Coffee Breakfast, which takes place at the Specialty Coffee Association of America's (SCAA) annual tradeshow and symposium.

Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality Results

Media Coverage of the Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality

Cupping for Quality Press Releases

How to Submit a Sample

Participation in the Rainforest Alliance cupping is reserved for farms that are in compliance with the Sustainable Agriculture Network Standard and have a current farm certificate. Participants can submit a maximum one sample for each certificate holder.

If you are interested in submitting a sample please use the guide below to find the appropriate individual, as indicated below. Samples submitted without notification, or post-deadline, will not be accepted.

For sample submission inquiries, please contact cuppings@ra.org.

Sample Requirements

5 pounds / 2.5 kilograms green coffee.

Maximum one sample for each Rainforest Alliance certificate holder.

Interested in Participating as a Cupper?

The Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality is an invite-only event. Cuppers are carefully selected based on their reputation and knowledge of specialty coffee, their current engagement with the Rainforest Alliance certified™ coffee program, and their commitment to sustainability in the coffee industry. Interested Cuppers should contact cuppings@ra.org with inquiries.