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
- March 2013
- December 2012
- March 2012
- December 2011
- April 2011
- December 2010
- May 2010
- December 2009
- March 2009
Media Coverage of the Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality
- From Coffee Talk, January 2013
- From Coffee Habitat, January 2013
- "Long Beach's Growing Coffee Culture Brings National Competition.", Long Beach Post, January 2013
- "More than Beans, A Quest for Great Tasting Sustainable Coffee.", TriplePundit, January 2013
- "Rainforest Alliance Cupping Challenge.", CoffeeTalk, February 2011 (PDF)
- "Where Quality Meets Sustainability.", Tea & Coffee Trade Journal, March 2010 (PDF)
- "Rainforest Alliance Cupping.", The Specialty Coffee Chronicle, 2009 issue no. 3 (PDF)
- From Coffee Talk, May 2009
- From Coffee Habitat, April 2009
- "Where Quality Meets Sustainability." From Coffee Talk
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com with inquiries.