Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality Scores Announced at Sustainable Coffee Breakfast

April 20, 2012

Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms in Ethiopia, Colombia, Guatemala, and El Salvador earned top marks at the spring session of the Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality. The results were announced this morning at the annual Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Coffee Breakfast at the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s annual tradeshow in Portland, Oregon.

This was the largest cupping yet, with a total of 90 samples from nine origins submitted to the event, which took place at the InterContinental Exchange Grading Room in New York City during the last week in March. A panel of expert cuppers participated in the two-and-half-day event. The samples were prepared by Combustion Systems Sales & Service’s Marty Curtis, who also led the cupping.

The highest score -- 86 points -- went to Idido/Kokie Farmers Cooperative, smallholder farmers located in the mountain forests of Yirgacheffe in Southern Ethiopia. Over 95 percent of the samples scored above 80, the threshold for specialty coffee -- an indication that sustainable farming practices often contribute to the production of high-quality coffee. Rainforest Alliance Certified farms are required to adopt socially and environmentally beneficial farm management practices. In an effort to link sustainable farming with cup quality, the Rainforest Alliance developed its Cupping for Quality program in 2003. 

“Since the very first Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality event in 2003, it has been a joy to see improvements all along the way -- and not just quality improvements, but also new origins with certified production and overall increases in the available certified supply,” said Chad Trewick, cupper and senior director of coffee & tea at Caribou Coffee. “This event is testament to the great benefits of recognizing and rewarding quality within a pragmatic and effective certification program.”

“I believe that most of this advancement is a result of sustainable practices instituted over the years,” said Marty Curtis, Lead Cupper and founder of Combustion Systems Sales & Service.

The Top Ten Scoring Coffees

Idido/Kokie Farmers Cooperative YCFCU

Ethiopia

86.13

Wotona Bultuma Farmers Cooperative SCFCU

Ethiopia

84.88

Grupo Supia Zona La Quiebra

Colombia

84.85

Gidibona Sheicha Farmers Cooperative SCFCU

Ethiopia

84.83

Green Coffee Agro Industry Plantation farm

Ethiopia

84.75

Grupo Aguadas Zona Viboral

Colombia

84.70

Manantiales del Frontino

Colombia

84.48

El Injerto

Guatemala

84.45

Adami Gorbota Farmers Cooperative YCFCU

Ethiopia

84.18

Las Mercedes

El Salvador

84.13

The highest scoring farms in each country were:

Ethiopia

86.13

Idido/Kokie Farmers Cooperative YCFCU

 

84.88

Wotona Bultuma Farmers Cooperative SCFCU

 

84.83

Gidibona Sheicha Farmers Cooperative SCFCU 

Colombia

84.85

Grupo Supia Zona La Quiebra

 

84.70

Grupo Aguadas Zona Viboral

 

84.48

Manantiales del Frontino

Guatemala

84.45

El Injerto

 

84.03

Santa Elisa Pachup

 

83.90

Finca Vizcaya

El Salvador

84.13

Las Mercedes

 

83.85

Elvy Huezo

 

83.75

Lilliana de Narváez

Nicaragua

83.65

La Laguna

 

83.00

El Bosque

 

82.55

La Colonia

Mexico

83.35

Grupo de Productores AAA

 

83.25

Santa Cruz

 

82.93

UNECAFE

Costa Rica

83.23

Finca Santa Anita

 

83.08

La Mina  (Grupo Beneficios Volcafe (CR) S.A.)

 

82.88

Cafetalera Tirrá, S.A.

Honduras

82.60

Platanares

 

82.55

Finca Chiliquera

 

82.38

Emilio Rapalo Leiva

Dominican Republic

82.05

Spirit Mountain Ecological Reserve & Organic Coffee Plantation

 

81.20

Finca los Montazos

 

81.15

Finca los Dajaos

Full results from the spring 2012 Cupping for Quality can be found via the following link:

http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/agriculture/crops/coffee/cupping-quality

The 12 cuppers at the spring 2012 Cupping for Quality were:
  • Marty Curtis, Combustion Systems Sales & Service, Lead Cupper
  • Ray Keane, Balzac Brothers
  • Jordan Hooper, Louis Dreyfus Commodities
  • Chad Trewick, Caribou Coffee
  • Steve Colten, Atlantic USA
  • Byron Holcomb, Dallis Brothers
  • Andrew Blyth, Royal Coffee NYC.
  • Mike Love, Coffee Labs Roasters
  • Michael Perz, Timothy's Coffee
  • Matt Fury, THINK Coffee
  • Stephen Schulman, S&D
  • Nick Bokron, Omar Coffee

“The best part of our cupping events is who they bring to the table,” said Maya Albanese, event hostess and coordinator of sustainable agriculture at the Rainforest Alliance. “Luminaries in the coffee industry driving social and environmental change in businesses of all different shapes and sizes come together to support the mission of the Rainforest Alliance. By spending time tasting and evaluating Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffees, they are supporting farms with sustainable management practices and helping to grow the market for sustainable coffees.”

The Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality takes place twice per year to accommodate for varying coffee harvest cycles around the world. Coffees from Brazil, East Africa, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are evaluated at the December event, which will take place on December 6 and 7, 2012, in Long Beach, CA. The results from the December 2011 session can be found via the following link: http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/agriculture/crops/coffee/cupping-quality

In 2011, more than 245,000 metric tons of coffee were produced on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, an increase of 20 percent over 2010. Coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms now represents an estimated 3.3 percent of the global market.

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