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The Rainforest Alliance Announces Scores from Spring Cupping for Quality Event

The Rainforest Alliance is releasing detailed scores from its bi-annual Cupping for Quality event. The cupping featured 49 coffee samples from Colombia, Ethiopia, India, Kenya and Rwanda, which were reviewed by a panel of expert cuppers. Balzac Brothers hosted the event at their SCAA certified lab in Charleston, South Carolina.

This year, the average score was 83.87 Points; 80 is the threshold for specialty categorization, according to SCAA cupping protocol. These results demonstrate that the sustainable farming practices required for Rainforest Alliance certification can lead to a better tasting cup of coffee. The highest score – 88.68 points – went to Gathacha, a farm located in Kenya. KZ Noir, the first Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farm in Rwanda, also competed in the spring cupping. This is the first Rwandan coffee to be cupped at the Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality.

In an effort to link sustainable farming practices with coffee quality, the Rainforest Alliance established its Cupping for Quality program in 2003. “It is no surprise to see the quality of coffees evaluated at our cupping events improve year after year,” said Alex Morgan, senior manager of sustainable agriculture at the Rainforest Alliance. “The cuppings enable us to help farmers identify areas for improvement. These farmers are going above and beyond, improving the quality of their beans while conserving natural resources, protecting wildlife habitat and supporting local communities.”

Top 10 Scoring Coffees

  1. Gathacha – Kenya, 88.68
  2. Manantiales Del Frontino  – Colombia, 86.78
  3. Moredocofe PLC – Ethiopia, 85.97
  4. San Ignacio – Colombia 85.95
  5. Gicherori – Kenya, 85.25
  6. Kamwangi – Kenya, 85.25
  7. Kilenso Mokonisa – Ethiopia, 85.11
  8. Karengera Coffee Ltd – Rwanda, 85.00
  9. Ngerwe – Kenya, 84.89
  10. Belete – Gera WaBuB/Oromia Forest & Wildlife Enterprise – Ethiopia, 84.86

Spring 2015 Cuppers

  • Emma Chevalier, Revelator Coffee Company
  • Matt Sheridan, American Coffee Corporation
  • John Moore, Noble Tree/Fal Coffee
  • Hunter Craft, Zephyr Green Coffee
  • Lowell Gross, Charleston Coffee Roasters
  • Richard Keane, Balzac Brothers
  • Samantha Keane, Balzac Brothers
  • Mark Andros, Barnie’s Coffee Kitchen
  • Jennifer Stone, Demours Coffee
  • Daniel Mulu, Coffee Quality Institute
  • Brian Aliffi, Caribou Coffee
  • Andreza Mazarao, AC Café Brazil
  • Marty Curtis, Combustion Systems
  • Linda Smithers, Daterra Coffee

In 2013, more than 454,962 metric tons of coffee was produced on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, a 20 percent increase over 2012. In 2014, that number jumped to 662,000 metric tons. Coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ farms now represents over 5.2 percent of global production.

For more information on sustainable sourcing or to set up an interview with a Rainforest Alliance representative, please contact: Brittany Weinke,, (646) 452-1939.

Ramon nut, a sustainable superfood - photo by Sergio Izquierdo

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