The Cup of Excellence

In 1999 the Cup of Excellence (COE) founders along with the Specialty Coffee Association of America developed the first global internet auction platform for award winning coffees.

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Each Cup of Excellence competition consists of a total of 6 rounds of cupping. Two skilled and highly experienced juries score the samples during the competition.

There can be up to 1500 coffees entering into an individual competition. And over an incredibly detailed process of cupping, the top 30 coffees scoring a minimum of 87 out of 100 are awarded as winners. It is through this process that Golden Bear Coffee sources some of the world’s finest coffee.

Find out more:

Round 1

  • Every sample entered into the competition is cupped once by the National Jury. 
  • All samples that score 86 or over advance to the next stage (maximum 150 samples).
  • Farmers must now move the entire lot to a bonded warehouse under the control of an independent auditing company. New samples are then drawn which will
    be used for the subsequent rounds.

Round 2

  • The
    National Jury cups those samples that advanced from Pre-Selection. All those that again score 86 or over advance to the next round (maximum 90 samples). 

Round 3

  • These
    samples are cupped again and all those that again score at least 86 points remain in the competition (up to a maximum of 40 samples). 

Round 4

  • The following week, the International jurors/cuppers assemble to cup all those samples passed forward from the National Jury week.

Round 5

  • Up to a maximum of 30 samples that have scored over 87 points are then cupped in a second round to select those that will finally be awarded Cup of Excellence and progress to the online auction. Descriptions are taken for each sample.

Round 6

  • On the final day of the International Jury, the top ten highest scoring samples are cupped one final time to give them special attention, to determine the final score and ranking.