Ethiopia Cup of Excellence sample entries break competition’s global record

Cup of Excellence

The second Cup of Excellence Ethiopia received 1848 coffee samples, breaking the competition’s global record for the second time by more than 300 samples.

The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) says farmers visiting its collection centres shared enthusiasm and excitement for the second Cup of Excellence competition after last year’s results, in which the winning coffee was sold at US$185 per pound.

The winner of the 2020 Cup of Excellence, Nigusie Gemeda, says his win encouraged many of the coffee growers in his area.

“My success was like a wake-up call for my neighbours. They have learned our coffee is special and with the necessary good agricultural practices it could be highly valued,’’ he said while submitting his sample at the Hawassa collection center. “I believe I could win again.”

His neighbours followed his example and have submitted their samples, including Getahun Tadele from Sidama. ‘’It opened our eyes and made us realise the value of our coffee,’’ he said.

Minister of Agriculture H.E Umar Hussein; Director General of the Coffee and Tea Authority Dr. Adugna Debela; and Director of the Federal Cooperative Agency Usman Surer visited the Jimma collected centre on 10 February. The high-level delegates witnessed the sample collection process and the initial screening of coffees, including moisture and water activity testing, packaging, and storage. They also chatted with farmers submitting samples and the staff at the collection centre.

“We are pleased with what we have witnessed and the level of professionalism in the sample collection. We appreciate and support [ACE’s] efforts to make the second Cup of Excellence competition a success,” said H.E Umer Hussein during the visit.

All of the sample coffees have now arrived at the Addis Ababa centre; which is preparing to begin the judging process and the training of various teams including roasters and jury selection.

The jury will hold the first round of cupping from 22 February to 5 March 2021. This stage is a rapid cupping test of the quality of each sample to identify the top 150 coffees, which will progress to the next stage. The competition is now led by the private-public partnership involving the Ethiopian Coffee Exporters Association and the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority, with technical and financial support from VCA.

The Ethiopia Cup of Excellence auction will be held on 24 June and the National Winner auction will take place from 28 June to 9 July.

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