Launched in Brazil in 1999, Cup of Excellence was a pioneering force that helped set the standards of integrity and transparency in the coffee industry. Prior to Cup of Excellence, most coffees were treated as a commodity--purchased at market price, blended with other lots, and sold to large coffee companies. As a result, most farmers had no financial incentive to produce quality coffee.
In this climate, Cup of Excellence provided a venue to discover exemplary coffees from mostly unknown regions and to reward the farmers who produced them with premium prices via our online auction. This model of higher prices for higher quality has created a beneficial cycle in which the supply and demand for specialty coffee has increased, while creating a more sustainable livelihood for these coffee producers.
As of early 2016, Cup of Excellence has convened over 110 competitions globally, auctioned 2,800 lots of coffee, and generated direct auction sales of over $50 million (USD).