The Economist Features Cup Of Excellence
Excellence in a Cup: A competition promotes trade in coffee based on quality, not just quantity
- Jan 25 2007 (Viçosa, Brazil)
From The Economist print edition
One morning last month in an airy hall at the Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil, the only sound to be heard was a chorus of zestfully inelegant slurping. Twenty-four black-aproned judges were wielding their distinctive tasting spoons at the Cup of Excellence competition, searching for the country's best coffee.
"My objective is to differentiate coffee," says Susie Spindler, who started the competition in 1999 and now conducts it in seven Latin American countries. The competition is open to any grower in each country, tasting and scoring is systematic and blind, and the winning beans are sold worldwide in an online auction. By focusing on quality and transparency, Ms Spindler has not just ferreted out sublime coffees from some unexpected sources, but has connected the best growers to buyers who are prepared to pay for quality.
You can read the full article at http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8597033