With its Coffees of the Year (COTY) program on hiatus, the Specialty Coffee Association of America is partnering with the Alliance for Coffee Excellence to help redesign the program for future years. For the SCAA 2014 Event in Seattle, ACE will present “an exhibition of compelling coffees representative of those that will be featured in the program moving forward,” the SCAA says.
The COTY program is one of several annual event competitions traditionally held by SCAA, including the U.S. Barista Championship, the USBC Brewer’s Cup, the Roaster’s Guild Roaster’s Choice, the Best New Product awards and the U.S. Cup Tasters Championship. The COTY program had been run by the Roaster’s Guild, but SCAA says the partnership with ACE will use use ACE’s Cup of Excellence program as a “discovery mechanism for coffees to be featured,” celebrating “coffees that are especially worth notice.”
“We are all delighted by the possibility of partnering with SCAA to bring about a new direction for COTY that will include presenting coffees that often come as a complete surprise to the palate,” Susie Spindler, Executive Director for the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, said in an announcement of the program change. “While the focus of this program will still be on presenting extraordinary coffees, there is so much to learn about these coffees that we do not yet fully understand.”
SCAA Coffee Design and Experience Coordinator Christopher Schooley says the ACE partnership will provided added recognition and exposure to coffee producers.
The ACE Cup of Excellence program brings together seasonal international juries to judge coffees from individual countries, with awards culminating in live auctions for winning lots.