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Cup of Excellence Returning to Ethiopia in 2024

Ethiopia Cup of Excellence 2024

With participation from key Ethiopian coffee institutions, the nonprofit Cup of Excellence (CoE) has announced the 2024 return of the Ethiopia Cup of Excellence green coffee competition and auction program.

Following the inaugural Ethiopia CoE in 2020, in which the auction of 28 winning lots generated US$1.34 million, the Ethiopia auction in 2022 saw the highest price ever paid for an Ethiopian coffee, at an astounding $400.50 per pound.

The Ethiopia CoE was suspended in 2023 after specific funds from the United States government’s Feed the Future’s Value Chain Activity (FTFVCA) were no longer available. This year’s event is being held through a partnership between CoE sibling nonprofit the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE), the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority and the Ethiopian Coffee Association

According to CoE, which announced the Ethiopia program’s return during the 2024 SCA Expo this past weekend in Chicago, the 2024 event will come to Addis Ababa at some point in mid July.


A 2019 Cup of Excellence cupping. Daily Coffee News photo by Howard Bryman.

“Ethiopia is considered the birthplace of Coffea arabica and is renowned for its heirloom varieties so it was no surprise when farmers winning Cup of Excellence in 2022 broke records,” CoE Executive Director Erwin Mierisch said in the announcement. “Over 600 samples have already arrived in the regional warehouses with the notification only recently sent out to the farmers.”

Unlike previous iterations, the 2024 Ethiopia CoE will have two winning categories: natural process and washed process. The CoE is currently accepting applications for international jurors here. The group also said that, due to anticipated high demand, winning pre-auction samples will not be part of broader ACE sample packages, and that they will be “more expensive as shipping costs from Africa tend to run much higher.”

Since its inception in Brazil in 1999, CoE competitions and auctions have been held in 16 key coffee-producing countries, shining a light on coffee farmers and routinely fetching prices that are exponentially higher than commodity-driven prices.

There were 12 CoE programs last year. Additionally, ACE maintains its Private Collection Auction (PCA) program, partnering with private partners for high-end auctions.

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