9 Apr 2021

Ready, set, go! The Golden Cup, assessing the best of Fairtrade coffee, has started.

Another year, another Golden Cup edition! Across 13 countries, Fairtrade coffee producers will be competing to see who has coffee of the highest, most delicious, quality. In a friendly atmosphere, the competition allows producers in each country to share their best coffees, exchange information and learn more about coffee quality.

It is an opportunity to foster relationships with potential new buyers, and to connect producers directly to traders and roasters. On many occasions, many of the winning samples have been taken to international trade shows, such as the Specialty Coffee Expo (USA) and World of Coffee (Europe).


Time for the 2021 edition

Growing in numbers every year since 2015, the Golden Cup has kicked off in Guatemala and, will take place in different countries according to when the coffee harvest takes place. To ensure the best conditions, it is necessary to give enough time for cooperatives to complete their harvest, processing and milling. In addition, the coffee should then sit a minimum 30 days before roasting or cupping, if not more.

Scoring systems address aroma, flavor, acidity, mouthfeel, aftertaste, and the overall impression one has of a given coffee.

In each country, a jury will assess the samples of Fairtrade producers, and then pick their favorites basing their scores on different attributes such as aroma, flavour and acidity, among others. Being certified Q graders, the judges use the SCA Cupping or Cup of Excellence protocol to evaluate, with some modifications due to COVID-19.

The first country to have a competition in 2021 was Guatemala. It was adapted to respect COVID-19 safety protocols, and had six winning organizations. Five in the micro lot category and one in the full container category.

ACODIHUE won the first place under micro lot for their Borbon & Pache variety, whereas MAYA IXIL took the first prize under the full container category for their multiple variety

“We are all very happy to have won first and third place in this competition. A big congrats to the small-scale producers that with great strength, worked to producer these coffees. We will continue to support them so that year after year we make it to the top rankings.” –says Felix Camposeco, Manager of ACODIHUE.

Manuela Leticia Choc, coffee producer at NAHUALA R.L. The cooperative won second place

“We are very thankful and happy to have won second place in the Taza Dorada (Golden Cup). As producers, it motivates us a lot; the producers gave their all… you could see the strength and effort, and that’s why we’re motivated to keep doing our best. And finally, we hope God will help maintain the quality of our harvest.” - says Manuela Leticia Choc, coffee producer at NAHUALA R.L.

Next up:

The next competition will take place this week in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, followed by Ethiopia on 19 April. In May we will have El Salvador on the 5th, and Mexico and Honduras towards the middle of the month.

Many other countries such as Kenya, Uganda and Brasil will also be competing later in the year. We will keep you posted on how the competitions develop.

Stay tuned to learn who the winners are, and why not celebrate with a cup of Fairtrade coffee yourself? Here you can find more about why Fairtrade coffee makes a difference for farmers and workers worldwide

If you are a roaster or trader interested in purchasing coffees from the Golden Cup, please contact Joao Mattos at joao.mattos@clac-comerciojusto.org (Latin America) or Getahun Gebrekidan at g.gebrekidan@fairtradeafrica.net (Africa).

The Golden Cup competitions are carried out by the Fairtrade Producer Networks with support from Fairtrade International and International Trade Center (ITC) / Alliances for Action (A4A).