COE’s Commitment to Values Beyond Coffee, by Debbie Hill


Today’s coffee celebrity we would like to introduce you is Debbie Hill, the executive director of ACE(Alliance for Coffee Excellence).

ACE is a non-profit organization based in Portland, known to organize coffee competitions called ‘Cup of Excellence’. Their goal is to encourage farmers and producers to produce more high-quality specialty coffee, with a strong belief that this will ensure their sustainable economy and livelihood.

COE is planning to hold 5 competitions in 5 countries, including the first 3 competitions (Honduras, Guatemala, Costa Rica) in May and the auction starts in June. The competition in Colombia will begin in September while that of Brazil takes place from 31st, October to 6th, November. More than 100 types of coffee will be cupped at the competition taking place in Brazil, for 6 days. As a special event, there will be a COE training program prepared for cuppers this year, called ‘COE Cupper Camp’. Such training camps are generally held all over the world but this time, it will also take place in Seoul, Korea from 4th to 7th of August this year.



Besides, there has been a change in COE’s regulations based on the criteria for selection. Before, coffee samples were required to score atleast 85 points from a possible 100 in order to advance to the next round of the competition.  However, the cut-off score changed from 85 points to 87, starting from this year (2016).  Along with the increase in points, the price marginot line rised from $4 to $7 as well.

Meanwhile, there will be more choices for selecting green beans. The COE award for ‘international qualifier coffees’ that have acquired 83 points to 86.99 points may tumble, but their coffee is available for purchase on [Cropster Hub] for its fixed price rather than its auction price. The current price is expected to be within the range of $3.85~$6.35.

ACE is currently working on to create an electric cupping form app for auctions, which will be used for all competitions. The cupping app will be available for iPads, and the cupping information will be fed directly to the platform. This information can then be checked year after year whenever it is possible. For instance, if some problems occurred during the last competitions, users can actually go back and look at a much refined way about what happened at the competition and why (e.g. water problems) in order to prevent the same problems happening during the next competition.

There is no doubt about the fact that their contribution to coffee industry is countless, and their future plans are drawing high expectation from coffee people in all four corners of the world.


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