Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality 2010 winners

by on April 16, 2010

The first set of 2010 winners of the Cupping for Quality competition, featuring Rainforest Alliance-certified coffees, was just announced at the annual Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) meeting. RA now certifies 2% of world coffee exports.

This year, there will be two rounds of awards in order to better accommodate coffees from around the world, since coffee is a seasonal crop. The results below are from a cupping held in December, which included submissions from Brazil (11 samples), Peru (10), Hawaii (2, first time for this origin), Indonesia (6), Kenya (4, first time), and Tanzania, Uganda (first time) and Zambia (first time) with one sample each.

Here are the top ten coffees, with their scores, variety of coffee grown, farm size, altitude, processing method, and any details I’ve uncovered. The average score for the top ten coffees was 84.26.

  1. Kigutha Estate — Kenya. 86.54. Growing the bourbon (“French mission”) variety on 122.76 ha at 1700 m. Washed. Kigutha is in the Kiambu region, an area dominated by large privately-owned estates and plantations. It’s managed by Tropical Farm Management, part of the Neumann Kaffee Gruppe. TFM manages over 40 coffee estates and operates coffee projects for over 30,000 smallholder farmers. Many of their worldwide operations also have Rainforest Alliance certification.Environmental-related initiatives at Kigutha include integrated pest management, water conservation (including a dam that provides habitat for hippos), and soil erosion management. One of the bigger challenges for the farm was how to incorporate shade, since most coffee in Kenya is typically grown in the sun. The farm nursery is now cultivating 12 native tree species for use on the property, and they are aiming for 30% shade cover.
  2. Tunki – Peru (Puno, Tunkimayo sector). 86.00. Typica and bourbon on 3 ha at 1650 m. Washed. This coffee comes from members of CECOVASA (Central de Cooperativas Agrarias Cafetaleras de los Valles de. Sandia), a group of Fair Trade cooperatives totalling nearly 5000 members. CECOVASA has also been working with Conservation International. CECOVASA has won coffee quality awards before, as well as an award for their work preserving biodiversityTunki is one of the eight cooperatives/brands (two others also placed in the top ten — see 5 and 6 below), and is also organic. “Tunki” is the local name for the national bird of Peru, the spectacular Andean Cock-of-the-Rock. Equal Exchange has a good article on a visit to CECOVASA. (Update: here’s an interview with the farmer. He has a quality tip: no sweaty mules.)
  3. Machare / Uru Estates — Tanzania (on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro). 85.71. KP and N39 on 300 ha at 1400 m. Washed. There are shade trees on the farm (many photos on the estate web site indicate something of a shade monoculture), and 30% has been left uncultivated. There is a nursery of indigenous trees used to plant in the protected area. The farm uses integrated pest management. The owners are involved in much community work, including coordinating hydro-electric generators to provide power and irrigation for nearby villages. Marchare was the first Utz Certified farm in Tanzania.
  4. Ipanema Coffees — Brazil (Alfenas – Sul de Minas). 84.50. Bourbon, catuai, and Mundo Novo on 2800 ha at 1000 m. Semi-washed.
  5. Quechua – Peru (Puno, Alfonso Ugarte sector). 84.06. Typica and caturra on 2 ha at 1700 m. Washed. Another coffee from CECOVASA members (see #2).
  6. Tambopata — Peru (Puno, Belen sector). 83.46. Typica and caturra on 2 ha at 1500 m. Washed. Another coffee from CECOVASA members (see #2).
  7. PT Olam Indonesia — Indonesia (North Sumatra). 83.4. Crowned Garuda Mandheling Grade 1 on 127.9 ha at 1000 m. Semi-washed. Small farmer group.
  8. Terranova Estate — Zambia. 83.33. SL28 and bourbon on 1000 ha at 1250 m. Dry process. I wrote about Terranova when it was one of Starbucks Black Apron coffees, and it includes a lengthy comment from the owners.
  9. Mirante da Boa Vista — Brazil (Minas Gerais, cerrado region). 82.79 (tie). Bourbon, Catuai, and Mundo Novo on 190 ha at 1000 m. Semi-washed.
  10. Nchengo Estate — Kenya  (Central Province). 82.79 (tie). SL28 on 135 ha at 1550 m. Washed.

The next round of cupings will take place May in New York City. It will include primarily Central American origins, along with Colombia, Ethiopia, and India.

Coffee & Conservation covered previous Cupping for Quality winners in 2008 and 2009.

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Revised on March 23, 2014

Posted in Certifications,Coffee awards and competitions,Rainforest Alliance

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