Rwanda, Burundi, Colombie, Cup of excellence 2014

Dany Marquis

From now until the end of October will be held the Cup of Excellence award competition that recognizes the best coffees in the world. As a roaster and an unconditional coffee lover, it's a must. 

For 2014, I decided to participate in this adventure as a group and to publicize the selection process. This summer especially, many coffee lovers have gone through our workshops, and were interested in the process of coffee selection then the idea came to me to offer you to be more involved in this important event for the development of the coffee world .

Know that each awarded lot is being auctioned and it is at these auctions, in which I participate every year that I want to invite you. You can see it as forming a coffee nerdz group to buy good coffee.

I selected this year specific lots from three different countries that I will detail a little further:  Rwanda, Burundi and Colombia.

The method of functionning is very simple.

  • On our website you will see the coffee as a pre-sale at a price that represents an estimate of the value. In fact, several factors will determine the real price of coffee: the quantity purchased, the classification of the lot, the price that we put on the table for the lot, the cost of transport to our workshop, customs fees, etc. We'll keep you posted once the auctions are completed and prices will be adjusted.
  • Thereafter, the lots will be roasted on a monthly basis (or other as required for business customers) and will be shipped to you like a subscription by mail. The roast profile will be determined by the conservation of the terroir of the bean during the roast, so it will be lighter.
  • Coffees purchased will be available on the website for all of our customers to purchase them. It should be noted that all those who participated in the pre-order will have priority in obtaining these items and will have a "corporate" price. For other customers, you will have the available fixed prices on the website.  

It goes without being said, that the lots will be limited and of big quality! Other that the structure of the auctioning, managed by the organisation, there is no other intermediate between us and the producer.

What's "cup of excellence?

Cup of Excellence is the most prestigious award given to a fine quality coffee. The level of scrutiny that Cup of Excellence coffees undergo is unmatched anywhere in the coffee industry. All of the Cup of Excellence award winners are cupped at least 5 times (the 'Top 10' are cupped again) during the 3-week competition. During this selection process, thousands of cups are evaluated, tasted and scored based on their exemplary characteristics. The prices that these winning coffees receive at auction have broken records and proven that there is a huge demand for these rare farmer identified coffees.

The Cup of Excellence program and trademark are owned and managed by the Alliance for Coffee Excellence Inc. (ACE), a US-based non-profit organization. ACE works in partnership with host country coffee organizations to execute the selection process and the internet auction as well as to advise on and manage any other quality coffee programs that enhance the understanding and appreciation of exemplary coffee.

ACE is overseen by a Board of Directors. They also work in close cooperation with coffee organizations in each of our partner countries to design program elements and strategy. A small team manages every aspect of the program the ensure success of the event.

For more information, look at their website:  

On the Cup of Excellence

Why the choice of these origins?

First of all, it is important to know that there are only 10 countries in the world who participate in this competition. And I fell in love with Rwanda and Burundi some years ago. They have a very special terroir for great coffee and they speak French which greatly facilitates relationships.

As for Colombia, it is also a love story as the best coffee I drank in my short existence was from there. I still dream of it.

Coffee is a matter of love and passion.

At the time I'm writing this blog, I only know the results of the cuppings from Rwanda, see the results here:  rwanda-program CoE 2014

Burundi's cuppings are completed, but the results will be displayed later. You can still have a look to see if there has been an update:  burundi-program CoE 2014

As for Colombia, the auction will take place on October 21, it is here: colombia-program CoE 2014

My goals for these auctions

As for Rwanda, I would like to buy the lot # 12, because it's a lot from Emmanuel Rwakagara Nzungize who introduced me to the Rwandan coffee and the beautiful scenery of the thousand hills from the coast of Lake Kivu. He even lent me a boat so I could go and visit an island in Lake Kivu, but I had to avoid military bases and especially not take any picture of it ...

Emmanuel told me about Rwanda, his father’scoffee plantation that the government had seized during the genocide, his exile to Congo as well as his attempt to retrieve his father’s plantation after the return of peace in the country. He introduced me to his family and he hosted me for a few days. I received there a lesson of courage, love and entrepreneurship. He is president of COOPAC as well as an organization named SACOF that provides income to producers and also guarantees their loans with the banks to maintain their farm, much like micro-credit, but in the form of guarantees from the banks. He is now ranked 12th in the Cup of Excellence 2014!

I'll see how the auction will go but mostly the quantity available as sometimes, a small lot with a lower rating will get a higher bid than a lot with a higher score and greater availability 

So for Rwanda, I would like to buy a good amount of lot # 12 and another batch in the top 3.

For Burundi, I want a coffee in the top 5, one lot only.  The same thing for Colombia.

Is it fair trade?

Yes, it is fair to the producer. Note that the impact of the auction at the producer level are phenomenal and the cash entries created are much more favorable than the famous fair trade label. Producers awarded receive incomes up to 15 times the floor price of fair trade and this way of working has drastically changed the face of the coffee industry.  This method of doing business let the door wide open for the outbreak of the third wave in coffee by letting barista and roaster the possibility to source great coffee. In this case, quality is rewarded. I believe that this approach is much more profitable than the traditional route of Fair Trade certification, which was necessary to raise awareness, but the Cup of Excellence enables us to work at a different level. Create business relationships based on the quality of the product and not on the concept of charity. Because once the producers have received payment for lots purchased, they can reinvest in their farms, experiment with other varieties of coffee, purchase equipment, hire and train staff, send children to school, renovate buildings, to build roads, etc. Simply because the countries participating in the Cup of Excellence decided to be structured to reward quality. It is done here with maple syrup, cheese, beer, why not those with coffee. However, in this approach, the producers know the quality, so they know their prices. No fluff with coffeess digested by an animal, the famous Jamaican Blue Mountain that never would rank in this type of competition. You pay for quality.

Interested by the adventure?

Simply buy the products that interest you by clicking on the links below. Product options usually reserved for bags formats are used to define the #lot of the coffees targeted. Coffee will be roasted on a monthly basis and mailed the same day as it is roasted. Coffee will be packed in 340g size (12oz), in Brulerie du Quai printed sealed bags with Co2 valveas well as with descriptive labels.

Quantities purchased by pre-ordering will be booked and sent once a month or according to your preference. We will propose a schedule for shipping as the total quantity purchased, the number of buyers, etc. A nice puzzle but rest assured that what you will receive will be the work of a professional.

If you do not want to pre-order, coffees will be available on the website or on the shelves of our partners or in the mills of your favorite coffee shops, depending on availability of stock and at the current retail price.

You are coffee roaster? Contact us to book your lots of green coffee or to make a bid with us.

Interested in the venture?

You find the coffee business exciting? The structure of the auction and bidding on high end coffee against other coffee companies around the world energizes you? You want to invest? Know that we are always interested in working with new financial partners for our coffee purchases. Contact us to discuss.

Burundi 2014 - Click here to pre-order your coffee

 Colombie 2014 - Click here to pre-order your coffee





Dany Marquis

Dany Marquis 

Brûlerie du Quai Chieftain, entrepreneur, 418 far-east , coffee, motorcycle, martial arts, part-time zen, and father of 4 champions.



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