This month, Thump’s featured coffee is El Salvador Kilimanjaro Direct Trade, Organic. This coffee is produced by Aida Battle, a female coffee farmer who Stumptown recently invited to Portland to speak at their “Meet the Producers” series. (See the December thumpology for more info. on our fieldtrip to meet Aida.)
El Salvador Kilimanjaro is a former Cup of Excellence competition winner, a prestigious accomplishment awarded to coffee producers whose meticulous farming practices yield outstanding coffees and record prices at auction. The Cup of Excellence (COE) competitions occur annually in Central and South American countries, and for the first time in 2008, in Rwanda.
Participating producers within a given country place their coffees in this rigorous competition which is judged by a national and international panel of professional coffee cuppers. The winning coffees are then bid on in an online auction, awarding the winners generous and sometimes historically high prices. This process brings exposure to farmers and even entire regions of participating countries, people who previously may not have had a way to bring their coffees to the international market.
Stumptown frequently bids on and buys Cup of Excellence coffees and Thump serves them throughout the year. Along with Direct Trade and Fair Trade programs, the Cup of Excellence is an important and innovative way that Stumptown and Thump help improve the lives of coffee producers.