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Cup of Excellence Launching ‘Origin Immersion’ Program in El Salvador

El Salvador COE Origin Immersion

Courtesy photo.

The nonprofit Cup of Excellence (COE) is launching a multi-day education program designed for international coffee professionals to be immersed in the coffees and cultures of specific coffee-producing countries.

In collaboration with the Instituto Salvadoreño Del Café (Salvadoran Coffee Institute), inaugural “Origin Immersion” program is scheduled for February 2024 in El Salvador.

Over five days at multiple sites, participants in the program will explore COE cupping and scoring, the El Salvador coffee industry, coffee production and processing, defects and quality control, sustainability and coffee varieties, and roasting and espresso tasting.

“The Cup of Excellence organization has always been in a unique position to go one step beyond traditional cupping training and offer an in-depth understanding of the wide diversity of coffees, the culture and the farmers in our partner countries,” Cup of Excellence Founder Susie Spindler said in an announcement from the group today. “I am excited for these classes to spark the curiosity, appreciation and relationship building that is the hallmark of its mission.”

Over the past 23 years, Cup of Excellence and its sibling nonprofit the Alliance for Coffee Excellence have collaborated with in-country coffee institutions for international green coffee competitions that conclude with auction programs.

Thus far, the organizations have supported auction programs in 15 countries, with COE-winning coffees typically earning exponentially higher prices than coffees on traditional markets, while also earning prestige for coffee producers and shaping high-end market trends. El Salvador has hosted COE events since 2003.

COE Head Judge and El Salvador Immersion Instructor Luis Rodriguez

COE El Salvador Origin Immersion Instructor Luis Rodriguez. Courtesy photo.

“This initiative allows buyers to come closer to coffee producers, so they can learn closely about all the efforts and dedication they put into their coffee production,” Salvadoran Coffee Institute President Carolina Padilla said. “We are proud to showcase Salvadoran coffee culture, heritage and varietals such as Pacamara. We will highlight our traditional varietals so that coffee roasters can develop a deeper understanding on how to roast and appreciate them so they can share with their customers worldwide.”

The cost for the COE El Salvador Origin Immersion program is US$2,500 for COE members and $2,950 for non members. It does not include air transportation to El Salvador, but it does include in-country airport transportation, ground transportation, hotels, most meals, special events, COE merch, workshops, a beach trip and all other planned visits.

The El Salvador program will be lead by coffee producer, Q grader, lecturer and COE Head Judge Luis Rodriguez.

Said Rodriguez, “Attendees will discover why El Salvador has evolved from being a hidden jewel to being considered a specialty coffee powerhouse due mostly to our versatility and vanguardist growers.”

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