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19th October , 2021

14:00 hrs London time

Register today and take part on this auction in support of Rwanda`s Farmers

As part of the Market Access Upgrade Programme (MARKUP) to contribute to the economic growth of the East African Community (EAC) and in collaboration with Sensible Development, we are organising this auction.

The results of the international competition are ready. The coffees in this auction were cupped by 30 professional tasters and Q graders around the world who help us to select the very best coffees from Rwanda that will be auctioned here.

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Rwanda coffee and its potential in the coffee industry

Coffee continues to be amongst the most sought after beans in the world, it elegantly organically and authentically embodies the true nature and resilience of Rwandan people introduced in the 1900s by German missionaries.

Today coffee is the country's fourth large exports, being the second in agriculture. However, Rwanda coffee sector is in need to access more markets to position Rwanda as a specialty origin.

We are inviting you to participate in this auction that will benefit the coffee farmers, washing stations, exporters and all people involved across the supply chain.

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Auction times in your region

19th October, 2021

  • 06:00 am - Los Angeles
  • 09:00 am - New York
  • 14:00 pm - London
  • 16:00 pm - Riyadh
  • 21:00 pm - Shanghai
  • 22:00 pm - Tokyo
  • 22:00 pm - Seoul
  • 23:00 pm - Sydney

Save the Date


Order your sample set!

Ordering samples is a great way to help you decide which coffees you will be bidding on at this year's auction. Order yours today!

Sample sets will feature all coffee finalists that will be available in this year's auction.

Each sample set includes:

  • 13 coffee samples / 100g per sample
  • 1 Coffee Guide

Sample set fee: $200

*Usually we estimate delivery time is between 5-7 business days depending on delivery location

The Benefits of this auction to the Rwanda Coffee Community

Coffee plays a major role in the economy of the country, contributing significantly to foreign exchange earnings and to the monetization of the rural economy. Currently, ca. 400,000 small holder farm families produce it and depend on it for their livelihoods. Coffee was introduced by Germans in early 1900s, it is dominated by mainly ‘bourbon’ type of Arabica coffees.

The production ranges from 267, 000 to 420,000 bags per year (16 000 MT to 21000MT). The total area in coffee is currently 42,000 hectares grown and it is grown in most provinces in the country at an altitude less than 1900 m. Whilst this auction objective is to see a drive in demand for Rwanda coffees, across the board there are three key issues that it seeks to address:


Producer Recognition

The competition will help recognize those producers - by region and processing types - that are doing a superb job as their coffees continue to exceed all expectations. Producer Coffees that don’t make it to the top auctioned lots will receive quality improvement reports and guidance.


National Capacity Building

The project hopes to recognize and train national coffee quality champions to support them continuously and help discover the best of coffees Rwanda has to offer.


Infrastructural Support

The competition organising committee has partnered with Sensible Development, ITC/MARKUP project and National Agriculture Export Board (NAEB) as well as other local and regional partners to support this competition named after “A second sunrise, a Taste of Rwanda by CEPAR.

The Background to this Auction

The landscape in the organization of the coffee competitions in Africa has changed quite dramatically in the last 3 or 4 years. Annual cupping competitions have played a role in African coffee for quite some time. These usually ended with an auction where the best coffees were sold to interested buyers

Over the last two years, most of coffee-producing countries did not get the opportunities to run an auction. However, during 2020 and 2021, things changed and individual country coffee associations were able to organize their own competitions.

When the CEPAR decided to run this one, they made an open invitation to all their members in the country to enter their best coffee in the competition.

The CEPAR see the development of this competition alongside this auction as a means for everyone involved in the coffee supply chain to take their own development seriously.

Overall the CEPAR have strategic goals aiming to:

  • Supporting and promoting the effective and efficient running of members’ enterprises and the coffee industry at large.
  • Sustaining and increasing volume and quality of coffee produced and traded.
  • Providing a framework and model on which to build future harvests

In order to make this a credible competition they have worked with International Trade Centre to put all the pieces in place to form a framework that will be sustainable in the future. This means this auction is supported by a national and international jury capable of taking an objective quality assessment of the coffee submitted to the competition.

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How will coffee be selected for this auction?

The coffees will be cupped, graded and judged by a panel of qualified and experienced national Q Grader judges under the leadership of Grace Mukayisenga, a coffee quality control specialist, a certified Q Grader and AST (Authorized SCA Trainer), using the Coffee Quality Institute (CQI) Arabica Coffees Score sheet and Protocols. The Head Judge Danny Pang (Singapore) will oversee the entire process of the International Jury Round.

National Cupping Jury

The National Jury will manage the initial preselection and creation of the long list for later cupping rounds. This jury will provide a balanced view of coffee from around Rwanda in equal measures of washed, naturals, and anaerobic processed coffees.

The jury will be made up of 10 certified Q Graders in Rwanda who have assessed the initial submission of coffees from all coffee producers. Each submission will be expected to meet specific requirements to be taken further. One of the basic requirements is that all lots should be Specialty Arabica Grade and have a cupping score of 86 points and above.

The timetable is as follows:

  • Roasting: 11 and 12 August 2021
  • Calibration & Green Grading: 13th August 2021
  • Cupping Sessions: 14 and 15 August 2021

International Cupping Jury

The best coffees will be taken forward for further cupping by an international jury where they will be shortlisted for the final lineup of coffee which will be ordered from 1st through 15th based upon their final score and auctioned to international buyers.

The timetable is as follows:

  • Roasting by Saint Coffee Roasters: 25/26th August 2021
  • Calibration & Green Grading: 9th September 2021
  • Cupping Sessions: 10th September 2021

About the international jury

  • The International Jury will be managed by our Head Judge Danny Pang (Singapore) who will invite 30 professional tasters and Q graders to cup the coffee.
  • All 30 judges will be Q-Graders or experienced coffee buyers from around the world.
  • We will roast all the coffee together in the UK to gain a consistent roast for each coffee.
  • Sensible Development will provide support to the Head Juror through Nicolas Pastellopoulos who is our Head of Coffee and also a Q Grader.
  • The top 10 coffees will be re-cupped, Round 4, to establish the final line-up for the coffees in the auction.
  • We will use the feedback from the jury as the basis for detailing the coffee on sale in the auction to you the buyers.
  • This final set of coffee samples will be sold and distributed to the buyers as they register, and purchase samples sets.
  • All samples will be dispatched from the United Kingdom.
  • All shortlisted coffees will be secured by the CEPAR to guarantee the quality and identity of the coffee sold to the buyers during the auction.

About the Logistics after the auction

Sensible Development (SD) who are the leading provider of Specialty Auctions Platforms to coffee producers in South and Central America and Easter Africa will be in charge of all the logisticts after the auction.

They operate the underlying auction platform for the prestigious Cup of Excellence Coffee Competition, and are well recognized for facilitating trade for coffee farmers with buyers in Asia, Europe and North America through their comprehensive database and social media presence.

This auction is being organised and promoted by CEPAR in partnership with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and NAEB under the MARKUP Programme, a regional development initiative for the East African Community, funded by the European Union.

Your participation in this auction will support us to keep devising locally-owned and effective trade mechanisms, that are also sustainable and can be scaled to a sufficient level that impacts the livelihoods of those most in need.

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