[ In December, 2011, Groundwork's licensed Q Grader, Jeff Chean, was one of the Star Cuppers at the Rainforest Alliance Cupping Community event in Long Beach, California.]
According to Maya Albanese, Coordinator for Rainforest Alliance North America, "Top coffee cuppers from all across North America convened this week at the SCAA offices in Long Beach, CA to participate in the Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality. The event showcases top specialty coffees and illustrates the link between environmental, social and economic sustainability and high quality in the coffee industry.
The cupper group represented coffee importers, roasters and retailers large and small. Each cupper will now have the opportunity to purchase their favorite coffees sampled at the event from the Rainforest Alliance certified farms. All samples were kindly roasted to SCAA protocol by Ted Vautrinot, Andrew Phillips and Rocky Rhodes at the Kean Roasting facility.
The cuppers tasted a variety of coffees from certified producers in Indonesia, India, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Brazil, Kenya, Tanzania and Hawaii. The final results of the judges' scorecards will be publicly announced in a Rainforest Alliance press release in the second week of January 2012. The winning producers and cuppers from the competition will be honored at the Rainforest Alliance breakfast event at the SCAA conference in April of 2012!"
The Rainforest Alliance is heavily involved with sustainability education and works to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods by transforming land-use practices, business practices and consumer behavior. Their cuppings take place twice each year.