About Us

We are a nonprofit membership organization that brings together the global marketplace in order to create a more transparent and sustainable economic future for high quality farmers.

Our Vision

To live in a world that embraces excellence and sustainable economies.

Our Values

We are committed to excellence.
We act with integrity and transparency.
We embrace the diversity of our global community.
We move with gusto.

Our Mission

Reward exceptional quality coffee farmers.


In 1999 the Cup of Excellence (COE) founders along with the Specialty Coffee Association of America developed the first global internet auction platform for award winning coffees. These auctions have allowed exemplary coffee farmers, whether award winning or not, to realize a greater financial price for their coffees. Prices from the auctions have been multiple times higher than the traditional method of selling. The pricing transparency of the auctions has increased the overall value of top specialty coffees globally- not just for the COE coffees.

The global accessibility of the auctions allowed for any size roaster anywhere in the world to purchase an exemplary award winning coffee either solely or in a group. These are coffees that may not have otherwise been available or even known. Before internet auctions most of the top quality coffees were either blended or sold to the preferred customers of exporters. Transparent auctions supported those roasters or importers wanting a direct channel to high quality farmers and have helped multiple companies expand their customer base and increase the success of their farmer-identified coffees.

In late 2002 with its mission to reward exemplary coffee farmers and to grow the Cup of Excellence program, the Alliance For Coffee Excellence, Inc ( ACE) was created. The founding of ACE relied heavily on donated support from The Brazil Specialty Coffee Association ( BSCA) with Marcelo Vieira becoming its first chairman. Susie Spindler organized ACE as a Montana non profit, took on the responsibility of Executive Director and agreed to manage the fledgling organization and enlarge its impact. In 2003 ACE worked in conjunction with an Australian firm and created its own auction platform and its own website in order to become a membership organization. Several international roasters provided extra funding in exchange for lifetime memberships. The new website and auction platform supported a data base that would allow for greater business and relationship building between the winning farmers, their neighbors and the marketplace.

The Board of ACE has always been a team of diverse international coffee professionals. Board chairs have included Stephen Hurst ( Mercanta Coffee Hunters UK) Becky McKinnon ( Timothy’s – Canada ) Roberto Bendaña ACEN- Nicaragua) Andreas Hertzberg (Solberg and Hansen- Norway) Kentaro Maruyama-( Maruyma Coffee- Japan ) Jason Long, (Cafe Imports- USA), Geoff Watts (Intelligentsia- USA) Will Young ( Campos- Australia ) and the present chairman Cory Bush ( 32Cup Specialty- Belgium)

Darrin Daniel took the helm of The Alliance For Coffee Excellence as its Executive Director in early 2017 and is growing the auction programs for both COE award winning and semi- finalist coffees and the exciting expansion into Private Collection Auctions. ACE’s headquarters is now based in Portland and it shares a fully certified quality lab with the COE program.

As of the beginning of 2020, the Alliance For Coffee Excellence and Cup of Excellence will be split into two separate but different types of non profits. ACE will remain a 501c6 industry trade organization devoted to auctions, membership and growing the marketplace. Cup of Excellence competitions, any coffee producing country projects and all of the educational projects are being reorganized under a 501c3 charity with separate board and governing documents. This organizational change allows for the possibility of additional outside funding for competitions, technical training, cupper and coffee farmer education and coffee research all supported by COE as well as the potential to offer more kinds of transparent auctions supported by ACE but does not affect the mission of either. Both ACE and COE will remain focused on the reward and empowerment of exemplary coffee farmers.

The Alliance for Coffee Excellence manages:

Why ACE?

For over 20 years ACE has been providing a transparent global auction platform for award winning and other exemplary quality coffee farmers to realize the true financial value of their coffee. Prices from these auctions have been multiple times greater than the traditional method of selling. The auctions build a bridge between premium quality buyers and high quality farmers of every gender and size and result in long term sustainable economic relationships.

ACE provides exceptional benefits to its members who span more than fifty countries. ACE is governed by an international board of directors composed of specialty coffee leaders and professionals.

We welcome inquiries from magazines, newspapers, journalists, radio and documentary filmmakers who are interested in learning more about the work of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence and its online coffee auctions. As a non-profit organization, we need your help to spread the word about the results of our work. Please contact us for further information.

The Alliance for Coffee Excellence is based in Portland, Oregon (USA).
2250 NW 22nd Ave, Suite 612
Portland, OR 97210

Email Inquires: [email protected]

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