COE All-Inclusive Origin Immersion

All-Inclusive* Origin Immersion – Instituto Salvadoreño Del Café San Salvador (Mar 18-22, 2024)


What’s Included in the Immersion Trip:

  • Hotel
  • Transportation to and from airport in El Salvador
  • All ground transportation in El Salvador
  • Breakfast everyday
  • Lunches everyday
  • Most dinners
  • Custom Apron
  • COE Custom Cupping Spoon
  • Meet and greets with Farmers
  • Cupping Training
  • Roasting Training
  • Varietal Workshops
  • Farm Visits
  • Mill Visits
  • All cuppings
  • All planned experiences
  • Beach trip and dinner!
  • As much coffee as you can possibly consume*Airfare to and from El Salvador is not included
Farmer working with coffee beans

“I’m thrilled to have the chance to participate as a co-trainer in this ACE/COE immersion program in my home country. We will make sure attendees gain knowledge of the remarkable features of El Salvador with hands-on and customized training while hosting an integral and exciting origin experience.

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

Luis Rodríguez, COE Head Judge



Welcome to the COE Origin Immersion Program: El Salvador 2024, an all-inclusive journey* into the heart and soul of El Salvador’s vibrant coffee culture! Over five incredible days, you’ll become a part of a unique coffee community, immersing yourself in the traditions, flavors, and rich history that define this Central American coffee-producing gem.

This all-inclusive event ensures that your experience is hassle-free, with the event price covering everything from accommodation to meals, in-country transportation, and all activities. Throughout your journey, you’ll absorb the essence of Salvadoran coffee culture, from its history and traditions to its future prospects. This isn’t just a coffee course; it’s a cultural experience that will leave you with a profound connection to the Salvadoran coffee community. Bring your curiosity, an open heart, and comfortable clothing, as we invite you to be a part of this remarkable journey and gain a deep appreciation for the culture and coffee industry of El Salvador.
 *Airfare not included

Over the five-day course, students will participate in:

  1. COE Cupping and Scoring: Students will learn how to accurately cup and score coffee, through lectures and COE calibration discussions. Cupping sessions will focus on coffee varieties and processing unique to El Salvador.
  2. El Salvador Coffee Industry: Participants will learn about the history, varieties, processing methods, and the future of El Salvador’s coffee industry through presentations and discussions from industry leaders.
  3. Coffee Production and Processing: This topic provides insights into the coffee production process, including visits to farms, mills, and roasters, with a focus on understanding how coffee is grown, processed, and roasted.
  4. Coffee Defects and Quality Control: Participants will learn to identify coffee defects and implement quality control measures, ensuring an appreciation for high-quality Salvadoran coffee.
  5. Sustainability and Coffee Varieties: This topic explores sustainable coffee practices and emphasizes the importance of preserving coffee varieties. Discussions will include topics like biodiversity and trade practices through the lens of COE.
  6. Roasting and Espresso Tasting: Delving into the art of coffee roasting, including hands-on roasting competitions, and experiencing espresso tasting sessions to understand the nuances of espresso preparation and flavor profiles.

Prepare for an unforgettable journey into the heart of El Salvador’s coffee culture, from seed to cup. This COE Origin Experience promises to be an educational and sensory adventure that will leave you with a deep appreciation for the art and science of coffee. Get ready to immerse yourself in the world of coffee in one of its most fascinating origins.

Each day breakfast will be provided in the hotel (Hotel is included in the price)! Transportation will be provided to and from the hotel to the Instituto Salvadoreño del Café for class. Start and end times will vary each day.

Day 1 & 2 we focus on COE cupping, the protocol of identifying qualities, identifying common flavor attributes, scoring, and a common language. We then will advance to expose all participants to a technical approach to our quality variables, different varietals, and common defects. Sessions include lab, lecture, active discussions, and field trips to coffee farms. Student will experience multiple cupping sessions focused on the unique varietals and processing methods of El Salvador. These sessions will take place at leading farms and mills around El Salvador. Along with learning about cupping, students will gain first-hand information on the Salvadoran coffee industry from leading farmers and industry experts.

Day 3 will be filled with a multiple cupping session test. Our instructors will gather students cupping scores and begin to create a report that will be provided to the students on the last day of class. The report will detail how well students were able to calibrate with the group and accurately score specific coffees from the country of El Salvador. After lunch on the third day, we will continue our exploration of the Salvadoran coffee industry with more excursions.

COE ORIGIN IMMERSION – INSTITUTO SALVADOREÑO DEL CAFÉ - image of a farmer working coffee beans dried outDay 4 will begin with in-depth lectures, from local experts, on how to correctly roast the traditional varieties of coffee grown in El Salvador. Following this immersive experience, students will travel to the ISC Coffee variety garden to continue their firsthand learning about the varieties of coffee grown in El Salvador. After lunch students will partner with local roasting experts for a roasting workshop that will culminate in a friendly competition to see who can roast the best Salvadorian Coffee! Our 4th day will end with a trip to the town center for a chance to relax, enjoy local culture and a dinner with the group.

Day 5 will begin with a very special cupping of coffees produced by COE winning coffee farmers. This coffee will represent the very best of what El Salvador produces each year. This cupping will be followed up with a tasting and announcements of results from our friendly roasting competition. From here we will travel to a nearby farm to continue our discussion with farmers about the opportunities and challenges faced by the local coffee community. After lunch the group will experience more Salvadoran flavor with a local fruit tasting.

Our last day will culminate with a trip to the beach where we will host an awards ceremony and dinner for our students. This is sure to be a night to remember as we eat, celebrate, and reflect on the amazing community that is the Salvadoran coffee industry.

Please bring a notebook and, if you like, samples of your roasted beans. You’ll have the opportunity to see other coffees from other attendees. We’ll be actively standing during cupping and seated for discussions, so please wear comfortable clothing and shoes. No use of perfume or cologne allowed.

You will receive a COE cupping spoon, an apron, and other fun things at the beginning of the class. Upon completing the course, you will receive a certificate of completion signed by your instructor.  The top three students, based on the test results will be guaranteed a either observer or jury seats in the 2024 or 2025 El Salvador COE.

Host: Instituto Salvadoreño del Café

The Institute is the governing body in the formulation and direction of the National Policy on coffee matters; in the orientation and promotion of Salvadoran coffee growing, in order to ensure the economic, educational, social and environmental development of the country; as well as the design of programs and projects that promote the participation, productivity and development of producers; and, in the execution and promotion of scientific research, technology transfer, innovation and technological development of coffee, to generate an increase in its productivity, enhance its quality, resilience to climate vulnerability, generate environmental services of the coffee park and reduce the costs of its production, for the benefit of the members of the coffee production chain.




Luis Rodriguez-Ventura El Salvador

Luis Rodríguez

COE Head Judge

Holding an Economics and Business Administration degree, his coffee life started as Head of Economics Department for the Salvadoran Coffee Council back in 2001. The coffee bug bit him while overseeing several quality and marketing programs. In 2003, he co-coordinated the first CoE program in El Salvador and kept involved until 2009, when he became a coffee grower and started a consulting firm focused on marketing, quality control and fostering relationships between growers and buyers.

He’s been related to Cup of Excellence not only as organizer but as national and international judge, winning CoE grower and now as Head Judge for ACE/CoE since 2021. Luis holds active Q Grader license, Q Processing Professional certificate as well as having a Lecturer certificate for teaching Quality Evaluation and Post Harvesting Processing courses for CQI. He founded the Salvadoran Coffee School and currently acts as president for the Salvadoran Coffee Cuppers Association (ASCAFE).

Alex Pond, Head Judge & Sr. Education Manager

Alex Pond

COE Sr. Education Manager

Alex has worked in specialty coffee for over a decade. In 2005, Alex started as a barista in Eugene, Oregon. In 2009 he competed in and won the Northwest Regional Barista Competition in the United States. Alex has worked barista shifts in Iceland and Sweden and has volunteered for numerous national and international coffee events. In 2012 Alex joined the team at Portland’s Heart Coffee Roasters. Over nearly six years at Heart, starting as a barista, Alex advanced to directing training and managing quality control and green buying.

Alex is currently the Sr. Education and Project Manager for the Cup of Excellence. In this role, Alex instructs and drives Coe courses and education initiatives globally.  Along with his efforts to promote COE education, Alex also works as a head judge for CoE competitions and ACE Private Collection Auctions. Alex has instructed courses in over 15 countries.

Alex enjoys traveling and experiencing Oregon’s incredible natural beauty and Cats. He is also a pretty good cook.


All COE courses require eight students to register for the class to run. Once you have registered for the course, we will send you updates on the status of the class and how registration is proceeding.

COE Courses are eligible for a 100% refund for 31 days before class starts. Between 30 and 16 days before the start of class, the courses are eligible for a 50% refund. From 15 days before the beginning of the system, it is nonrefundable unless ACE cancels the course. Refunds Requested over 90 days after the initial date of purchase will only be issued in the form of credit for future purchases on the ACE website.

If students are late or do not show up for class, ACE cannot ensure their cupping data will be included in group discussions, calibrations, or post-class reports.

All-Inclusive* Origin Immersion – Instituto Salvadoreño Del Café San Salvador (Mar 18-22, 2024)


COE Members: $1,600 USD
Non-Member: $1,920 USD

Airfare not included.

Dates: March 18 – 22, 2024

Instituto Salvadoreño Del Café
San Salvador, El Salvador

Instructor: Luis Rodríguez, COE Head Judge

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