Celebrating coffee producers has been long overdue

Our Philosophy

Existing coffee championships celebrate baristas and roasters, undermining coffee as a terroir product. Coffee-focused competitions require producers to send their coffee green, to be roasted in a standardized fashion, and to be promoted only to green coffee buyers.

The World Coffee Challenge wants to promote coffee as a finished terroir product, like all agricultural products of quality. This means roasting is a part of the production process and needs to be performed locally. Judging coffee therefore means tasting the final product that has been crafted in its country of origin, incorporating all the elements as one. The final note and prize apply to the roasted coffee, ready to consume. 


Our Mission

1 – Helping build a better coffee world

The World Coffee Challenge encourages local initiatives aiming for quality, good social practices, and enviromental-friendly practices. It is no surprise the way the coffee industry is built, which was inherited from the colonization, has negative primary and secondary consequences on all the different sides of the coffee world. Fortunately many actors at origin are empowered by the rise of the coffee consumption in their country or the move to specialty coffee, and are now able to roast their coffee and sell it with real added value. 

2 – Bridging the gap between producer and consumer 

We want consumers and producers to really connect. This means on the one hand help coffee producers communicate and understand the needs and aspirations of the consumers from Europe. While on the other hand we are on a mission to educate those consumers to what coffee roasted at origin is and what it makes possible. It’s a two way street, and there’s no better way to inspire producers and make consumers excited than organize a competition. 

3 – Build and Protect Identity 

A major success factor is being able to share experiences to better adapt to the new trends in the market (Direct To Consumer and good agricultural practices). Finding inspiration and models to adapt is key to be able to define an approach and products that have a potential. One point we want to emphasize on is help productors and producing regions at large realize the interest and potential of Geographical Indications as a way to market roasted coffee with a more legitimacy oriented approach, as well as a more transparency and traceability-focused angle. A coffee supported and protected by a Geographical Indication is by essence a coffee that can be defended and valued.

First Edition of the World Coffee Challenge
Total Countries Present
2-day event happening Sept 29-30 2022
Total Attendance at Termatalia in Spain

Why participate?

Participating is already a first win

The presence of your coffees in an international competition allows your production to gain visibility and show your motivation.

By participating you give yourself a chance to be distinguished in an international competition of exceptional coffees and thus to enhance the production of your estate or partner producers on objective criteria to support an image of quality, aiming at prestige.

We have defined various categories and special prizes in order to be able to account for the wide variety of tastes and flavors of coffee. It is by valuing the strengths of each coffee type that we will be able to fight against the standardization of the product.

This professional recognition is first and foremost an argument on your national market: winning an award means being able to be identified as a product of excellence in your country, since it was awarded by a neutral jury of experts recognized in Europe.

Then it opens new horizons internationally: it is the opportunity to become the reference on a geographical appellation, region or terroir, and a way to defend your roasting capacities to demonstrate that your coffee roasted by you has no equal.

Confronting yourself with European consumers expectations through a profesional jury

Participating in the World Coffee Challenge is an opportunity for you to get your coffee out there and confront the expectations of European consumers.

If winning an award celebrates the work done and gives prestige, any place and even the absence of a prize can help identify the aspects to be improved and the considerations to be taken into account in the future to make your coffee better or more suited to the market.

We propose participants who wish to obtain a detailed account of the scores awarded by the jury and any exchanges that will have taken place during the blind tasting. Coming to Termatalia would also allow you to meet the experts of our jury to collect their comments and feedback.

Networking and communicating on the international stage

Through your participation in the competition, your estate (or brand) will be displayed on the social networks, and on the directory of roasted coffee at the origin Roasted@Origin. This will also allow you to be highlighted to journalists from the national and international press who will cover the event and the Termatalia 2022 fair.

Then, getting noticed at the World Coffee Challenge would allow the connection with distributors in Spain and more widely in Europe. Alternative Café, partner of the event, will support and commercialize winning coffees.

Finally, exchange and meet your peers to share your experiences and create joint initiatives to federate a corporation around coffee roasted at origin.

Prizes, categories and special awards

1 – Main categories and their prizes

The main categories of the competition are as follow:

  • Arabica Coffee – Washed
  • Arabica Coffee – Natural
  • Arabica Coffee – Honey
  • Arabica Coffee – Mix / Other
  • Robusta Coffee – Washed
  • Robusta Coffee – Natural
  • Robusta Coffee – Honey
  • Robusta Coffee – Mix / Other
  • Blend / Mix / Other

The number of prizes will depend on the number of competitors in each category (see official rules). Note that a category needs a minimum of 3 participating coffees to be validated. 

Extra category:

  • Espresso Coffee

All coffees registered for the espresso tasting will compete in a different category. The number of prizes will depend on the number of competitors. 

2 – Special awards

A series of awards will give extra opportunities for competitors to obtain prizes :

  • Coffee of the “Region”: depending on the relevance of the scope and the number of competing coffees, geographical categories will be defined and each offer a unique prize.
  • Very Special Coffee: category open to all coffees grown under exceptional conditions, micro-climates, or transformed through innovative processes.
  • Best Estate Coffee: category open to all coffees grown and roasted at the estate / farm / finca. 
  • Sustainable Coffee: category open to coffees cultivated by communities with a serious commitment to the protection of the environment and/or that promote social development and education
  • Organic Coffee: category open to coffees which have obtained an organic label that complies with the European regulation for Organic foods
  • Women Coffee: category open to coffees where women are involved and in charge of at least 50% of the management, the roasting, the transformation and the growing.
  • Special Prize of the Jury: the jury sets aside a special award at their discretion

3 – Example

Let’s take an example :

A washed arabica coffee from Peru, certified organic, coming from a single estate, will compete in 4 different categories : Best Washed Arabica, Regional award (which could be continental, national or regional), Best Estate Coffee, Best Organic Coffee. It could rank 5th in the washed arabica category and 9th in the Estate coffees category and hence not win either Gold, Silver or Bronze prizes in these two categories, but it could rank 1st at the national level (Best Coffee from Peru), and 2nd in the Organic Coffees and be awarded Gold and Silver in those two categories.


Competition Sponsors