The winners of the Good Food Award for coffee will be distinguished by exemplary flavor – sweet, clean, well developed body, balanced acidity and phenomenal aromatics. To qualify for entry, roasters and coffee farmers must emphasize fairness and transparency from seed to cup. This year’s entry criteria seeks to accommodate the enormous cultural diversity of coffee production.
The Good Food Awards rely on the expertise of the coffee community to create the tasting, determine judges and set standards for the category. Read on to learn who has been integral to building the category, as well as what the coffee standard are and who will be judging this year.
Sandra Elisa Loofbourow
Tasting Room Director at The Crown
Sandra is the Tasting Room Director for The Crown, a certified Q Grader and Assistant Instructor, and brings with her a depth of experience as a roaster, green buyer, and barista. Her work in the Tasting Room includes menu curation, brew recipe development and analysis, and serving fascinating coffees. She teaches classes related to coffee brewing and tasting, latte art, customer service, and regularly leads Spanish-language events. Her experience living in Chile, working as a Spanish/English Interpreter, and teaching Argentine Tango influence all inform her approach to coffee. She is passionate about all things delicious and spends a lot of time eating cheese and sipping IPAs.
Independent Holistic Health Coach
Tovara Salley is a retired coffee professional who is now a holistic health coach, she has worked in and loved coffee most of her life. She has been making coffee with a smile for over a decade in California. Before coaching and coffee, her love of humans was exemplified through teaching yoga. As a lover of all forms of education she is an avid reader and still student of yoga. Her days would not be complete without a yoga flow, a quick hike, several delicious cups of coffee and coaching her local community. She is happy to be a part of the GFA again this year.
Senior Global Education & Training Specialist at Allegro Coffee
Sheli primarily oversees training of the Whole Foods Market coffee bars within the Northern California region while also assisting other trainers throughout the country. She has worked in coffee for almost 12 years and enjoy helping others pursue their goals within the coffee community.
In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award, coffee entries must meet the following standards:
- Roasted in the USA or US territories.
- Traceable back to the producer (or producers) at the farm or cooperative level.
- Sourced in such a way that price premiums meet or exceed Fair Trade minimums relative to the world commodity price, either through direct trade or through publicly stated policies and in-place processes.*
- Sourced from farms or cooperatives where:
- There is an emphasis on pursuing sustainable agricultural practices including water conservation and minimizing or eliminating the use of synthetic inputs.**
- Transparent, documented practices ensure fair and humane work standards for all laborers. **
- Made by a roaster that:
- Prioritizes waste management through water conservation, composting and recycling.
- Regularly checks roasting air quality. Roasters should be maintaining and cleaning their stacks regularly, and making sure their afterburner (where applicable and dependent on volume of roasting annually) is keeping temperatures high enough to incinerate particulates.
- Promotes a safe and enjoyable work environment by implementing policies and programs such as wage transparency, offering development and learning opportunities to staff and sponsoring or participating in social or environmental projects.***
- Made by a crafter that is an upstanding member of the good food community, committed to equity, inclusion, and justice in all levels of their business.
*Prices determined based on C market (min $1.40) plus Fair trade (+ $.20) and Organic ($.30) pricing.
**These commitments can be shown by being third party certified to meet the standards of the following certification programs: NOP Organic, SMBC Shade Grown, Fair Trade (FTUSA/Fairtrade International), Rainforest Alliance or by providing further details regarding the farm, estate, associations or cooperatives in which you source from.
***Such as 1% for the Planet, B Corp, GMO-Free Project, Fair Trade or other local organizations focused on environmental and social responsibility.
To accommodate remote tastings, judging will happen in two phases this year.
- Multiple Bay Area judges taste each coffee. Registration is available here.
- Coffees are brewed at home on personal brew devices
- Scoring is out of 30 points, with 5 points possible for each category: Fragrance/Aroma, Flavor/Aftertaste, Acidity, Body, Balance, and Overall Impressions.
- Judges are to submit scores by September 25.
- Top 6 coffees from each region move on to round two
In the first round of judging, members of our local Bay Area community will sign up here to participate in our pre-selection process. Folks interested in judging will signup through the Good Food Awards website and pay a nominal fee, a portion of which will be a donation to GetchuSomeGear to help baristas access coffee equipment.
Each judge will receive 5 anonymized coffee samples to brew at home. To help judges prepare for their tasting, we ask that they view the following videos on Brew Variables, Why Grind Matters, and best practices for Infusion and Immersion brewing. Although these brewing guides and recipes are provided, there are no specific guidelines for preparation. Judges are encouraged to brew coffees as they would normally at home.
Judges will submit scores and tasting notes through the Good Food Awards website by Friday September 25th. The scoresheet will be very simple, with judges evaluating Fragrance/aroma, Flavor/Aftertaste, Acidity, Body, Balance, and Overall Impressions, assigning a score out of 5 points for each category for a final score of 30 points possible.
This round is open to the public, meaning that although we will be targeting coffee professionals in the Bay Area to participate as judges, people from adjacent industries like food, cocktails, and wine, as well as Good Food Guild members and even coffee hobbyists and consumers are welcome to join. To account for the lack of calibration, we will ensure that multiple judges taste each coffee sample.
- Multiple qualified judges taste each coffee
- Coffees are evaluated through cupping, with protocols in place for water, grind size, and water to coffee ratio
- Using the Roasters Guild Roast Evaluation form to select 3 winners from each region
In the second round of judges, we will enlist qualified coffee professionals with experience in cupping and coffee analysis to evaluate the top 6 coffees from each region. Each judge will be given a list of supplies to acquire in advance of the tasting to ensure that they are following SCA cupping protocols, including water recipe, grind size, vessel size and type, and coffee to water ratio. These judges will receive anonymized coffees in the mail prior to the tasting day. On Saturday, October 17th, judging pods will taste together in remote Zoom sessions, and deliberate immediately after tasting. As in previous years, we will use the Roasters Guild Roast Evaluation form. Each coffee will be tasted by multiple judges. Of the 6 high scorers from each region, 3 will become winners.
Business Devleopment Manager, IKAWA, Ltd.
Director of Roasting, Royal Coffee
Director of Quality Control, Andytown Coffee Roasters
Sales Associate and Certification Specialist, Royal Coffee
Coffee Buying & Logistics Lead, Philz Coffee
Founder, Onyx Coffee Lab
Head Roaster, Red Bay Coffee
Creative Director, Royal Coffee Inc.
Retail Educator, La Colombe
Sales Manager, SEB Professional North America
Sourcing Curator, Royal Coffee
Co-Owner, Onyx Coffee Lab
Co-owner, Pacific Coffee Research
Tasting Room Manager, The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab and Tasting Room
Founder, LUNA Coffee
Associate Roaster, Equator Coffees
President/Founder, BD Imports
T. Ben Grimm
Chief Glitter Officer, Founder, Glitter Cat Barista
Coffee Buyer, Allegro Coffee
Builder, Ground Control
Q Program Manager (CQI) Owner Chief Education Officer (AoCE), Coffee Quality Institute & The Academy of Coffee Excellence
Coffee Professional & MArketer, Freelance
Writer, Boss Barista
Lead Roaster, Wreckingball Coffee Roasters
Lab Assistant, Caravela Coffee
Founder, Umeshiso Coffee Supply