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 standards are and who will be judging this year.
Sandra Elisa Loofbourow
Tasting Room Director at The Crown: Royal Coffee Lab & Tasting Room
Sandra is the Tasting Room Director for The Crown, a certified Q Grader and Assistant Instructor, and a Q Processing Generalist. She brings with her a depth of experience as a roaster, green buyer, and barista. Her work at The Crown includes menu curation, brew recipe development and analysis, and leading the team of baristas. She teaches classes related to coffee tasting and brewing, latte art, customer service, and regularly leads Spanish-language events. Sandra is co-host of the bilingual podcast Cafetera Intelectual and chair of the Good Food Awards Coffee Committee. She is passionate about all things delicious and spends a lot of time eating cheese and sipping IPAs.
Owner & Health Coach at Wild Poppy Wellness
Tovara is a retired coffee professional who is now a small business owner and health coach at Wild Poppy Wellness, 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. 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.
Meg Skop, Market Development Manager at Oatly
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 and inclusion in all levels of their business,**** as exemplified through integrating these practices:
- Offering a diversity, equity, and inclusion training to staff members and/or leadership annually.
- Thoughtfully acknowledging the heritage of culturally-specific food on websites, packaging and/or marketing materials.
- For the small percentage of Good Food community that operates on a significantly larger scale, meeting additional criteria related to board diversity, maternity leave and employment practices.****
*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.
****Check if you are in the 2% of companies meeting the Good Food Foundation definition of large scale, and review the addition criteria on the Rules & Regulations page.
To accommodate remote tastings, judging will happen in two phases this year.
- Bay Area coffee lovers and professionals join as judges to taste each coffee. Registration will open in June 2021.
- 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 3.
- 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 to participate in our pre-selection process. Folks interested will pay a nominal fee, a portion of which will be donated to Glitter Cat Barista, a non-profit providing support, training and resource access for marginalized hospitality professionals in the coffee industry.
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 3rd. 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, September 25th, 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.
Assistant Buyer & Green Coffee Quality Manager, Philz Coffee
Creative Director, Royal Coffee, Inc.
Director of Roasting & Quality Control, Little Waves Coffee Roasters
Chief Glitter Officer, Glitter Cat Barista
Green Buyer, Red Bay Coffee
Trader, Head of International Sales, Royal Coffee, Inc.
Winemaker, Osa Major Wines
Director of QC, Andytown Coffee Roasters
Head of Coffee Product, Cometeer
Coffee Professional & Marketer, Freelance
National Sales Manager, Ground Control
Educator, Allegro Coffee Company
Head Roaster, Lost Sock Roasters
Manager, Spiller Park
Director of Coffee Production, Andytown Coffee Roasters
Head Tea Spiller, Cascara
Coffee Quality & Qualification Manager, Cometeer
Assistant Manager, Verve Coffee Roasters
Coffee Wrangler, Hub Coffee Roasters
Educator & Manager, La Colombe
Inbound, Royal Coffee, Inc.
Head Roaster & General Operations, Cafe Unido
Kae N Bonaguro
Beverage Manager, Collective Espresso
Barista, The Breaks Coffee Roasting Co.
Retail Manager, Intelligentsia Coffee
Alexandra McClean Egan
Head Roaster, Nirvana Soul
Sustainability Manager, Blue Bottle Coffee
Beverage Director, Slipstream