Stephen Hurst, Cup Of Excellence

The intense focus on the Cup of Excellence (CoE) program and the importance of quality has been truly the highlight of day 1. The audience was quite responsive to Stephen Hurst’ definitions about quality and specialty coffee in general.

Mr. Hurst was the first to admit that some of his sentiments were perhaps contentious: “This is a controversial idea I have, that the specialty coffee business is just 17 years old,” he said, noting that his reasoning behind the thought was that prior to 17 years ago, the coffee trade was highly regulated, resulting in the stifling of innovation and quality practices.