Lifetime Pioneer Members

These companies contributed significantly to the foundational work of ACE and the Cup of Excellence program, offering pioneering support and becoming Lifetime Members with indefinite access to all of the Cup of Excellence benefits.

Solberg & Hansen: Norway

Solberg & Hansen was founded in 1879 with a focus on selling top quality coffee. S&H imports, roasts, wholesales and retails some of the world’s finest coffees. Solberg & Hansen has been a supporter of Cup of Excellence since its inception in 1999 and has purchased a winning coffee in almost every single auction. It was the very first Lifetime Member. Per Storbakken, Jon Willason and Andreas Hertzberg have been members of the Cup of Excellence international jury. Trygve Klingenberg has sat on the Cup of Excellence advisory panel as well as having been an honored speaker at the El Salvador 2003 awards ceremony.

Toa Coffee: Japan

Toa is an innovative roasting company specializing in high-quality coffee and having loyal customers.

Bontain Coffee: Japan

Since 1948 Bontain Coffee has served excellent coffee to loyal customers. By constantly improving roasting methods, brewing techniques and always searching for the best quality coffee grown in each country customers of Bontain coffee are always satisfied. Yoshi Kato has been a member of the Cup of Excellence international jury and used to sit on its advisory panel.

Estate Coffee Copenhagen: Denmark

Established in Copenhagen 1996 as a specialty coffee pioneer by the gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer and the coffee and chocolate specialist Soren Sylvest, COE jury and ACE advisory board. After 10 years Estate Coffee Copenhagen still has the same focus – the continuous search for excellent coffee.

Wataru & Co, Ltd.: Japan

Wataru & Co., Ltd. was founded in 1947 by Mr. Wataru Nishibayashi and has provided reliable green coffee services and trading for many roaster in Japan. Wataru serves as a practical bridge between the roaster and farmer. Wataru & Co., Ltd. has been the biggest single company buyer of Cup of Excellence’s award winning coffee, Wataru & Co., Ltd. is recognized as being a cooperating importer for the Cup of Excellence program having provided logistics and services to other Cup of Excellence buyers.

World Coffee Co, Ltd.: Japan

World Coffee focuses on serving superb quality coffee to our fully satisfied customers with strict consistency standards from the quality of the green coffee beans, the best roasting technology, proper grinding, packaging materials and brewing.

PROBAT-Werke: Germany

Good coffee depends on three key factors: The raw product, roasting and preparation. If just one of these factors should be unsatisfactory, the result is noticeable in the cup. That is why PROBAT constantly develops and manufacturers new innovative roasting and plant technologies that are designed to get the best from every single coffee bean.

PROBAT has a wealth of expertise in this field, because the company has continuously developed from an important coffee roasting pioneer to international market leader. This cutting edge expertise is reflected in every one of their products, be it a roaster, grinder or a complete roasting plant.

The Coffee Tree Roasters

Founded in 1993 by father and son, Bill and Bill Swoope, The Coffee Tree Roasters started with one small in-store roaster and now boasts four retail locations in the Pittsburgh area.

Offering specialty coffees, pastries, coffee accessories, gift baskets and gift cards, patrons can sip their favorite coffee drink in a relaxing atmosphere or enjoy coffee on the go. Proud to serve coffee fresh from the tree and committed to fresh roasting, the Swoopes discard unused coffee after eight days.

Since 1999, Bill Swoope, Jr. has participated in 19 auctions and seven international juries including the first Brazil auction in 1999. He also was an active member of the Cup of Excellence advisory panel.

The Coffee Tree Roasters is proud to become the first United States coffee roaster named a Cup of Excellence Lifetime Member.

The Coffee Tree Roasters has four uniquely different retail locations in the Pittsburgh area; 5524 Walnut St. in Shadyside, 5840 Forbes Ave. in Squirrel Hill, 299 Beverly Rd. in the South Hills and 48 Fox Chapel Rd. in Fox Chapel.

Den Gyldne Bønne AS

Den Gyldne Bønne AS was founded in Oslo, Norway, in 1996 by Mr. Jørgen Lindvik. More than ten years later, the company regards themselves as an ambitious and modern importer, roaster and wholesaler with traditional values, aiming to combine true passion, innovation and excellent quality in the cup.

Orsir Coffee: Taiwan

Founded in 1994 by Joe Hsu as a specialty coffee pioneer in Taiwan and offering specific traceability and good quality coffee around the world.

Orsir is the first company in Taiwan who customized roasted coffee and also has the first international jury from Taiwan! Orsir participates in teaching and educating coffee brewing methods to help customers into the spectacular flavours of specialty coffee!

Orsir Coffee is proud of being the first Cup of Excellence Lifetime Member from Taiwan and Chinese region.


“Cup of Excellence coffee is the good stuff. KAFFA loves the good stuff.”

Mercanta The Coffee Hunters

Mercanta The Coffee Hunters was established in 1996 and celebrated their tenth anniversary at the SCAE conference in Berne Switzerland in 2006. Mercanta set out to supply the growing ranks of specialty coffee roasting companies in Europe. By 2008, Mercanta counted some of the most discerning specialty coffee roasters in more than 25 countries worldwide amongst its customers, with more than 150 specialty coffee product lines in the UK/USA found in inventory warehouses.

Four of Mercanta’s diverse staff are international Cup of Excellence jurors. Mercanta’s founder, Stephen Hurst, has served on the Board of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) from 2002 to 2008 and is also a past Chairman of this organisation. Mercanta has been buying Cup of Excellence coffees since the very first auction in Brazil in 1999.

T.A.N. Coffee

T.A.N. Coffee is a microroaster founded in Nov 2007, based in Nova Scotia, Canada. We specialize in premium quality coffee using alternative trade models like Cup of Excellence and direct trade relationships with producers. The company also focuses on a ‘Fresh is Best’ principle to present the highest quality possible to our customers.

TERAROSA - Haksan Co. Ltd

TERAROSA was founded in 2002 by Mr. Yong-Duek Kim who leads the company with a great passion about finding the highest quality coffees from around the globe.  The company provides specialty wholesale coffee to retailers as well as very famous hotels, restaurants and cafés. Terarosa is a leader of the specialty coffee industry in Korea which is growing rapidly.

The motto of TERAROSA is that the details of a coffee make the difference. The company is always welcoming new customers at their café and serving coffees that inspire them.  Mr. Kim travels the world building relationships with farmers and Ms. Yun-Son Lee is an international juror for the Cup of Excellence.

Fika Fika Coffee Company

Fika Fika Coffee Company is a quality-focused roaster in Taiwan for 10 years.

our sponsors

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt
Select Language