Coffee and Tea Cupping Competition & Discussion


The first ever cupping event during Global Diaspora Week was held on October 15th at Swings Coffee Roasters in Alexandria, VA. We had an intimate discussion about coffee and tea. Cupping, if you are not familiar with the term, is a method of comparing taste, aroma, and flavor in order assess quality and value. As a group we learned the technique for tasting and put the new skills to the test when we judged some of the best coffees and teas from East Africa.

We had 32 participants attend our cupping event. 19 of whom were in the coffee business including roasters, buyers, importers, professional Q-Graders and producers. We are happy to report that the event attracted the attention of multiple representatives from the U.S. Department of State and the International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA)!

A special thanks goes out to everyone at Swing’s Coffee in Alexandria, VA for allowing us to host our event at their location and donate the time of their licensed professional Q-Graders to guide us through the cupping process. They explained in great detail about the complex world of coffee and tea, and the economic hurdles and opportunities stakeholders face.

Our event proved to be a great opportunity for African diaspora to promote lesser known coffee growing countries in Africa to everyone in attendance. The event increased exposure and potential investment in African agriculture.

Coffee is the second-most-traded commodity in the world and tea is the most consumed beverage. Although these commodities provide a livelihood for many subsistence farmers and their families, their revenues are not consistent with the world market.

PANEX is a revolutionary Africa-focused commodities exchange, employing an all electronic platform. This allows stakeholders to better facilitate trading, electronic warehouse receipts financing, and price discovery, all through a transparent market. By this we are able to streamline the marketplace, reduce the cost of trading and capital, thus fostering financial efficiency for buyers, traders and growers.

If you have any questions regarding PANEX’s work please contact Jacob Maaga via email:

presentation cupping IMG_3160