Erwin Mierisch Named Executive Director of ACE and Cup of Excellence


Longtime specialty coffee professional Erwin Mierisch has been appointed executive director of the sibling nonprofits Cup of Excellence (COE) and the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE). 

The Portland-based groups began the search for a new leader following the resignation of Darrin Daniel in March. Mierisch will assume the role beginning Aug. 14. 

Despite a relatively small staff and its nonprofit status, the Cup of Excellence holds an influential place in the global specialty coffee industry, maintaining approximately a dozen prestigious countrywide green coffee competitions and auctions that consistently fetch prices that exponentially eclipse traditional market value. 


COE’s sibling nonprofit, ACE, is tasked with promoting the COE platform while also engaging in numerous other activities designed to promote global coffee quality, and to celebrate and remunerate coffee producers. The group maintains the Private Collection Auction series. 

With a career spanning the Americas, Mierisch has acted as a farmer, exporter, roaster and consultant. He was most recently a partner at the Texas-based specialty coffee consultancy Farm Direct Coffee. Part of a multi-generational coffee-farming family with roots in Nicaragua and the United States, Mierisch brings deep familiarity with COE and ACE programming to the both groups’ top executive position. 

In 2002, Mierisch helped bring the inaugural Nicaragua COE to life, and has since been the competition’s in-country operations manager. Representing the fourth generation of the Mierisch family in coffee, he has previously served as a COE head judge and trainer. He’s also been a COE-winning farmer and has helped coordinate the Los Favoritos Private Collection Auction.  


“With first-hand experience and skill in all aspects of Cup of Excellence and with an empathy for coffee producers, the program will be in good hands,” COE Chair Noelia Villalobos said in an announcement from ACE today. “We are grateful that he is willing to invest his long coffee history and expertise in developing an exciting future.”

After debuting in Brazil, the 23-year-old Cup of Excellence has been held in 15 different countries.

“As a coffee producer I have seen first-hand the benefits that COE and ACE have brought to the countries and to the farmers,” Mierisch said in today’s announcement. “My goal is to expand those benefits but also to make certain that companies are successful with their support.” 

Does your coffee business have news to share? Let DCN’s editors know here. 

Source: Daily Coffee News

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