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It can now be announced that after clearing up an initial scoring discrepancy, our partners at MadCap Coffee Roasters are in fact recipients of a 2014 Good Food Award for their Ethiopia Yukro. They now join a list of fine coffee roasters from across the United States, compiled here in our 2014 Good Food Awards coffee buying guide. 

The Good Food Awards is an annual affair rewarding the best in American-crafted coffee, preserves, cheese, beer, wine, spirits, chocolate, and charcuterie. 2014 marked the fourth year of the event, and for the first time served as the event’s official media sponsors. You can read extensive coverage of this year’s awards here on Sprudge.

The GFA left MadCap out of its initial list of finalists and winners because of a simple and unfortunate data-entry error. We spoke with GFA founder and Seedlings Project Executive Director Sarah Weiner, who expressed her dismay over the situation, “I feel horrible that we didn’t realize the mistake until after the Awards Ceremony, which I take responsibility for.”

“We are excited and proud they are joining the roster of winners,” Sarah Weiner wrote in a written statement to Sprudge, “and grateful to [Coffee Committee Chair] Brent [Fortune] and [Madcap Owner] Ryan [Knapp] for helping us realize what had happened.”

MadCap submitted two coffees, their Ethiopia Yukro and Raul Mamani from Peru. Both were scored by the GFA judges, and Yukro initially qualified for finalist status. After the investigation, it is now determined that the Raul Mamani qualified as a finalist as well, and the Yukro should have been amongst the GFA winners.

After Madcap received its judging scores from GFA partner Cropster, an analysis and quality management company, they noticed discrepancies and approached the Good Food Awards committee about the results. The GFA organization then discovered the oversight. This is the first year the organization shared scores with submitting companies with the assistance of Cropster.

“We’re grateful to have Cropster this year,” Sarah Weiner explained to us over the phone, “It’s because of their scoresheets we were able to diagnose this error.”

From Madcap's Instagram, published in December 2013: "Stoked to be in the midst of some great company as a @goodfoodawards finalist"
From Madcap’s Instagram, published in December 2013: “Stoked to be in the midst of some great company as a @goodfoodawards finalist”

MadCap Coffee owner Ryan Knapp told Sprudge: “Initially I approached them, as it appeared we should’ve had two finalists, and I wasn’t even considering that there was a greater mistake and one of our coffees actually should’ve been a winner.” Mr. Knapp said that in going over the Cropster data, he was initially “simply trying to understand how finalists were selected, and then learn how winners were selected.”

“After weeks of back and forth, questions and digging into this, yesterday I received a formal apology and a statement that Yukro is in fact a 2014 Winner of the GFA,” Mr. Knapp explained to Sprudge. He has also been notified that Raul Mamani, Peru is now officially designated as a 2014 GFA finalist. “They noted that they are immediately adjusting the website, along with their records to recognizing MadCap as a winner,” said Mr. Knapp.

So what actually happened? And could other roasters be affected? When we asked Weiner, it was explained to us that coffee winners are chosen by regions. A winning coffee had been mis-categorized in the Central region where MadCap is based. When the coffee was moved to its actual region, a hole was left in the spreadsheets which should have been filled with Madcap’s Yukro. “This is the only time a coffee has erroneously been placed in the wrong region,” Weiner explained.

From Madcap's Instagram: "Meet Raul Mamani from the Puno Region of Peru. We hiked 3 1/2 hrs through the mountains to visit Raul's farm, meet his family and have a meal together. This 7hr round-trip walk is the same journey Raul takes 2-3 times a week to deliver coffee as you can't get to his farm by car. Oh, and the coffee tastes phenomenal!"
From Madcap’s Instagram: Raul Mamani, producer from the Puno Region of Peru. 

MadCap’s winning coffee, Ethiopia Yukro, is currently available via MadCap’s website. The company plans to release two small micro lots of Peru Raul Mamani in the coming weeks. The Good Food Awards have updated their website to reflect the win.

“MadCap has been so gracious throughout this ordeal,” Weiner added, “we’re just so proud that they’re a part of our community.”