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Some of our partners that are helping make the 2022 event a success

Coffee Awards

Timeline for 2022 event

8 March 2022 Early Bird Special
Entries Open

Early bird entry fee R1050 excluding VAT (approximately USD108 or EUR93) from 8 March until 28 June 2022

29 June 2022 Entries are R1375 excl VAT (approximately USD96 or EUR84)
Regular entry fees

Early bird entry price ends, and the regular entry fee of R1375 excluding VAT (approximately USD108 or EUR93) applies from 29 June to 2 August 2022

2 August 2022 Final close of entries
Final close of entries

Final entries close

15 and 16 August 2022 Monday and Tuesday delivery between 09:00 and 16:00
Delivery of samples

Final delivery of samples to Stellenbosch, South Africa

Products that did extremely well in the 2021 awards

Coffee Awards

This year, The Aurora International Taste Challenge will be held in South Africa and will have some top professionals judging products from around the world.  The goal is to identify and award the best-tasting products available to consumers.

The aim of the panellists is to assess the quality of products from the consumer’s point of view, in similar circumstances to those in which a consumer would enjoy the product. This event will champion products from around the world that are made for the discerning consumer.

Categories for coffee:

Coffee will be judged in subcategories according to the following main criteria:

  • Beans or pre-ground coffee
  • Origin
  • Black coffee, or coffee with dairy or different milk alternatives

Coffee can be entered under the black coffee category, but there are also categories with the following milk alternatives:

  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Dairy milk
  • Oat milk
  • Rice milk
  • Soy milk

Most consumers buy coffee in the form of pre-ground coffee, so this will be a big category. Coffee of blended origin will compete separately from the coffee of a single origin.

While many consumers are brand-loyal, most would choose an alternative if they had access to fair product ratings. The Aurora International Taste Challenge will award silver, gold and double gold awards to exceptional products. We are proud to be setting new standards.

Stickers for silver, gold and double gold awards will be available for purchase to the winners. A one-time print run will be done, and extra stickers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. You do not have to order stickers.

Set your quality product apart from the sea of others, to show that quality,

not just your marketing budget, still counts for a lot.

Latest news

Entry Fees and dates
  • The early bird entry fee is, R1050.00 excluding VAT (approximately USD83 or EUR71) from 8 March 2022 to 28 June 2022.
  • The regular entry fee is R1375.00 excluding VAT (approximately USD109 or EUR93) from 29 June 2022, until closing on the 2nd of August 2022
  • 2 August 2022 – Entries close

Stickers will be available to the winners at R365.00 excluding VAT per 1000. There will be only one print run, and extra stickers will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Samples needed for Coffee:

For pre-ground coffee or beans:

A minimum of three containers totalling a minimum combined weight of 1.5 kg is needed per entry.

For pods:

Ten capsules per entry.

We are proud to be partnering with several companies to make the 2022 Aurora International Taste Challenge a big success.

Why should you enter?

Winners of The Aurora International Taste Challenge will enjoy bragging rights and will be able display their award artwork in their tasting room, in email signatures, on the product itself, as well as in digital and print media, all royalty-free.

Superior products will be granted Silver, Gold and Double Gold status to reward excellent quality. Exceptional products that exceed expectations will be eligible for Trophy awards. Besides the normal technical criteria used during judging, the wow factor and a reading on the judge’s hedonic scale of enjoyment will be taken into account.

Winning producers will be able to display award artwork on the product itself, in digital media, and in print media for a period of one year from when the awards are granted. Winners will receive a digital award artwork kit with all permutations of the artwork related to the award received and will be able to use the artwork subject to a non-exclusive licence agreement. No royalties are charged.

Stickers for silver, gold and double gold awards will be available for purchase by the winners. A one-time print run will be done, and extra stickers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. You do not have to order stickers.

To ensure quality control, winners may not print their own stickers, and stickers can only be purchased from the organisers.

Here is a close approximation of what the 25 x 25 mm stickers look like.

 

Here are some examples of the award artwork. Colours can be adjusted to suit packaging. No physical trophies or awards are awarded.

Winning producers will be able to display award artwork on the product itself, in digital media, and in print media for a period of one year from when the awards are granted. Winners will receive a digital award artwork kit with all permutations of the artwork related to the award received, and will be able to use the artwork subject to a non-exclusive licence agreement. No royalties are charged.

The award artwork can be used where very little space as available, and artwork with detail more appropriate to smaller areas. No physical trophies or awards are awarded.

By winning an award you will ensure that your product is discovered, or rediscovered in a blind tasting, without bias or prejudice.

General categories

This year, The Aurora International Taste Challenge will be held in South Africa, and will have some of the top professionals judging products from around the world.  The goal is to identify and award the best-tasting products available to consumers.

The aim of the panellists is to assess the quality of products from the consumer’s point of view, in similar circumstances to those in which a consumer would enjoy the product. This event will champion coffee from around the world that are made for the discerning consumer.

Coffee will be judged in sub categories according to the following main criteria:

  • Beans or pre-ground coffee
  • Origin
  • Black coffee, or coffee with dairy or different milk alternatives

Most consumers buy coffee in the form of pre-ground coffee, so this will be a big category. Coffee of blended origin will compete apart from coffee of single origin.

 

By winning an award you will ensure that your product is discovered, or rediscovered in a blind tasting, without bias or prejudice.

FAQS

What criteria are used to judge the products?

For black coffee, the following criteria will be assessed:

  • Fragrance/aroma
  • Flavour
  • Body
  • Balance
  • Aftertaste

For coffee with dairy or milk alternatives, the following criteria will be assessed:

  • Sweetness
  • Flavour
  • Taste balance (combination of flavour, milk aftertaste and sweetness)
  • Aftertaste
  • Overall
How will the coffee be made for judging?

To brew coffee in a reproducible way and in a style that most people enjoy, coffee will be brewed using the pour over method.

Coffee can be entered under the black coffee category, but there are also categories with the following milk alternatives:

  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Dairy milk
  • Oat milk
  • Rice milk
  • Soy milk
For coffee with milk, the milk will be added to the coffee in a ratio of 1:8.
Samples needed for Coffee:

For pre-ground coffee or beans:

A minimum of three containers totalling a minimum combined weight of 1.5 kg is needed per entry.

For pods:

Ten capsules per entry.

Who will be judging?

Products will be judged by professionals with an intimate knowledge of coffee.

Beans or pre-ground beans?

Both pre-ground beans and whole beans may be entered. Whole beans will be ground to a medium fine consistency shortly before the brewing.

What equipment will be used for preperation?
  • Brewista smart pour electric kettle

  • Acrylic Clever Coffee Dripper

  • Hario V60 filter paper

  • Mahlkönig 43 grinder

Coffee will be made with a ratio of 60 grams of coffee to 1 litre of water.

Beans will be ground to medium fine consistency.

Filtered water will be used and poured at 92°C.

Can I use this award for all the brands that this product is produced under?

The award may only be used for the particular brand that was entered. If the company markets the exact same product under different brand names, additional non-exclusive licences will be granted to be used for the additional brands at an amount equal to the entry fee.

What awards are conferred?

Superior products will be granted Silver, Gold and Double Gold awards to recognise products with excellent taste. These producers will be able to display this award artwork on the product itself, in digital and in print media for a period of one year from when the awards are granted, as long as the quality of the product does not change from that of the original sample, and dependent on the terms of a non-exclusive licence agreement.

Trophy awards will also be conferred on products that are truly exceptional and top of their class.

Stickers may be purchased from the organisers, and may not be printed by any other party.

 

There will be only one print run, and extra stickers will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Entry Fees and dates
  • The early bird entry fee is, R1050.00 excluding VAT (approximately USD83 or EUR71) from 8 March 2022 to 28 June 2022.
  • The regular entry fee is R1375.00 excluding VAT (approximately USD109 or EUR93) from 29 June 2022, until closing on the 2nd of August 2022
  • 2 August 2022 – Entries close

Stickers will be available to the winners at R365.00 excluding VAT per 1000. There will be only one print run, and extra stickers will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Are there any royalties involved?

No royalties are payable.

An electronic certificate will be emailed to the winning participants. Subject to adherence to the terms of the non-exclusive licence agreement, winners will also have a non-exclusive licence to make use of the digital award artwork kit, with various logos and award artwork to use on their product, in email signatures, in digital and in print media for a period of one year from the time the awards are announced. No physical trophies or awards are presented.

For how long can I use the award artwork?

The award artwork may be used on the specific product and brand that was awarded, subject to a non-exclusive licence agreement, for a period of one year, subject to the terms of the non-exclusive license agreement.

Why should I enter my product?

Winning an award will provide content for media coverage, grant bragging rights, and make the market appreciate the great lengths you go to in producing your product. In a world where food and drinks are often considered generic products, an award will set you apart from the competition.

Will the tasting be audited?

The tasting will be audited by an accredited auditing firm to ensure that the judges are not influenced and that the tasting is done blind, and conforms to international standards.

Sample delivery questions for Coffee

Can pre-gound coffee be entered?

Yes. Pre-ground beans will be judged separately from whole beans that are ground just before the coffee is made.

Can I enter coffee of blended origin?

All blended coffees can be entered as blends, and single origin coffees under their particular origin.

Samples needed for Coffee:

For pre-ground coffee or beans:

A minimum of three containers totalling a minimum combined weight of 1.5 kg is needed per entry.

For pods:

Ten capsules per entry.

Categories for coffee:

Coffee will be judged in subcategories according to the following main criteria:

  • Beans or pre-ground coffee
  • Origin
  • Black coffee, or coffee with dairy or different milk alternatives

Coffee can be entered under the black coffee category, but there are also categories with the following milk alternatives:

  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Dairy milk
  • Oat milk
  • Rice milk
  • Soy milk

Most consumers buy coffee in the form of pre-ground coffee, so this will be a big category. Coffee of blended origin will compete separately from the coffee of a single origin.

Where should the samples be delivered?

Delivery options and FAQs

Samples must reach the event in Stellenbosch, South Africa in time for evaluation, and there are two options. The first option is for products that are located close by, that will easily be delivered in the two days allocated, and the second is for samples from overseas or far-flung destinations, which require a bigger delivery window.

Option 1

  • This option is ideal where samples are not sent from a far distance, and they will definitely arrive in time.
  • 2-day delivery window
  • 15-16 August 2022 from 09:00 to 16:00
  • Delivered to venue

Option 2

  • Best for cold chain dependent entries and entries from overseas
  • 12 days delivery window
  • From 1-12 August 2022
  • Best to use overnight delivery options to make sure entries arrive during the week, on the days allocated.
  • Delivery from 09:00 and 16:00 during weekdays
  • Delivered to DHL in Paarl (very close to the venue).

Both options will respect the cold chain from arrival, and delicate chocolates, ice-creams and other temperature-sensitive products will at all times be treated with great care.

Please label all samples on the outside as follows:

  • PERISHABLE
  • PLEASE KEEP FROZEN
  • KEEP REFRIGERATED
  • All frozen samples must be shipped in the presence of dry ice.
  • Use frozen ice packs when shipping refrigerated samples.

DHL is our preferred delivery solution, and you can read more about them here.

First option (2-day window) - for samples located close to the event

Samples must be delivered between 09:00 and 16:00 on the 15th and 16th of August  2022.

Participants may use any courier, but please ensure that samples are delivered to:

The Aurora International Taste Challenge

C/o Celia Gilloway

The Conference Centre

Klein Joostenberg

R304 Muldersvlei

Koelenhof Road

Stellenbosch

South Africa

 

The person receiving the samples:

Celia Gilloway

Email:celia@eventsbycelia.com

Tel: 082 782 1977

GPS coordinates: – 33 82’ 66 21 S / 18 79” 55 15 W

Samples must be delivered between 9:00 and 16:00 on the two days allocated.

Second delivery option (12-day delivery window) - for samples arriving from afar

Samples to be delivered between 1-12 August 2022, to DHL Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa. Please bear in mind that 9 August (Tuesday) is a public holiday and samples will not be received on that day.

When sending samples that need to remain at a constant temperature during the cold chain, discuss the appropriate packaging and shipping option with DHL to ensure the products do not arrive over a weekend when no cold chain facilities are available.

Please send samples to:

DHL Paarl
35 Zandwyk Park
Old Paarl Road
Paarl
South Africa
For the attention of The Aurora International Taste Challenge
C/o Marijke Douglas

DHL will consolidate the samples to make sure they are delivered on time.

Products from outside South Africa need the necessary time to clear customs. Also, add the wording: “Samples of no commercial value – for attention The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”.

DHL, our preferred logistics partner

We have partnered with DHL to allow for timely delivery, and they are our preferred delivery solution.

When making use of DHL, please contact:

Marijke Douglas by email at Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

Products that are sent that have to maintain the cold chain, need to be packed accordingly, and the DHL overnight service can be used.

Late entries might not be accepted.

With regard to DHL and overnight delivery, how certain can I be that the sample receives the necessary urgency to deliver on time?

When making use of DHL, please ensure you send your samples to:

DHL Paarl
35 Zandwyk Park
Old Paarl Road
Paarl
South Africa

For the attention of:
The Aurora International Taste Challenge
C/o Marijke Douglas

Make sure you arrange with Marijke by emailing her at Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 to make sure everything will be in order.

For additional information, contact Sanet van Heerden at hello@aurorachallenge.com. This event is managed by Tank Town Promotions (Pty) Ltd.

General FAQs

How many samples do I need to deliver?

If you are on the page of the particular category that you need, you will find the information under FAQs. If you are on another page, just go to the page with the sample information for all products.

Do taxes and customs fees only relate to imports?

Only samples sent from outside of South Africa will accrue taxes, clearance and customs fees.

Do entrants get a reduced-price option through DHL?

Because DHL consolidates deliveries, the prices will be reduced. Make sure you arrange with Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 to get the necessary detail.

Overnight deliveries and deliveries from outside of South Africa will be at normal DHL rates.

Will you have a show for people / companies to attend if they are not entering the event?

The Aurora International Taste Challenge is not a trade show or public event. Only the organisers and judges are present.

There is also no prize-giving ceremony or trade / public tasting afterwards.

Rules specific to coffee:

  • A minimum of three containers comprising a minimum combined coffee weight of 1.5 kg is needed for samples.
  • Coffee has to be 100% from a specific origin to claim that origin.
  • A single coffee can be entered into the black coffee category and as many individual milk categories as possible. A separate entry fee is payable for each entry.
  • Entries may not be duplicated for the same product, for instance entering the same coffee into the same category more than once is not allowed.
  • Samples may not be past their sell by date.
  • All costs related to delivery, including customs fees and taxes etc. are at the participant’s expense.
  • Only commercially operated importers, roasters, producers or distributors that abide by the food laws of the country of origin may enter.
  • Winners will be asked to supply the event organisers with high resolution pack shots for use on its website, and in marketing materials. By entering this event, the participant grants The Aurora International Taste Challenge unlimited use of these images.
  • Be sure to securely wrap entries with bubble wrap or similar material to secure your entries against breakage. Please wrap your final package in a plastic bag and make it leakproof  in order to prevent leakage and damage to other products. Label samples as fragile.
  • Specialised packaging material or any other packaging material will not be returned. Specialised packaging material can significantly preserve the final quality and viability of the sample being judged.
  • If styrofoam peanuts are used for packaging, please secure them in a container that will not cause leakage or spillage of the packaging materials.
  • International entries must take the necessary precautions to prevent breakage and hold-ups in customs, and are encouraged to use local agents to deliver samples.
  • If more than one box of samples are delivered, please mark the boxes as “Box 1 of 5”, “Box 2 of 5” etc.
  • After winners are announced, no additional samples are needed.
  • Leftover samples will become the property of the event.