Ecco Caffè founder and fellow South Side Chicago homie, Andrew Barnett, posted a little background about the Cup of Excellence program on SFGate yesterday: Inside Scoop SF » The Cup of Excellence: The Oscars of the Coffee World.

The Cupping of Excellence - from the SFGateThankfully he compared CoE to the Oscars and not the Grammys — the latter of which have been, hands-down, the least credible and least relevant artist awards going. (As evidenced by the many album-of-the-year winners named at least a decade after the artist is either over the hill or dead, plus occasional jems like naming Jethro Tull “best heavy metal band”.)

As one reader pointed out to us over email, there is some irony in that George Howell — someone whom many in the industry look down upon as a sort of “second wave” coffee dinosaur — is at the roots of the modern single-origin coffee explosion.