2018 Cup of Excellence – Year in Review
In 2018, Cup of Excellence (COE) in partnership with their in country partners completed 12 competitions in 11 different countries. The COE Auction and National Winner (NW) Auctions raised $4.5 million USD in proceeds going back to the countries. For the 12 competitions, over 3000 samples were submitted and evaluated and 473 lots were auctioned in the COE and NW auctions.
2018 was a notable and record-breaking year for COE. Costa Rica COE lot 1a sold for $300.09/lb, more than doubling the previous COE record for any country. Guatemala NW lot 40 sold for $9.10/lb setting a NW auction high bid record. Brazil Pulped Naturals lot 1a set a Brazil high bid of $143.00/lb. Burundi broke their COE country record for achieving 7 presidential awards from the International Jury. Rwanda auctioned the most pounds in a COE auction for 2018, 54,300 pounds sold. Colombia achieved a COE first; when the lot ranked 10 achieved the high bid in their auction with an experimental processed coffee. And Perú in it’s second year with the COE program saw 6,600 pounds more go to auction than 2017.
Each year the COE competitions create higher quality standards, which rewards significant premiums to skilled farmers in the down economy. Beyond the numbers, COE is a discovery mechanism for varieties, processes and regions. A notable element of COE Nicaragua was the strong performance of F1 hybrid varieties, which represented four of the top 11 coffees in competition. The El Salvador COE auction boasted 13 honey, 13 natural and 12 washed processed coffees and the Honduras COE auction had it’s first honey processed coffee go to auction in 15 editions of the program. The top 2 coffees from México put a spotlight on Jalisco and Estado de México, regions not well known for specialty coffee. Each year and each competition bring high quality coffee to auction that are unique and exceptional.