The Cup of Excellence initiative officially began life in 1999 with the solitary goal of encouraging farmers to improve the quality of their crop. As the theory goes, the entire market would then drive itself upwards in a bid to attain the highest price possible.
Buyers from around the world flock to these auctions. What started off as a Brazilian only construct has morphed into a global celebration (there are now Cup of Excellence events held in Rwanda, Burundi and two in Colombia to name a couple) and one which we keep a very close eye upon as we launch our range of speciality and micro-lot coffees.
At the start of the year there was the Brazilian Late Harvest Cup of Excellence Competition, an event which took in some of the best coffees grown in the latter half of 2014 and boy was it newsworthy!
To get a Cup of Excellence certification, an individual coffee needs to achieve a mark of at least 85/100. This session saw a record twenty-three lots attain Cup of Excellence status, with the combined average of those lots coming in at 88.26 – a new record for the competition. Additionally, five coffees were awarded marks of 90+, therefore achieving the fabled ‘Presidential score’.
Head Judge Chris Wade offered a rather strange explanation for the exceptional scores, suggesting that the drought which affected harvests in Brazil and South America actually had a positive impact on cup quality: “We noticed that many of the coffees had exceptional acidity with great clarity,” he said. “This is probably due to the coffee drying faster and preserving much of the acids within the coffee. What we found on the table was absolutely stunning.”
So without further ado, here are the results:
Brazil Naturals (Early) 2015
|1||Sitio Baixadao||Cristina, Mantiqueira de Minas||95.18|
|2||Sitio Sertaozinho||Cristina, Mantiqueira de Minas||93.82|
|3||Bom Pastor||Carmo de Minas, Mantiqueira de Minas||93.00|
|4||Fazenda Sao Benedito||Carmo de Minas, Mantiqueira de Minas||92.11|
|5||Sertaizihno||Cristina, Mantiqueira de Minas||88.75|
|6||Sitio Alamanda||Araponga, Matas de Minas||88.71|
|7||Sitio da Ponte||Cristina, Mantiqueira de Minas||88.71|
|8||Chapadao de Ferro||Patrocinio, Cerrado Mineiro||88.61|
|9||Sitio Vale do Sino||Araponga, Matas de Minas||88.50|
|10||Sitio Santo Antonio||Conceicao das Pedras, Mantiqueira de Minas||88.36|
|11||Sitio Nossa S. Carmo||Carmo do Minas, Mantiqueira de Minas||87.75|
|12||Fazenda Rio Verde||Conceicao do Rio Verde, Sul de Minas||87.71|
|13||Pedra Redonda||Araponga, Matas de Minas||87.61|
|14||Sitio Rocinha||Pedralva, Mantiqueira de Minas||87.11|
|15||Fazenda Jardim das Oliveiras||Araponga, Matas de Minas||86.75|
|16||Monte Verde||Carmo de Minas, Mantiqueira de Minas||86.57|
|17||Sitio da Ponte||Araponga, Matas de Minas||86.39|
|18||Fazenda HJ||Unai, Cerrado Mineiro||86.25|
|19||Santa Lucia||Perdizes, Cerrado Mineiro||86.00|
|20||Samambaia||Santo Antonio do Amparo, Sul de Minas||85.71|
|21||Rancho Sao Pedro||Carmo de Minas, Mantiqueira de Minas||85.36|
|22||Fazenda Esperanca||Campos Altos, Cerrado Mineiro||85.36|
|23||Fazenda Caracol||Araponga, Matas de Minas||85.29|