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Cup of Excellence El Salvador sees 25 coffees head to auction

J. Raul Rivera of Santa Rosa farm has won the 2019 El Salvador Cup of Excellence (COE), with a score of 90.57 for his honey processed Pacamara varietal.

“At Finca Santa Rosa, we proudly represent [the] Alotepec mountain range and the variety which was developed locally, and the result of years of hard work are rewarded to farmers throughout the country,” Rivera says.

“COE has created a window of opportunity for producers of coffee. Through this event, the world of coffee is evolving for better. We need to promote COE if we want to change the industry.”

Gilberto Baraona of Los Pirineos placed second with 90.37 for his washed Bourbon and Finca La Esperanza placed third with a score of 89.93 for a locally developed Bernardina, the first time the varietal was entered in a COE.

“We coffee producers are obligated to preserve [high quality coffees for] future generations, even varieties [such] as Bourbon [face] extinction”, Baraona says.

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The 16th edition of the competition was held in San Salvador from 23 to 26 April. An international jury, representing Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, United States, Russia, Germany, and El Salvador, had the rigorous task of cupping 34 coffees throughout the week.

After intense rounds of cupping, the 34 samples were narrowed to 25 which will be going to the COE Auction on 13 June.

This was the first 2019 competition in which coffees had to achieve 87 points or more to make it to the COE Auction.

John Ronchi, a jury member from Campos Coffee in Australia, describes the coffees cupped as “full-bodied, with delicate flavours and examples of great processing.”

The other 22 winners consist of two Bourbon, two Kenya and 18 Pacamara varietals.

“Personally coming back here as head judge [for the first time] since 2008, confirmed the expectation of finding very special lots from various types of processes such as washed, honey, and natural and of multiples varieties produced in the country,” says Head Judge Silvio Leite.

“In consequence we had at the tables all three processes competing side by side which enriched the competition.”

For a full ist of results, click here.

Upcoming 2019 COE auctions include Colombia on 16 May, El Salvador on 13 June, Honduras on 11 July, and Costa Rica on 18 July.

For more information, visit www.allianceforcoffeeexcellence.org

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