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Tarrazú region reigns at Costa Rica 2020 Cup of Excellence

From the July 2020 issue.

Héctor Bonilla of Don Mayo La Loma in the Tarrazú region placed first in the 2020 Costa Rica Cup of Excellene (COE) with a honey process Geisha variety that scored 90.27 points.

With his son Josue Bonilla Solis, this was Bonilla's second time winning first place, having last accomplished this a decade ago in 2009.

“We are very happy as a family to have achieved the first place of the Costa Rica 2020 Cup of Excellence. In this time of pandemic where only bad news is received, this is really an incentive to keep going,” he says.

“I think of the saying, ‘it is never darker than before dawn.’ Let's go ahead and work hard, agriculture is pride for countries that are capable of producing.”

Tarrazú was also home to the two runner-ups. El Cedro farm placed second with a honey process Typica that scored 90.14, making it the only coffee other than first place to win the Presidential Award. Don Cayito rounded out the top three with an 89.55-scoring washed Geisha.

The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) announced there was a total of 26 COE winning coffees and 14 National Winner coffees from the Costa Rica competition. Eight winners represented a Kenya variety and 10 were Geisha.

Ten were of the honey process, seven were anaerobic, five were washed, and four were naturals. Overall, the winning coffees represented three regions, with three from Central Valley, 14 from Occidente, and nine from Tarrazú.

“We, as Hacienda San Isidro Labrador micromill, feel very satisfied and happy to have won the second Place in the Cup of Excellence. I take this opportunity to greet my neighbors and good friends, Ricardo ‘Cayito’ and Don Héctor, and all those who participated in the event,” says Johel Naranjo Monge, of Finca El Cedro.

“We are very happy to take part in the Cup of Excellence, which continues to be a very important international window of promotion for Costa Rican coffee. As a producer family, we continue with great motivation, waiting for the next harvest, which we hope to produce more quality coffee."

Preliminary cuppings began in early April, however due to guidelines given by health authorities, the competition was delayed a couple of weeks.

Because of the impact the COE has on coffee producers, the Specialty Coffee Association of Costa Rica (SCACR) and ACE worked to adapt the difference phases of the competition both at origin and internationally, utilising Global Cupping Centers (GCCs). This was the fourth competition held at these GCCs. One of these is Terarosa Coffee in South Korea.

“Costa Rica Cup of Excellence is a showcase for coffee buyers. By variety and by processing, farmers in Costa Rica always try to do something new. This year’s competition had so many different and exotic coffees, showing new approaches to things.  Most of the coffee is very unique and special which made it difficult to score,” says Yunson Lee, International Judge and Coffee Buyer for Terarosa.

The producers wait for the auction on 5 August for the final results of their craft.

For more information, www.cupofexcellence.org/costa-rica-2020

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