Premium, award-winning Colombian coffee creates online buzz

One of the finest, most expensive cups of coffee today boasts a floral, jasmine aroma, has a lingering creamy aftertaste, background notes of vibrant cherries and an "effervescence" that lends the java a robust and round sweetness.

That was the verdict of an international jury of coffee experts who awarded Colombian farmer Primavera the Cup of Excellence last week - an assessment that fueled an online bidding war and saw American, Australian and Taiwanese coffee companies join together to pay more than $100,000 (€68,192) for 2,300 lbs (1,043 kg) of unroasted coffee.

After Colombia's record-breaking online auction, other coffee farmers are also likely abuzz with anticipation as winning farms from El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras will be selling their coffee in the next few weeks. Nicaragua auctioned their coffee Tuesday.

The Cup of Excellence honors the best coffee produced in nine coffee growing countries around the world as evaluated by a panel of international experts. The winners are awarded the Cup of Excellence and sold to the highest bidder during an internet auction.

To be deemed Cup-worthy, coffees must be perfectly ripe, carefully picked with a well-developed body, have a pleasant aroma and a sweetness characteristic of only high quality, specialty coffees.

Coffee farmer Arnuflo Leguizamo's winning lot was awarded 94.05 points - an unusually high mark in a competition that rarely gives out scores over 90. Coffees are judged or 'cupped' over a five-day period. Like wine tastings, a coffee cupping involves sniffing the 'cup of joe' deeply and loudly slurping the liquid so it spreads to the back of the tongue. Coffees are judged by body, acidity, flavor and aftertaste.

Café Imports of Minneapolis, the George Howell Coffee Company of Boston, Mecca Espresso of Australia, and Robert Kao and Co. of Taiwan joined together to make the winning bid, paying $103,803 (€70,782) for the lot or $45.10 (€31) a lb.

To put prices in perspective, according to the US Department of Labor, a one-pound can of ground coffee sold for an average of $5.10 in the US in April, up from $3.64 the year before. Rising prices have been blamed on coffee speculators, inclement weather in coffee-growing countries and increased demand in burgeoning countries like China. The price hike also forced Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts to up their prices as well.

Meanwhile, the George Howell Company distributes their premium coffee at retailers like select Whole Foods in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Connoisseurs in the US can also join their coffee club and receive a regularly scheduled bag of coffee at their door weekly.

Mecca Espresso has two cafe locations in Sydney where they specialize in premium, gourmet coffee offerings.

The second and third place winners also broke competition records as Eladio Ossa's runner-up coffee fetched $38.80 lb (€27) and was also sold for more than $100,000 (€68,192) split between companies in Norway, the US, Japan, Colombia and Taiwan.

Meanwhile, the 12th annual World Barista Championship in Colombia wrapped up on Monday and crowned Alejandro Mendez of El Salvador the coffee-pulling king. He dethroned American champion Michael Phillips. Other award winners came from the US, Australia, Spain, Japan and the UK.

The schedule for the remaining online coffee auction is as follows:

El Salvador - June 16

Costa Rica - June 21

Guatemala - July 7

Honduras - July 12

http://cupofexcellence.org/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx

 

Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn