Missoula, MT USA (October 30, 2014) – Farmers from the Piatã producing region of Brazil swept the top five places at the milestone 100th Cup of Excellence competition held at the University of Viçosa last week. The winner, Cândido Vladimir Ladeira Rosa, thrilled by a score of 94.05 points, jumped out of his seat to accept the most prestigious award given to any coffee farmer. The pivotal awards ceremony astonished the audience, as farmers from Piatã and Matas de Minas regions accepted the majority of the 21 awards. These winners now anticipate their areas joining the legendary Carmo de Minas region as the destination for specialty coffee buyers eager to purchase Brazil’s ultimate coffees.
Beginning in 1999, in partnership with the Brazil Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA), Cup of Excellence has completely changed the specialty coffee industry through its discovery of exemplary coffees from mostly unknown farmers and regions. BSCA’s Executive Director, Vanusia Nogueira, reflected on the success of the program and its growth to 10 more coffee producing countries, “It has created transparency to the farmer, rewarded them for their hard work, promoted our country’s great coffees globally, and is responsible either directly or indirectly for well over 120 million dollars in extra quality premiums since its beginning, and this is just in Brazil.”
This year’s winning Brazil coffees, described by the International Jury as being multidimensional with prolonged sweetness, exhibiting lively but refined acidity and offering nuances of diverse fruit flavors, will be sold to the highest bidders on November 26th during an online auction.
“Before Cup of Excellence, blending coffees was standard practice. The discovery of unknown flavors on the competition table, the stringent selection process and the farm stories behind each entry has given the industry priceless tools to better appreciate and find exemplary quality,” explains Susie Spindler, Executive Director of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence and Founder of the trademarked program, “To witness the joy of a first-time winning farmer is an unforgettable experience. Even after 100 competitions and over 2,000 winners, the coffees submitted to be judged continue to surprise even the most experienced cuppers. Cup of Excellence has revolutionized what is possible for coffee farmers and, with its comparatively small price tag, could be a model for other products.”
Cup of Excellence award winning coffees are extremely popular in Asia where companies are willing and able to pay top dollar for the opportunity to sell them to an exploding consumer base fascinated with the flavors of diverse coffees. The Cup of Excellence winning coffees act as ambassador coffees and often increase demand for other coffees from the same country.