World of Coffee 2017 was a great time for Guatemala: not only did Funcafé, a branch of the national coffee association Anacafé, win a SCA 2017 Sustainability Award, but there was a livefeed of Cup of Excellence Guatemala at the event. And with a record average price of US $16.08/lb, there was cause for celebration. What’s more, natural and honey processed coffees were well represented.
Lee este artículo en español Cafés Naturales y Honey en la Taza de Excelencia de Guatemala
Honey process coffee drying in Guatemala. Credit: Amec Velásquez for Perfect Daily Grind
All 28 winning lots cupped at 86 to 90.36, and sold for over US $8.90/lb. In contrast, on the day of the auction, the international market price for coffee was US $1.24 (ICO).
The average price of US $16.08/lb beat the 2016 record by nearly US $2, while the first-place coffee – a natural processed Pacamara from Anabella and Ana Lucia Meneses’s El Paraxaj – sold for a fantastic US $58/lb. Santas Felisa’s washed Geisha, which came in at 8th place, also went for US $44.72.
Isabela Minondo Durán of Anacafé tells us, “This year’s Cup Of Excellence was exceptional and special. We had international cuppers from all over the world, including Korea, China, USA, Switzerland, Malaysia, Australia, Greece, Japan and New Zealand. The diversity and expertise of the members in the national and international jury allowed only the finest of Guatemalan Coffees to be selected amongst a ‘rainbow of choices’.”
In a press release, Menseses states, “The community appreciates that coffee can improve lives. Cup of Excellence is good because of that… The impact is really nice and to see how the community appreciates being a farm that wins first place makes smiles.”
Young coffee plants on El Paraxaj. Credit: Alliance for Coffee Excellece
Alternative Processing Methods Are Well-Represented
What’s more, alternative processing methods were among the winners. Isabela Minondo Durán tells me, “This year we also had the participation of more than six honey/natural processed coffees, five of which were selected as Cup of Excellence winners.
“This is groundbreaking for Guatemala, especially because we’ve always been known for high-quality washed coffees. What we may be seeing is a tendency towards diverse, exciting, exceptional flavors that highlight the uniqueness of Guatemalan coffees.”
What’s more, natural coffees historically struggle in auctions. This year, natural and honey processed Geishas were among the winning coffees.
So too was a washed Pacamara and F1 Centroamericano blend. While washed coffees may be better represented than naturals and honeys in these awards, this is notable because Centroamericano is a newly developed hybrid. A Centroamericano also won the Nicaragua Cup of Excellence.
Coffee drying on El Paraxaj. Credit: Cup of Excellence
Feature photo: Coffee drying on raised beds in Guatemala. Credit: Amec Velásquez for Perfect Daily Grind.
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