The Cup of Excellence (COE) returned to Colombia in September after a two-year break, with the 7 November auction earning an overall US$10.80 (approximately AU$14.24) per pound for the 30 lots, almost doubling the 2015 price per pound. The winning farm, Mirador-El Naranjo from Nariño, sold its coffee at US$37.30 per pound to Maruyama, Sarutahiko and Saza Coffees and Nippon Coffee Trading, all from Japan. Buyers from South Korea, Germany, France, the United States, Australia, the Netherlands and Norway were also successful bidders of the featured lots. The international jury awarded a score of 91.28 to Mirador-El Naranjo, which joined five other lots in winning Presidential awards, given to those scoring 90 and above. “I feel honoured to get the first place as I didn’t compete with the idea of winning. I wanted to know more about the event and get to know more people,” says Farm Owner Rodrigo Arley Diaz, a first-time competitor in the COE. The Alliance for Coffee Excellence, which runs the COE, is dedicated to advancing excellence in coffee through the program. Brazil’s Pulped Natural and Natural Auction is set for late November and early December, concluding the 2017 season for the program. Plans are underway for a 2018 Northern regional competition on 20 – 23 March.