Cup of Excellence auction returns record result for Brazil

The Cup of Excellence (COE) Pulped Naturals 2015 auction has returned a record result for Brazil. The total collection from the 1 December online auction was R$1.4 million, exceeding the previous 2010 Brazil COE record of R$1.2 million. All of the 22 coffees were sold in the online auction, with bidders paying an average of US$8.35 per pound. Contest champion Antonio Rigno de Oliveira received the highest bid of the auction. Japanese company UCC Ueshima Coffee Co paid US$45,000 for Antonio's eighteen 60-kilogram bags of coffee. Antonio's coffee was COE's winning lot with a score of 91.22 points out of 100. A large representation of the winning roasters and traders to take advantage of Brazil’s low Real against the US dollar were Japanese companies. This includes Maruyama Coffee, TOA coffee, Kyokuto Fadie Corporation, Nagahama Coffee, Wataru & Co, and Nippon Coffee Trading Co. Other recipients of the winning coffees includes South Korea's Coffee Libre, Almacielo, Terarosa Coffee, and GSC International; China’s Shanghai Borong International Trading; Germany’s InterAmerican Coffee, Belgium’s 32cup NV; Norway’s Kaffebrenneriet AS; and Brazil’s Café Danza Brasil. “The auction has fulfilled its primary role, which is to show and appreciate the producing origins of Brazilian specialty coffee, encouraging farmers to pursue ever more quality,” said Adolfo Henrique Vieira Ferreira, the new chairman of the Brazilian Specialty Coffee Association (BSCA). Australian company, Campos Coffee also successfully bid on winning competition coffees. Campos Coffee won four Brazilian lots in the COE auction, paying as high as $9 per pound for a coffee from Brazil’s Sítio da Serra farm. “The prices were very reasonable, given the champion level of the coffees,” said Campos Coffee Founder Will Young. “We rewarded the producers well for their years of dedication and hard work, but I think our customers will be drinking excellent coffee for a very reasonable price this year.” Will says he was determined to win at least one of the top 10 coffees. Lot number four, the Sitio da Serra, was one of Will’s favourites in all the pre-auction cupping sessions, and thankfully it became his to take home. “With a very complex acidity and flavour profile, it suits our Australian palates well and should be very tasty as an espresso. Also, it is an acaiá varietal, which we have always seen as a particularly interesting varietal for espresso – it’s very rich. We have not seen this new varietal ever make it so far in any competition,” Will said. “I love that COE can bring varietals, farms, and even countries out from obscurity. It’s likely to be the best Acaiá to ever enter a competition.” After striking gold with Lot number four, Will says he also wanted to pick some more affordable lots from further down the list. He says the affordable prices on lots 10, 12 and 17, ranging from US$6 to $6.80 per pound made the coffees more accessible to a wider range of coffee drinkers. Zora Oliviera, the daughter-in-law of the champion of this year's COE was the farmer responsible for lot number 12 from Fazenda Tujico. “I adored her coffee last year when it placed third. We were outbid that year, which was disappointing, so this year we are so pleased to pick up a lot from this wonderful producer,” Will said. The trading floor is the final stage of the COE process. The auction is organised by the BSCA in partnership with the Brazilian Agency for Export and Investment Promotion, and the Alliance for Coffee Excellence. “Supporting COE means the world to us. Specialty Coffee, as we know it, would not exist if not for the good that this program has done in incentivising, rewarding, and then promoting those producers who produce truly exemplary coffee,” Will said. “We are honoured to reward these champion producers with high prices.  We are also honoured to promote their coffees, their farms, and their stories through our stores.”

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