In the tenth year of partnership between the Cup of Excellence program and The Specialty Coffee Association of Costa Rica (SCACR), online bidders battled for almost five hours to purchase the 29 winning lots from the 2017 Costa Rica Cup Of Excellence competition. The annual online auction held June 22nd resulted in US$647,131.92 spent by international coffee buyers. The top price of over $80.00 per pound was bid for the number one coffee lot from Finca Don Antonio. This 92-scoring coffee is a honey process, gesha variety. “We are very surprised. We expected a good price, but not so high compared with last year’s prices. Very happy also for all the other producers, we all received very good prices!” said the winning farmer, Jorge Brenes. In 2016 the top bid was $59.00 per pound for the winning competition coffee. With a $17.76 per pound record average price- the highest for any Cup of Excellence auction – the ten-year anniversary marks a milestone that has seen a complete landscape change in the specialty coffee sector of Costa Rica. Traditionally Costa Rica was well known for quality coffee but not for small, unique micro-lots that identified the farmer, the variety and the process. Now discriminating buyers from around the globe head to Costa Rica to find outstanding honey process and natural process coffees with a wide range of flavour profiles and to build long-term relationships with smallholder farmers. This change is partly due to the rigorous Cup of Excellence competition that first recognised innovative micro mills producing a range of honey-processed coffees. Winning Bidders hailed from; Japan, Germany, China, South Korea, USA, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Bulgaria, Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom. “The diversity and loyalty of International roasters that rely on Cup of Excellence to reward these top – often unknown – coffee farmers is unparalleled. We are so appreciative of their amazing support as members and as buyers,” said Darrin Daniel, Executive Director of The Alliance for Coffee Excellence.