In 2018, Cup of Excellence (COE) and National Winner (NW) Auctions raised US$4.5 million in proceeds for coffee producing countries. The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE), with its in-country partners, completed 12 COE competitions in 11 different countries. Across the 12 competitions, more than 3000 samples were submitted and evaluated, and 473 lots were auctioned in the COE and NW auctions.
ACE says multiple COE records were broken in 2018. Costa Rica COE lot 1a sold for US$300.09 per pound, more than doubling the previous COE record for any country. Guatemala NW lot 40 sold for US$9.10 per pound, setting a NW auction high bid record. Brazil Pulped Naturals lot 1a set a high bid record for Brazil of US$143.00 per pound. Burundi broke its COE country record by achieving seven presidential awards from the International Jury. Rwanda auctioned the most pounds of coffee in a COE auction for 2018, with 54,300 pounds sold. Perú, in its second year with the COE program, saw 6600 more pounds of coffee go to auction than in 2017.
ACE says a notable element of COE Nicaragua was the strong performance of F1 hybrid varieties, which represented four of the top 11 coffees in competition. The El Salvador COE auction boasted 13 honey, 13 natural and 12 washed processed coffees, and the Honduras COE auction had its first honey processed coffee go to auction in 15 editions of the program. The top two coffees from México put a spotlight on Jalisco and Estado de México, regions not well known for specialty coffee. For more information, visit www.allianceforcoffeeexcellence.org