Guatemala Cup of Excellence continues auction record breaking streak

The 2020 Guatemala Cup of Excellence set new all-time highs for average price per pound and top price in the country’s competition.

The top-scoring coffee in this year’s competition, a washed Geisha from El Socorro farm, was sold at a record high of US$180.20 per pound to Maruyama Coffee in Japan and a group of buyers in the United States, including Goodboybob, Cometeer, Puff Coffee, Bird Rock Roasters and PT’s Coffee.

The price was a 125 per cent increase over the previous record of US$80.20, set in 2008.

“Farmers are completely happy and never expected the prices that were achieved. This is a success, not only for El Socorro, but for the country as well as achieving an average price per pound above US$26,” says Juan Diego de la Cerda, a representative of El Socorro.

“We [at El Socorro] have been participating in the Cup of Excellence program since 2007, and from then on, only two years we did not reach the auction. The experience has been very nice from the beginning. It has helped us to strengthen relationships with clients, some now that are over 10 years old. Creating relationships like these is the greatest success of this program. Any farmer can enter and participate in the program, but it does require plenty of effort and dedication. We have excellent coffee growers in Guatemala and everyone can participate.”

The average price per pound clocked in at US$26.50, a 65 per cent increase over the last record set in 2017.

Within nine minutes of the auction opening, all 30 lots had bids, and the bidding continued for four and a half hours. The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) says adoration for Guatemalan coffee proved its potency during this time of pandemic.

“I believe Guatemalan coffee is rich in flavour variety, and the coffee produced by El Socorro symbolises that,” says Kentaro Maruyama, CEO and Founder of Maruyama Coffee, ACE member, and Guatemala Cup of Excellence Global Coffee Center Judge.

“I was thrilled by this outstanding coffee and scored it 97.5 points. It’s exactly like an all-star of flavours in one cup. Everyone in our buying group was beyond excited for this lot and desperate to win the bid. We are delighted to be able to purchase this coffee.”

While winning producers watched the auction online and through a narrated livestream put on by in-country partners Anacafé, buyers from around the world came together to back farmers by bidding in the auction.

“At Cometeer, we're thrilled to support the social and flavour-driven mission of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, generate higher revenues for coffee producers around the world, and share these coffees with our community down the line,” says Matt Roberts, Co-Founder and CEO of Cometeer and ACE member. 

The other half of the top-scoring lot was purchased for US$175.30 per pound by Momos Coffee for the Jooyeon Selection, created by 2019 World Barista Champion Jooyeon Jeon. The second-place coffee was purchased by a buying group consisting of roasters from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

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