Rwanda’s Ngororero Coffee wins two awards at Annual Ernesto Illy International Coffee Awards

Illycaffè has named Rwanda’s Ngororero Coffee Washing Station as the Best of the Best at the third annual 2018 Ernesto Illy International Coffee Award (EIICA). Philotée Mukiza represented Ngororero Coffee Washing Station at the event, who was also awarded the Coffee Lover’s Choice award. “It is an honour and a pleasure to recognise Ngororero Coffee Washing Station and Ms. Muzika for their achievement, and that of all of our finalists, who are focused on producing the highest-quality coffee through sustainable methods,” illycaffè Chairman Andrea Illy says. “This week celebrates an even greater theme, and that is the enormous dedication, pride and talent of the world’s 25 million coffee-growing families, who fill our cups, and replenish our souls, every day.” The award winner was chosen from among the world’s top lots from the 2017/2018 harvests in nine countries, whose growers attended a gala at the Rainbow Room in New York on 4 October. Alongside Rwanda, coffee from Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, India and Nicaragua were chosen to compete as finalists, following analysis at illy’s Quality Lab at its Trieste, Italy headquarters. The EICCA recognises coffee growers who demonstrate excellence in achieving sustainable quality. The Best of the Best jury included Mark Pendergrast, author of Uncommon Grounds: The History of Coffee and How it Transformed Our World; Peter Giuliano, Chief Research Officer at the Specialty Coffee Association, Sunalini Menon, Director of Quality Control for the Coffee Board of India, and Founder of Coffee Labs, in Bangalore; and Ernesto Velasquez, a second-generation coffee producer from San Antonio in Honduras, among others.

The Coffee Lover’s Choice award was determined by more than 1500 visitors to flagship illycaffè locations in Kuala Lumpur, London, Milan, Paris and San Francisco, and at special events in Athens and New York City, all of whom tasted coffee prepared from the same beans as for the expert jury. On the same day, 27 grower representatives from the nine finalist countries participated in a coffee-specific seminar – hosted by illy and representatives from the International Coffee Organization and United Nations Industrial Development Organization – that covered topics including growing practices, business management and climate change.

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