Twenty three lots received the Cup of Excellence designation at the recent Brazil Naturals Cup of Excellence competition in Araxá, where the records for the highest individual score and average score were broken.
The Alliance for Coffee Excellence, the membership group that coordinates the Cup of Excellence program in Brazil and at least 11 other producing countries this year, will present the winning coffees at an online public auction March 4.
The group’s international panel of cuppers, also representing 11 countries, gave the highest individual score (95.18) to a coffee from a five-hectare farm in Cristina, Mantiqueria de Minas, that is operated by brothers Antônio and Sebastian Marcio da Silva. The combined average score among the 23 winning lots was 88.26, another record-high for the Brazil Naturals competition. (Coffees scoring 85 or higher earn the COE designation).
Brazil Naturals Head Judge Chris Wade suggests the drought that affected producers throughout the last growing harvest season may have actually had a positive impact on cup quality among the natural-process coffees, due to shortened drying time.
“With this shorter time, we noticed that many of the coffees had exceptional acidity with great clarity,” Wade said in an announcement from ACE released yesterday. “This is probably due to the coffee drying faster and preserving much of the acids within the coffee. What we found on the tables was absolutely stunning.”