The panel of international jurors at the Brazil Naturals and Brazil Pulped Naturals Cup of Excellence quality competitions gave some remarkably high marks to coffees in both categories this month, with nine lots scoring 90 points or above.
Eighty six is the baseline for the Cup of Excellence award — organized by the Portland, Oregon-based Alliance for Coffee Excellence — and 32 natural-process coffees along with 25 pulped-natural-process coffees were given the honor this year. The naturals will be publicly auctioned Dec. 7, and the pulped naturals will be auctioned Nov. 28.
To clarify, the pulped natural process is one pioneered by Brazilian producers decades ago in which the skin of the coffee cherry is removed, yet some or all of the fleshy fruit pulp is left in tact into the drying.
The highest-scoring coffee in the side-by-side competitions this year was a natural from Henrique Leivas Sloper de Araujo produced at Fazenda Camocim, located in a mountainous region of Epírito Santo. ACE reports that this is the first ever coffee from Espirito Santo to take a CoE top spot. (Fun fact: The coffee competition launched as Best of Brazil in 1999 before expanding to other countries throughout the world.) More interestingly, it is the first biodynamic-certified coffee to win first place in any CoE competition.
“This result comes from 15+ years of hard work, respecting nature, it’s cycles and moods and with deep passion from all of us at Camocim farms,” Henrique Leivas Sloper de Araujo said in a written statement shared by ACE after the competition. “We love what we do here and will carry on as long as it is possible.”
Judges representing 16 countries gave the coffee a whopping 93.60, the highest single score in any CoE competition this year. A lot from Fazenda Bon Jardim had the highest score in the Pulped Naturals competition, with a 92.33, representing the first time a coffee from the Cerrado Mineiro region has taken the top spot in the category.
Each of the nine lots scoring 90 or above in the competitions will be split into two lots for the auctions.