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Detailed Processing and Prized Varieties at the Cups of Excellence in Costa Rica and Honduras

cup of excellence honduras

From the 2018 Honduras Cup of Excellence. Photo courtesy of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence.

As the 2018 Cup of Excellence green coffee competition is in full swing throughout Central America and Mexico, 72 coffee producers in Costa Rica and Honduras were recently awarded COE honors with coffees scoring 86 points or above, according to international juries.

The Costa Rica and Honduras competitions continued the trend in which farmers are taking hands-on control over processing methods, while prized varieties such as Geisha/Gesha have continued to perform well in terms of quality.

Costa Rica

The 11th Costa Rica Cup of Excellence concluded on Friday, June 1, with 36 submitted lots ultimately winning COE awards. Notably, five different processing methods were represented in the top 10 highest-scoring lots. They included three honeys, three fully washed, one natural, one natural anaerobic and one anaerobic. The top six lots scored 90 points or above.

“With more naturals and more varietals, my 10th COE was an amazing and palate-provoking cupping jury experience,” juror Soren Sylvest from Estate Coffee Copenhagen said in a recent announcement from COE organizer the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE). “In cup, the Gesha profiles were distinct with hints of honey and jasmine and the SL-28s were even more full-bodied and fruit power than in Kenya.”

Here’s more from ACE on the top-scoring lots from Costa Rica:

Luis Ricardo Calderon Madrigal entered 1 sample in the competition and placed first with 91.29-point coffee from Finca Don Cayito with a Honey processed Gesha. During the awards ceremony, Luis was filled with appreciation thanking his family and the close community around him. The second-place winner, Grupo Los Grandes De Copey S.A. scored 91.15 points from Finca Don Antonio with a Honey processed Gesha. Maria Elena Camacho Morales ranked third-place with Finca La Union with a Natural processed Villa Sarchi scoring 90.59 points. The fourth-place winner, Sergio Salas Jimenez scored 90.41 points from Finca La Minilla with the varieties Villa Sarchi and Caturra and the COE competitions first Natural processed Anaerobic going to auction.

The online auction for Costa Rica COE-winning coffees takes place Tuesday, July 11.


The 15th Honduras Cup of Excellence competition saw a remarkably high-scoring winner, a fully washed Gesha from the San Francisco farm in Marcala submitted by Fabio Antonio Caballero Martinez that scored 94.43.

“I was able to slow down and give my coffee personal attention, such as hand turning the coffee while it was drying, each day,” Fabio said in an ACE announcement on the results.

Five other coffees earned 90 points or above, while 36 lots in total won COE awards with scores of 86 or above. While fully washed coffees dominated the list of winners, there were multiple natural-process coffees, as well as semi-washed and honeys. Ten different coffee varieties were represented in the list of 36 winners.

ACE said that more than 400 lots have been awarded Honduras Cup of Excellence honors in the 15 competition years, with online auction prices for the winning lots totaling nearly USD $6 million through that time.

The online auction for 2018 Honduras COE-winning coffees takes place Tuesday, July 3.


1 Comment


Hi the score on the Honduras coffee is incorrectly it was about 93.6 i believe. Please double check (I was a juror)

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