Proving yet again that the COVID-19 pandemic has not dissuaded some buyers from paying top dollar for top-quality coffees, the 17th El Salvador Cup of Excellence auction recently concluded with a record-high price per pound.
In total, the 22 winning green coffee lots scoring 87+ points earned an average price of $22.53, widely eclipsing the previous high of $13.65, set in 2017, according to Cup of Excellence organizer the Alliance for Coffee Excellence. None of the winning lots received less than $12 per pound.
The top-scoring lot, a natural-anaerobic-process Pacamara from producer Roberto Ulloa of Finca Divina Providencia was split into two lots for the purposes of the auction. A consortium of international buyers — including Maruyama Coffee (Japan), Uchida Coffee (Japan), Harrods (UK), Difference Coffee (UK), Cometeer (US), and Goodboybob Coffee (US) — paid $80.10 per pound. The second half was purchased by Al Qahwa Al Arabiah (UAE) for $60.10.
“I appreciate the support of ACE and the Council team for the development of this event, and we also admire our producers,” El Salvador Coffee Council Executive Director Lily Pacas said in an announcement from ACE. “Thanks to them and despite the circumstances, we managed to successfully launch this contest and demonstrate that in our country we produce quality coffee. Thank you to the international buyers. When they buy coffee from El Salvador, they not only buy our coffee, they buy the love, dedication and passion of many years of work by our producers.”
This year’s Cup of Excellence program was dedicated to renowned producer Gilberto Baraona, a winner of numerous COE awards and a champion of Salvadoran coffee who passed away shortly before the competition. Here is a tribute video from the El Salvador Coffee Council: