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Quality Soars at 2020 Brazil Cup of Excellence Coffee Competition

Brazil COE winner Luiz Ricardo Bozzi Pimenta De Sousa

2020 Brazil Cup of Excellence winner Luiz Ricardo Bozzi Pimenta De Sousa. Photo courtesy of the Alliance for Coffee Excellence.

Overcoming a host of challenges posed by the pandemic during this harvest season, 30 coffee producers in Brazil have won 2020 Cup of Excellence (COE) green coffee quality awards.

The winning lots — each scoring between 87.21 and 90.03, according to an international jury — hailed from six main coffee-growing regions throughout Brazil, with a range of coffee varieties also represented. All the winning coffees were characterized as natural-process lots or pulped-natural-process lots.

COE organizer the Alliance for Coffee Excellence, based in Portland, Oregon, said it hopes the quality represented in the list of winning coffees will be rewarded in the marketplace through an online auction available to ACE members on Thursday, Dec. 10.

The Brazil will be the eighth and final COE auction of the 2020 year for ACE, which also happens to be offering early-bird rates for 2021 memberships. The group said that discounted pricing will run through Dec. 4.

In an announcement of the Brazil winners circulated by ACE, longtime Brazilian coffee professional, past Brazil Specialty Coffee Association President and 2020 Brazil COE Head Judge Silvio Leite suggested weather conditions throughout Brazil may have lead to exceptionally high crop quality among some Brazilian producers in 2020. He said the phenomenon is “similar to wine, where they have a special “vintage year.”

The top two coffees in the COE came from first-time participants in the competition, including a winning lot of pulped natural Catucaí 785 coming from Luiz Ricardo Bozzi Pimenta De Sousa in Espírito Santo.

“Our team was delighted by the complexity, variety, and overall quality of the coffee from Brazil in this competition,” Ali Johnston of Caravela Coffee, which served as one of the competition’s international judging centers created due to the pandemic, said in the ACE announcement. “The standard has been set very high this year.”

Prices for the 2020 Brazil Cup of Excellence winning lots will start at $4 per pound, with lots shipped in 30-kilo boxes containing two 15-kilo vacuum-sealed bags. See the remaining COE and “National Winner” auction schedule here.