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Ethiopia Sidama Coffee Breaks Cup of Excellence Record at $400.50/lb

No 1_Legese_ Botosa _Dikale

Winning coffee grower Legesse Botasa Dikale. Image courtesy of Cup of Excellence.

The top-scoring coffee in the 2022 Ethiopia Cup of Excellence (CoE) fetched $400.50 per pound during a public auction last week, breaking the record for the highest price ever paid for a CoE-winning green coffee.

Half of the 1,058-pound lot of coffee, grown by farmer Legesse Botasa Dikale in Ethiopia’s renowned Sidama region, was purchased by Chinese company LNK Coffee Trading. The other half of the natural-process lot was purchased for $400 per pound by Saza Coffee in Japan and Orsir Coffee in Taiwan.

The purchases represent new all-time price highs for the 20-plus-year-old competition and auction program, and CoE organizers believe it is the highest price ever recorded for an Ethiopian green coffee. The previous CoE record was for a honey-process Gesha coffee in Costa Rica in 2018 that fetched $300.09.

The second-place coffee in the Ethiopia CoE — an anaerobic-process coffee from farmer Kenean Assefa Dukem, also from Sidama — earned $189.10 per pound from winning buyer Sulalat Coffee Trading of Saudi Arabia.

The auction marked the finale of the third annual Ethiopia CoE competition, organized by the Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Authority in partnership with Alliance for Coffee Excellence, the Ethiopian Private Coffee Associations, and USAID’s CATALYZE Ethiopia Market Systems for Growth activity.

“We are incredibly proud of how much this USAID-supported competition is helping transform the specialty coffee sector in Ethiopia,” USAID Mission Director Sean Jones said in an announcement shared by CoE. “By linking small-scale farmers to coffee buyers across the globe, we’re putting more money into Ethiopia’s coffee-growing communities and a cup of the world’s absolute best in the hands of countless coffee lovers.” 


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