Brazil pulped natural Cup of Excellence sets all-time record

All lots from Brazil’s pulped natural Cup of Excellence (COE) competition were sold at auction within the first eight minutes on 28 November.

Producer Gabriel Nunes of winning lot Fazenda Bom Jardim received almost US$100,000 (about $131,915) for 793 pounds of coffee and now holds the all-time record for a COE price.

Two groups of bidders from several countries will share the top coffee, including Japan’s Maruyama Coffee and Sarutahiko Coffee, Times Club Coffee, South Korea’s Coffee Libre and AustraliaCampos Coffee and Proud Mary.

This lot is unique not only in the location of the farm, Patrocinio, but because the international jury scored it a huge 92.3 points due to its unusual flavour characteristics.

“In the past we produced volume. Today we balance the social, environmental and financial pillars of our farm,” says Gabriel, 28 years old. “Planting is about ensuring quality, making the correct soil management in order to reduce the use of inputs, having environmental awareness and also understanding what the marketplace seeks.”

Gabriel’s family farms are located in a privileged region, with ideal altitude and little rainfall during the harvest. The third-generation farming family continues to invest in technology, improve handling and experiments with controlled fermentations to improve their coffees.

Gabriel says the winning coffee, a yellow bourbon-pulped raisin process was an “experimental process”.

“At the ideal point of maturation, we harvested the best cherries by hand, put them inside a truck bucket and let the truck rest in a local forest to cool down for 36 hours, achieving anaerobic fermentation. After that we pulped the fermented raisins and dried them on raised beds,” Gabriel says.

This was the 18th auction celebrating Brazil’s best coffees. This auction not only broke the previous average record of $8.96 per pound for pulped natural coffees, but with an average of US$12.75 per pound, it broke the record of US$12.47 per pound for the naturals.

“This is an extraordinary result for Brazil and for our producers who work so hard and have been focused on quality improvement for many years,” says Vanusia Nogueira, Executive Director of The Brazil Specialty Coffee Association. “We are thrilled to offer these fantastic coffees to the world and we thank those who had the vision to create Cup of Excellence in Brazil with the Gourmet Project so many years ago.”

COE was founded in Brazil in 1999 and now showcases many other countries best coffees as well as Brazil.

The winning Naturals will be auctioned on 7 December. All but five of the lots received at least US$8.00 per pound, which is multiple times higher than average specialty prices. The top 90 scoring coffees were split into two lots for the auction. All of the 24 auctioned coffees had scored at least 86 points by both the national and international juries.

“It was so exciting to witness the young son of a well-established coffee family accepting the top honour. This just proves once again that there is much more possible from Brazil’s coffees than what most companies still expect,” says Susie Spindler, Co-founder and Executive Advisor to The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE).

For more information about 2018 membership and to register for an international jury, samples of the winners and the auctions log on to

Image: Osmar and Gabriel Nunes

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