First-time competitor wins Mexican Cup of Excellence

A first-time competitor won first place in the Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) sixth edition of the Cup of Excellence (COE) in Mexico City on 18 May.

Jose Renteria Larios ranked first with a 90.70-point coffee from Finca Peña Blanca in Jalisco, with a natural processed coffee with a blend of Sarchimor, Marsellesa and Caturra. 

“Cup of Excellence is the most beautiful gift that can be given for the effort, dedication, perseverance and work to a coffee plantation full of love and passion that is reflected in aroma, profile and flavor in cup,” Jose said.

The second-place winner, Federico Barrueta, received a score of 90.47 with Finca La Ilusión with washed Bourbon and Caturra.

Gabriel Bernard Rivas Ross ranked third with Finca Cruz Verde from Veracruz with a score of 90.20 with a washed Pacamara.

Selestino Lopez Partos received 90.03 points for a washed Bourbon and Typica from Chiapas.

The panel represented markets from Japan, South Korea, United States, Germany, Australia, Taiwan, China, New Zealand and Mexico.

“The coffees we had the opportunity to taste during the International Week of COE Mexico 2018 were a treat. Some are shining gems,” said Emma Chevalier of Revelator Coffee in the US. “The regions, varieties, and processes that are represented in the auction showcase a spectrum of flavour that reflects the existing quality and potential of the coffee from México. The world needs to know more about these coffees and I feel most of us are barely scratching the surface.”

COE Senior Manager Erin Wang said the diversity on the table impressed her.

“The top coffees were all high quality and unique in their own distinct ways.  The profiles encountered were special enough to be different, but at the same time pleasant and crowd pleasing. The coffees selected are great coffees to showcase to the world what Mexico is doing,” she said.

Farmers from seven states submitted 199 samples, which were narrowed down to 34 samples for international week from six states. From those coffees, 28 made it to the COE auction, which will take place on 27 June.

ACE Head Judge Eduardo Ambrocio said the Mexican COE was full of good surprises, with new varieties included alongside the traditional ones.

“Natural processed coffees played an important role as well, one of them achieving the maximum prestige of first place,” Eduardo said.

“Some coffees had notes of tropical fruits, red fruits, cherries, plum and red wine, dark fruits. Others were in the aromatic side, like minty, floral, jasmine, perfumed and complex, reminding me of certain lines of Geshas. Some others were more like yellow fruits, stone fruits, molasses, juicy, sugary, like the traditional Bourbons and Caturras. In a few words, Mexican coffees could be described as diverse and complex this 2018 COE.”

The COE International jury gave scores 90 and above to four top lots from the Mexican states of Jalisco, Estado de Mexico, Veracruz and Chiapas.

The top two coffees impressed the jury and puts a spotlight on Jalisco and Estado de Mexico, regions not as well-known as Oaxaca, Chiapas and Veracruz for specialty coffee.

ACE is a non-profit global membership organisation dedicated to advancing excellence in coffee. COE, a program which gives out the most prestigious award in coffee, has affected thousands of farmers.

Upcoming 2018 auctions include El Salvador on 29 May, Nicaragua on 19 June, and México on 27 June.

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