Kalibús la Sierra wins Guatemalan Cup of Excellence

The Alliance for Coffee Excellence (ACE) has announced the Kalibús la Sierra farm the 2016 Cup of Excellence (COE) Guatemalan winner.

The winning lot from Kalibús la Sierra in the Sierra de las Minas region of Guatemala scored 92.09 in the international cupping, and secured a price of US$42.10 per pound.

With two lots up for grabs on 1 July, farmer Castillo Cerezo took home more than US$75,000 (around $100,000) for his beans.

Dabov Specialty Coffee in Bulgaria and CKcorporations for Lusso Coffee in Korea were the highest bidders for the Kalibus La Sierra coffee.

“I am very grateful for COE and ACE because [I] wouldn’t have had this opportunity if we didn’t have this contest,” Castillo said of his second COE win. “It’s an opportunity to show your coffee to the international market.”

Brew92 from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia paid the highest individual price of US$53.10 per pound for four lots of Los Jutes coffee, located in the Chimaltenango region. This coffee scored 91.18 in the cupping.

Australia’s Campos Coffee won fifth-placed La Bella coffee for $20.30 per pound. This coffee scored 90.44 in the international judging.

In total, some 723 lots were sold at the auction, generating a total of US$659,506.56.

Of the 25 entrants into the auction, 10 scored above 90 in cupping, with the lowest score being 86.44, demonstrating the high standard of the entrants across the board.

The high auction prices are a direct result of COE’s recent rule changes. Splitting the presidential award winners (for coffees scoring above 90) is a new initiative this year, as is the minimum score for coffees to receive the COE, which is 86 compared to previous years of 85.

Coffees scoring between 84 and 86 are still auctioned via the ACE National Winners Platform.

This was the second COE win for Castillo’s Kalibus La Sierra. The farm started operating on 3 July 1982, several years prior to Sierra de las Minas becoming a protected reserve. Part of the Kalibus La Sierra’s 141 hectares is located in the core zone of the Sierra de las Minas reserve. Most of the trees planted on the farm are indigenous trees of the area.

Kalibus La Sierra coffee is selectively picked, washed with pure water from water springs on the property, and processed in the farm’s wet mill. Castillo has worked hard to ensure his farm integrates into the local ecosystem and maintains a strong sense of sustainability.

“I have a place in the mountains, very small, very clean and very nice. My plants are very happy there,” Castillo said to ACE post win.

Currently, the COE program takes place in 11 specialty coffee producing countries in East Africa and in Central and South America.

COE is the most prestigious competition and award for high quality coffees. Each year, thousands of coffees are submitted for consideration, with winning coffees sold in global online auctions at premium prices, with the vast majority of auction proceeds going to the farmers.

For more information and to see the full results visit www.allianceforcoffeeexcellence.org/en/

Images courtesy of COE: Top, Kalibús la Sierra farmer Castillo Cerezo. Left, a representative of third place winning farm El Injerto.

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