Cup of Excellence #15 Peru
- March 2020
- Written by : Jay Cunningham
Sales Executive / Green Coffee Buyer
The Cup of Excellence (CoE) is the world's most prestigious coffee quality competition. It identifies the most exceptional coffees grown each year in nine countries around the world through an exhaustive process that enlists some of the most discriminating tasters in the industry over multiple rounds of evaluation. Then CoE sells the best lots at auction, usually commanding high prices and generating substantial earnings for the farmers who grew them.
We have served on CoE juries dozens of times over the years, and have been purchasing CoE auction lots from the beginning. The lots we buy may be coffees that articulate what we love best about an origin in an especially memorable way, or coffees that defy our expectations about that origin. But they are always coffees that are sweet, complex, and crisp.
Sometimes, we find that our preferences align with those of the other members of the international jury. Just as often, however, we find that our favorite lots are not the ones in the bright glare of the CoE spotlight, but those sitting quietly in the shadows. That was the case in the 2019 Peru CoE, where we served on the jury.
We tasted the top lots multiple times during the event, then brought samples back to our lab in Chicago so we could do it all over again. And while we did give high marks to the winning lot, we kept coming back again and again to lucky #17, a blend of Caturra and Geisha varieties that tastes to us like fresh berries, sweet citrus, and honey.