No 30

Arnulfo Leguizamo, the Man Who Auctioned his Coffee in USD$ 45.10/lb.

August, 2012


Arnulfo Leguizamo, the Man Who Auctioned his Coffee in USD$ 45.10/lb.

Also known to his friends as “don Arnulfo”, he is a small coffee grower from San Agustín, Huila, winner of the Cup of Excellence competition of 2011. At that time, he reached the highest price paid for a Colombian coffee in its history.  His product was rated by experts as “almost perfect” and had an amazing score of 94 out of 100 in the ACE scale. These high scores are rare in the world of coffee.

The Cup of Excellence is an organization that through an annual competition evaluates coffee quality and is responsible for rewarding the producers of the best beans from several countries in Latin America, including Colombian coffees.  In Colombia, for example, the Huila coffee region has been highlighted, because since 2005 has won the Cup of Excellence in 4 opportunities.  The characteristics of this coffee are admired and demanded by major markets like Japan, Europe and the Americas. Other regions like Nariño and Cauca have also been consistently recognized in this competition.

The awards are given to dedicated coffee growers that produce with great care top-quality beans, with developed body and defined aroma. Mr. Arnulfo Leguizamo, 47, and owner of four hectares in coffee in the Department of Huila, notes that his success is due to a good management in both the harvest as in the wet processing and drying of coffee after it is handpicked, and emphasizes the altitude above sea level as his greatest ally for growing his coffee. Because of this great work, Mr. Arnulfo can obtain a product with exceptional cup characteristics that justify the auction price obtained in 2011.

Mr. Arnulfo’s coffee was evaluated by a select group of cuppers from 10 countries in Europe, Asia and America, who followed strict protocols and audit processes, continuously rating it with a score high enough to make it worthy of the prestigious Cup of Excellence. award.

The contest judges defined the drink with descriptors as: jasmine floral scent, creamy lingering taste, base notes of vibrant cherries, tamarind syrup, apricot, lemon blossom, vanilla, caramel, lychee and peach, among others. Enough factors for the coffee to deserve to be established in a higher category.

The winning lot was purchased by Miller Coffee, which during the auction, offered the highest price paid so far for coffee in Colombia: USD$ 45.10/lb.  Mr. Arnulfo mentioned that the award resources were invested in the purchase of an additional 3 hectares and that he was able to take his family, consisting of his wife and his four children, to see the ocean for the fist time.


More about the Cup of Excellence Competition

The label of the Cup of Excellence award guarantees consumers that the coffee was considered the best of the year by professional tasters. Often the winning coffees are of such high quality, that they exceed the consumers’ expectations on taste. 

The payment given to the coffee growers for their product is more than fair. There is no other program that is so exciting both for coffee lovers and roasters, and especially for producers, whose money reward usually changes the lives of their family and the rural communities where they live. 

We invite members of the 100% Program to follow the contest in its version No. 10. The Cup of Excellence will take place between the 10 and 14 of September, in the city of Popayan, Cauca, Colombia. The auction will be on October 31 of 2012. At the scheduled time, the roasters and importers can connect and compete with their bids in order to obtain the right to own and sell the winning coffee.

If you are looking for a Cup of Excellence coffee to taste or to buy, Bean & Beyond will let you know when the pages with the results of the auction are available to know who the winning bidders were. 1,043 lots of 11 producer regions will compete in this process, and will be evaluated by a national jury in the first phase. In the second phase, an international jury will award the best. It is without doubt the best micro lots of Colombia in 2012.

The lots that fail to access the final stages of the competition will also be available to be purchased. If they qualified to the first rounds is because they are coffees with a high potential for cup quality and with traceability to the producer farm. If you want more information on the lots involved in the Cup of Excellence that will not continue in the competition, contact:
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